72 years since attack on Gush Etzion convoy

Gush Etzion Field School marks 72nd anniversary of attack on convoy with seminar and candle lighting for killed.

Rafael Levy ,

Memorial torches for caravan victims
Memorial torches for caravan victims
Kfar Etzion Field School Spokesman

In recent years, the Kfar Etzion Field School has been paying special attention to commemorating the fallen to protect Gush Etzion and the settlement's legacy, which had to deal with many difficulties along the way.

Yesterday a special seminar was held at the school entitled Gush Etzion - Seventy Years of Commemoration. At the culmination of the seminar, dozens of participants went to the spot where on the 28th of Kislev 1948 a convoy of guards and bloc members who left Jerusalem for the bloc were attacked.

During the attack, ten people, including prominent figures of the bloc fell such as Shalom Karniel of Kfar Etzion and the commander of the convoy Shmuel Koenigsberg, who was among the first wounded and according to the testimony after the fight, blurted out his pain and asked: "Quiet, comrades... answer them with fire! I can't hold any longer; avenge my blood,” and he died on the spot.

The symposium was specifically dedicated to commemorating the fallen of Gush Etzion and the day was opened by Saul Goldstein, the former director of the council's Nature and Parks Authority. Goldstein said he tells the tour guides: "Go for a walk with the Bible", adding that in Israel "every stone, every path, every hill has its own story in the chain of generations."

Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies President and Historical Geographer Prof. Doron Bar reviewed a series of "popular and national holy places in the State of Israel between 1948-1967, the most prominent of which is the grave of Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl."

The Ten's funeral caravan
Kfar Etzion archive

Yifat Farkash of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and Avraham Ratner's granddaughter who fought in the bloc and fell in Jordanian captivity revealed to conference participants the story of the bloc commemorative enterprise: "Shortly after the bloc fell began discussions about whether to name the new settlements with the same names as those in the bloc. Later, a museum was already planned. The return to the bloc after the Six Day War interrupted the promotion of the museum and resulted in a different concept in commemoration that became more prominent."

At one of the peak moments, Yossi Ron from the Gush Etzion Association gave a special certificate of appreciation to Miriam Knoll, Chana Nussbaum, Ora Rotenberg, Sandy Amichai, Sheila Gal, Yisrael Shadiel, Yohanan Ben Yaakov, Shimon Karniel, Arie Rotenberg, and Batya Fried.

Award for commemorating Gush Etzion's legacy
Kfar Etzion Field School Spokesman

Immediately after the lectures, dozens of participants and even family members who fell in the Efrat local council went through the agricultural terraces and orchards to the intersection of the Etzion convoy not far from where the fighters fell 72 years ago, lit Hanukkah candles, and talked about the heroism of the Maccabees and the heroism of the settlers.

Kfar Etzion Field School Director Yaron Rosenthal said excitedly: "The Hasmonean legacy created a deep commitment of hundreds of generations fighting for Jewish identity. We're trying to preserve Gush Etzion's legacy in order to repay moral debt to the fallen and to allow us to continue to do so for the Zionist enterprise."