|Prayer book and skull caps lie in pool of dried blood of school synagogue at Shafrir after attack by fedayeen in 1956|
In modern times, terror against jews in Israel has not ceased since at least the 1920's. The first major attack in 1921, with the collusion of one of the highest ranking officers of the British army Colonel Waters-Taylor resulted in hundreds of jews dead and wounded. This was the first major attack of Haj Amin el Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem. He and his nephew Yassir Arafat would be indefatigable in their lust for jewish blood.
The following terror attack was just one out of hundreds. It came just months before the 1956 war caused by Nasser's closing of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, the constant terror and threats to destroy Israel (Israel had no response to a massive supply of weapons from the USSR, and needed to smash the egyptian army before it could absorb the modern weaponry).
From Deborah Dayan's book, 'Pioneer'
The Habad Hassidim are a religious group. They believe in a life close to the soil, in a life of labor and religion, according to the Laws of the Bible. They have established the beginnings of a small Agricultural School near the village of Shafrir. The small institution has many problems. There is not enough money. The soil suffers from a weed known as chickweed, which spreads and chokes every plant and has to be constantly kept under control.
The students are a problem too. They don't come from settler's circles. Most of them have only been in the country a few months. They come from backward countries in North Africa and most of them reached Israel ahead of their parents. Slum-life has left its stamp on them. They are absolutely illiterate. They are outbursts of fury.
It was these "problem-children" who were chosen by the Habbad Hassidim for their students. They send their representatives to the Immigration Camps and pick out the toughest cases. So far there have been only two dropouts.
All this calls for a lot of responsibility from the instructors. They start out by teaching their students Hebrew, reading and writing. They take care of their education and bring them up to the accepted standard in Israel for their age-groups. After that they keep in touch with them during their Army service.
After about half a year the quiet village life and the work on the little school farm had raised the children's spirits and they had begun to settle down.
One day after the evening prayers, a party of murderous infiltrators from Egypt opened fire on the school. As the children were standing with their instructor, after a day full of work and play, they flung hand grenades at them and sniped at them with automatic weapons. Three were killed on the spot, including the beloved instructor who was himself no more than a boy. There were many wounded.
I saw the pool of blood in the synagogue, the blood stained pages of the prayer book. The mother kissing the doctor's hands and begging him to save the life of her boy, whose legs had been amputated.
Anyone who attended the funeral or even merely read about the horror, must cry aloud from the depth of his hear: "Hack off the hands of these emmissaries of murder, these killers of children!"
During the early days after the murder there was a state of alarm and condfusion amongst the children. Some of them were afraid to stay on and went home to their parents or relatives. But the devotion of the adults, the encouragement they received from the entire community and espectially the continuation of studies had their calming effect.
One week later I found all of them back at school. They were still a little nervous, but they all stayed in their beds at night.
On the First of May the members of the Executive Committee of the Histadruth, Israel's General Federation of Labor, came to Shafrir and helped lay the foundation for a large vocational training school to be established on the spot.
The enemies will never understand us: The more they kill us, the more horrible their acts, the harder we shall work to build up the country. Life must go on.