Wednesday, August 31, 2011

1937: The Yishuv's Response to the "Arab Revolt" -- Building Ein Gev, a "Tower & Stockade"

 Ein Gev: Inside the settlement showing look-out tower
with mounted searchlight (circa 1937).  The Golan
Heights are the hills above.
At the height of the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine, rural Jewish communities were under attack from local Arab militias.  Ambushes were constant threats on the roads.  The Yishuv (the Jews of Eretz Yisrael prior to Israel's formation) was in danger of losing lands purchased and farmed, in some cases, for decades.

Girls of the settlement
 mending fishing nets
 In order to circumvent the British Mandate's restrictions on new Jewish construction and to challenge the Arab aggression, the Zionist pioneers devised Tower and Stockade - חומה ומגדל  fortified settlement projects, which were built overnight as defensive posts. The 52 projects developed into agricultural communities. Most of the villages were kibbutzim or moshavim communal settlements.
Ein Gev pioneers, including Teddy Kollek (2nd from
the right), later mayor of Jerusalem
Ein Gev settlers at the armory
 inspecting rifles

Pictured here is the community of Ein Gev, established in July 1937 on the eastern banks of the Sea of Galilee.  Ein Gev was a frontline community, facing Arab attacks in the 1930s and 1948 war.  Until the 1967 war, Ein Gev was constantly in the gunsights of the Syrian army located on the Golan Heights above the kibbutz. 

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