Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MITZPE REVIVIM


MITZPE REVIVIM

Mitzpe Revivim (Revivim Observatory) was established in 1943, along
with Bet Eshel and Gevulot, as an agricultural experiment station in the
Negev. A small group, cut off from other Jewish settlements, set out to
conquer the wilderness and thus determine the fate of the Negev and
its inclusion within the State of Israel. The settlers' first home was a
cave - a Byzantine water hole, originally dug by the Nabateans along
the Spice Route. Their first task was to plow a furrow. The land had
been purchased from the Bedouin but, under Turkish law, a further step
was necessary: the land had to be cultivated, so plowing was the first
objective.

They named their new community Mitzpe (outpost) Revivim (rain).

In the first year, they constructed the enclosure and castle. During the
War of Independence, Revivim was cut off until the Egyptian invasion
was halted at Bier Asluge. The siege of the Negev was not over until
Operation Horev in December 1948.

After the war, the settlers moved to an adjacent hill and established the
permanent location where Kibbutz Revivim now resides. In 1983, the
obsevatory - its buildings, bunkers and hidden ammunition stores - was
reconstructed and turned into a museum of the settlement history and
period, attracting many visitors, both adult and youth.

AGRICULTURE IN THE NEGEV

After Independence in 1948 the Negev was split up into new Moshav’s
(agricultural villages), with 40 dunams for each family. However the
immigrants had no agricultural training and so the results were not
very good. In the 1980s it was decided to do things differently – each
family was given just 3.5 dumans on which to grow 1 niche product.
This plan succeeded and the farms became profitable. Israel is now the
second largest exporter of avocadoes in the world (after Mexico).


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