The ANZAC legend

November 7, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Despite a barrage of missile attacks from Gaza, over 40 Australians and Israelis joined the Annual Anzac Bike Ride at Kibbutz Beeri last Friday to commemorate the 102nd Anniversary of the Anzac victory of the Battle of Beersheba.

Although the Australian Ambassador to Israel, Ambassador Chris Cannan, and 15 Australian peace-keeping soldiers from the Multi-Lateral forces in Sinai were forced to cancel their participation due to the security concerns, ​40 spirited cyclists re-lived one of modern history’s last great cavalry charges on mountain bikes and horseback​.

The riders followed the same trail used by the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) light horse brigade which conquered the Negev’s capital, Beer Sheba, from the Ottoman Empire in 1917.

 

“For Australians, the Battle of Beersheba has become a growing part of our military heritage and collective consciousness; a time to reflect on sacrifice and mateship and what it means to be Australian,” said Ambassador Chris Cannan before the ride.

Australian ex-pat and organizer of the ride, Danny Hakim said, “it’s really important that both Australians and Israelis know about this significant battle because it was this battle that created the historic bond between Australia and the land of Israel over 100 years ago”.

Despite the threat of rocket fire, the riders embraced the Anzac spirit and courage, choosing to show their support to the local community of Beeri. “It was very important for us to show our solidarity to the local people in the south who suffer from these red alerts all the time,” said Danny.

The ride was followed by an Aussie BarBQ and games for the families.

On Sunday, October 27, the documentary film​ “Ride like an Anzac”​ that tells the story of centennial reenactment ride and the participation of the Aboriginal ANZACs was screened on Australia’s ABC TV to an audience of 500,000 Australians. Organizers expect that it will help boost Australian tourism to Israel.

The ride was organized by​ Budo for Peace​, an educational non-profit that teaches martial arts values and sport as a platform to promote a shared society. This year’s ride was supported by the Australian Embassy, Telfed The South African Zionist Federation (Israel) and Jem’s Beer Factory.

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