“Exactly 100 years ago, brave ANZAC soldiers liberated Beer Sheba for the sons and daughters of Abraham and opened the gateway for the Jewish people to reenter the stage of history,” Netanyahu stated.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara on Tuesday attended a memorial ceremony to honor the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fell during WWI.
The ceremony is part of the events marking 100 years since the battle for Be’er Sheba. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife and New Zealand Governor General Patsy Reddy and her husband arrived in Israel for the special events.
Netanyahu thanked the mounted infantrymen with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and “the families of the brave Aussies and Kiwis who fought here and died here” 100 years ago.
“Nearly 4,000 years ago, Abraham came to Be’er Sheba, the City of Seven Wells. Exactly 100 years ago, brave ANZAC soldiers liberated Beer Sheba for the sons and daughters of Abraham and opened the gateway for the Jewish people to reenter the stage of history,” Netanyahu stated.
“The heroism of your fallen men will never be forgotten. The brave soldiers who are buried here played a crucial role in defeating the Ottoman Empire, liberating the Holy Land, ending 400 years of Ottoman rule in one great dash,” he added.
“This momentous occasion was a historic milestone in the natural kinship between our peoples. When I say natural, I don’t just mean the way we address life and each other, that easy informality, that warmth. That was evident from the moment our people met your people. I mean something deeper, because there’s a historical significance of what happened here. ANZAC soldiers went on to capture Jerusalem, Tiberius, Megiddo, then continued northward. They were actually retracing the footsteps of the heroes of the Bible. They were stepping on the verses of the Bible, and they knew it, and their clergy who spoke of this so movingly a moment ago, they knew it too,” the Israeli premier stated.
Ethos of Courage of ANZAC Soldiers Guides IDF
Netanyahu said that the partnership between the Jewish People and the Australian nation began two years before ANZAC’s victory in the Holy Land, “in 1915, with a great defeat. In the defeat at Gallipoli, two things were forged. One, the absolute resolve of the ANZAC forces to redeem their fallen brethren and establish this glorious victory here. And the second thing that was forged was the first meeting between ANZAC fighters and Jewish fighters, the first Jewish fighters who stood shoulder to shoulder with them in Gallipoli, the first Jewish fighting force in 2,000 years. And that continued here with the Jewish Legion that helped liberate Palestine here, in this campaign that we mark today. This was a point, a partnership that has historic significance today.”
Netanyahu then said that while serving in Israel’s Special Forces he leaned about “the ethos of courage of Australian and New Zealand soldiers… It stood as a shining example for us. It was an example of the spirit of fortitude and courage, and the willingness to act in the defense of our people and our values. These are the values that guide us today as well. We saw here in Beer Sheba 800 cavalry go against 4,000 embedded Turks with machine guns, with bunkers. The few won against the many. That’s the spirit of the army of Israel. It stands today.”
“Israel salutes the sacrifice of these brave soldiers. We will never forget them. We will forever honor and treasure their memory,” he concluded.
By: United with Israel Staff
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