By COLlive reporter
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull and New Zealand’s Governor-General Patsy Reddy joined a ceremony in the southern Israeli desert to mark 100 years since the Battle of Be’er Sheva.
They commemorated the legendary charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade in October 1917 to defeat Turkish forces and seize the strategic town. It was remembered as an incredible bravery of 800 young Australian Anzac soldiers on horseback that changed the course of WWI.
Political leaders from Israel and Australia, descendants of Anzac soldiers and others wishing to honor their memory gathered in Be’er Sheva to remember their bravery.
The 100th anniversary of the battle was marked with a museum opening, a reenactment of the journey to Be’er Sheva by 100 Australian horsemen (mounted on Israeli horses) and a gala reception also attended by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ANZAC fighters.
Welcoming Turnbull at the King David Hotel upon his arrival to Jerusalem was the Chabad Rabbi of the Central Synagogue in Bondi, Rabbi Levi Wolff, his wife Chani and son Moshe.
The Wolffs later met with Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Australia. At the Kotel, they met with the Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg, who is Jewish and put on Tefillin.
Speaking at the memorial event, Mr. Turnbull said the feats of the Australians who fought, and the 32 who died, would never be forgotten.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said the “great dash” of the Australian Light Horse had “liberated Be’er Sheva for the sons and daughters of Abraham, and opened the gateway for the Jewish people to re-enter the stage of history.
“The heroism of your fallen men will never be forgotten,” he said.
“The few won against the many. That’s the spirit of the army of Israel… we seek peace with all our neighbors but we will not tolerate any attacks on our sovereignty, on our people, on our land, whether from the air, the sea, the ground or below the ground,” Netanyahu said.