Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Yom HaZikaron at the Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery. April 22, 2015.

In his eulogy of Israel’s defenders in 1948, Ben-Gurion said, and Elkin recalled: “If there exists a Jewish Jerusalem, our foremost thanks go to the defenders of Gush Etzion.”

It was the resistance of the fighters in the Gush Etzion bloc located directly south of Jerusalem, that enabled the fighters in Jerusalem to survive the Arab armies attacks of the War of Independence.


On May 13, 1948, several Arab Legion units attacked the Kfar Etzion kibbutz. Between 75 and 250 Jews were either murdered or committed suicide. Only three men and one woman survived the attack. The next day, May 14, the remaining Jews in the area were taken hostage, and on that same day Israel issued its Declaration of Independence.

And then, after such a short time, the master of ceremonies announced: “Tam HaTekes”: “The Ceremony is Over.”


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: [email protected]