Thousands gather in Upper Galilee to commemorate Battle of Tel Hai – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on March 9, 2020

In commemoration of the Battle of Tel Hai, thousands belonging to the Betar Youth Movement gathered at the Roaring Lion Monument in the Upper Galilee this week to mark the centennial of the famous confrontation.The event revolved around the heroism of a Jewish defensive paramilitary group and their commander Joseph Trumpeldor.The battle, which took place on March 1, 1920, in the heat of the Franco-Syrian War, began when several hundred Shi'ite Arabs from Southern Lebanon, accompanied by a large contingency of Bedouin villagers from a nearby town, besieged the Jewish village of Tel Hai.The Arab forces demanded to search the settlement for French soldiers, but most of the town believed that they wanted to enter under false pretenses, their real goal being to drive out the Jewish settlers.In response to the demand, a Tel Hai farmer fired a shot into the air, signalling for nearby reinforcements stationed at Kfar Giladi led by Joseph Trumpeldor. When he arrived with his ten men and saw that he was greatly outnumbered, he initially attempted to send the Arab militia away by negotiating with them.When that failed, he allowed the Bedouin Mukhtar Kamal Affendi into the village to search for French soldiers. While the Mukhtar was in the village a shot discharged and a firefight between the two parties ensued.Trumpeldor was shot in the hand and stomach, and died while being evacuated to Kfar Giladi. He has been credited with saying: "It's nothing it is good to die for our country." (Eyn daber, tov lamut be-ad eretznu)Six other Jews and five Arab fighters died in the skirmish. The settlers of Tel Hai abandoned the town, and it was eventually burned to the ground by the attacking Shi-ite forces. It is unclear to historians whether this act was part of the Franco-Syrian War or an escalation of the Arab-Israeli conflict.The town was resettled in 1921 after the end of the war."The ethos of Tel Hai was fashioned from the spirit of Joseph Trumpeldor," said the head of Betar's international division, Neira Meir. "Only a man who is willing to sacrifice his life for the realization of the Zionist idea will be remembered 100 years after his passing. To always put the fulfillment of the Jewish state before personal interest: This is the heroism of Tel Hai."Yaakov Hagoel, deputy chairman of the World Zionist Organization, added that in every generation we see a new Trumpeldor. He referred to the example of Roi Klein jumping on a live grenade during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, a move that saved dozens of his fellow soldiers. He said that he died a hero, and his actions will forever be remembered."You don't have to be killed to be a Trumpeldor; you don't have to die to establish the homeland," Hagoel concluded. "If we are all Zionists, then our country will continue to flourish."

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Thousands gather in Upper Galilee to commemorate Battle of Tel Hai - The Jerusalem Post

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