Last week at a conference in moshav Masu'ot Yitzhak near Ashkelon, Kibbutz Movement Secretary General Nir Meir promised Gush Etzion will "grow and prosper."
"Gush Etzion will remain in our hands, grow, and prosper no matter what agreement the government makes," Meir said, promising to work with relevant parties in the Milk Council to advance the opening of a dairy in Kfar Etzion.
The Masu'ot Yitzhak meeting was held at the initiative of Gush Etzion founders Benny Bashan, Yehuda Neuman, and Amitai Porat.
Porat, who is Secretary General of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, said, "We, the members of the Religious Kibbutz Movement, Gush Etzion, and Kfar Etzion, appreciate the Harel Brigade and the Palmach fighters. We thank the members of Kibbutz Revadim, who have made with us a treaty of brotherhood. Since the War of Independence, we have promised to support each others' fights.
"We will not forget the self-sacrifice of the Palmach fighters...and the Convoy of 35 [the 'Lamed Hei', Haganah reinforcement troops bearing supplies for four blockaded Gush Etzion kibbutzim, detected before they could complete their mission and murdered in a prolonged battle by Arab irregulars and local villagers from Jaba` and Tsurif]. We will not forget the brave treaty which we made, despite our differences of opinion, with those who were fighting on our behalf."
Kfar Etzion Field School Principal Yaron Rosenthal said, "We are gathered here together - old and young - because we are the ones who founded kibbutzim and are continuing the chain. We were together on the mountain, and we fought together, shoulder-to-shoulder, during the War of Independence. Our founders, tired from wars, did not give up. They re-settled kibbutzim in the lowlands and in the south.
"Meetings such as this give us strength and remind us that we are all a single link in the long chain of Gush Etzion pioneers."
In the picture: David Ben-David, one of Gush Etzion's pioneers and founders.