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 Days of Diege and War
The Test of Loyalty 

 

In the middle of the first month of Adar 5748 (2.1948 ) a proposal from the Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency arrived in Kfar Etzion.  The members of Kfar Etzion who had families, together with the female members and the children residing in Jerusalem, would be transferred to a different location to establish another community.  It seems that the continued separation and the security burden were too onerous. The Jewish Agency was incapable of supporting the split-up kibbutz whose sources of income in Gush Etzion had dried up.

 

For three days the members of Kfar Etzion addressed the proposal in a communal meeting. Logical and emotional arguments, security evaluations and social-kibbutz oriented evaluations intermingled with each other.

Below are statements made by the members:

"I view this place as my home; it is absurd to think that strangers will protect it without our participation. It is also unethical…."

"In my opinion we have to hold on to the place literally by our fingernails."

"…We must consider the proposal from one perspective alone: what activity is more likely to preserve the integrity of the kibbutz … what situation poses a greater danger to the disintegration of the kibbutz and how do we prevent such a situation…."

“The question is a political one, can we remain in an Arab state when that state does not agree to it and announces that it will not leave a single Jew alive in its boundaries."

"It is possible that at the last minute they will have to evacuate us from here without considering our opinion or will."

"I was one of the first people arriving at Kfar Etzion five years ago. I went here without making any calculations what we are facing and what would be the fate of Kfar Etzion. I would not be prepared to be one of the first to leave here. The very fact that we are having this discussion I view as a disaster for any tree that was planted and any house that was built in this place. Every stone is dear to us and this land is sacred to us in whose defense the finest of our comrades fell. The question of the kibbutz's disintegration is pushed aside in the face of this tragedy. The argument of 'I have loved my home' is not perceived in this debate, for we all love every stone and rock, every tree and lump of earth in this place. And if you say that this is a matter of emotion then I have been caught up in this emotionalism."

"According to some of our members our situation resembles the predicament of the people in Tel Hai in Trumpeldor's time, and then as well, there were people who contended that it was not worthwhile to retain Tel-Hai but history has proven the opposite."

At the close of the deliberations the proposal was rejected. The entire kibbutz remained on the mountain, and demanded that the national institutions provide a solution to the financial problems.

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