|Founded by||Romanian immigrants|
Mishmar David (Hebrew: מִשְׁמַר דָּוִד, lit. David's Guard) is a community settlement in central Israel. Located in the Shephelah near Mazkeret Batya, it falls under the jurisdiction of Gezer Regional Council. In 2018 it had a population of 871. In 2003 it became the first kibbutz to be privatised.
The village was founded as a kibbutz in 1948 by Holocaust survivors from Romania and former soldiers, and was named after David Marcus, a United States Army colonel who assisted Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and later became the country's first general. It was established on the land of the depopulated Palestinian village of Khulda. During the 1970s the kibbutz absorbed several immigrants from the United Kingdom. Its economy was based on growing maize, avocados and grapes, as well as a printing press.
The communal lifestyle was diminishing by the 1990s; the kibbutz's dining hall closed in 1994, and in 1999 the system of being paid according to needs was abolished. In 2003, following a vote of 50 in favour and only one against, it was converted to a community settlement, the first kibbutz to do so. The kibbutz had debts of £18 million, and would sell a chunk of land to build 350 new homes, whilst the rest of the land was returned to the state. Each kibbutz member was given shares in the printing press business.
During an archeological salvage excavation in 2006, prior to the commencement of building, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced that they had discovered an ancient Umayyad settlement covering six dunams in Mishmar David. The discovery included a never-seen-before round building dated to the Byzantine-Islamic period, with a diameter of around 10 metres and a polychrome mosaic floor covered with geometric patterns and a palm tree motif.
- "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Pioneering dream ends as kibbutz goes private The Guardian, 6 May 2001
- Socialism's Last Stand[permanent dead link] Commentary Magazine, March 2002
- Evidence of ancient settlement uncovered in IAA excavations at Mishmar David, 3 December 2006