Anzac Day commemorated in Jerusalem

April 30, 2019 by Hayley Hadassin
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The Embassy of Australia in Israel held the annual commemorative service for Anzac Day at the Commonwealth Military Cemetery, Mt Scopus in Jerusalem on Monday.

Youth groups lay wreathes

This ceremony has become an important occasion not only for Australian and New Zealand diplomats serving in Israel, but also for Australian olim and Australian gap year participants to show respect for those who fell at Gallipoli and in various military actions and service since then.

Each year, the Zionist Federation of Australia organises for Australian gap year participants to attend and actively participate in this ceremony. This year over 120 were present with representation from the Australian Zionist Youth Council, Lone Soldiers, Bnei Akiva, Betar, Netzer, Hineni, Habonim and Israel By Choice (IBC.) Each of these movements and organisations laid wreaths at the ceremony.

ZFA’s Yila Sela and Australia’s ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan

Australian Ambassador to Israel, Chris Canaan said: –

“Remembering ANZAC Day is, of course, not about glorifying war. It is about remembering and honouring, the sacrifice of fellow countrymen and women who put their lives on the line for something larger than themselves – our nations, our interests and our values.

They sacrificed on the rocky shores of Gallipoli, on the plains of Beersheba, in the rugged hills of Jerusalem, and in so many other corners of the globe, so that we may live.

Today, we remember their contributions, which stand the test of time.”

Nicky Retman from Hineni in Melbourne said: – “To be in Israel and commemorate ANZAC Day together with fellow Australians and Israeli’s is an experience I will never forget. It was an honour to have been part of the ceremony and represent my youth movement and my country in my Homeland.”

There was a large crowd in attendance of diplomats, ambassadors and representatives from Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Turkey, France, Germany and New Zealand; Zionist youth, Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the Israel Defence Forces, Members of Australian Armed forces serving in the United Nations Truce Observation Forces in the Middle East and the Australian Zionist Federation, along with Australian and New Zealand olim living in Israel.

ZFA Israel Office Director Yigal Sela, laid the wreath on behalf of the ZFA, he said: – “I am very proud to represent the Zionist Federation of Australia and for so many of our Australian gap year participants to be here today. They felt a need and responsibility to be present at such an important ceremony here, in Israel. It symbolises more than anything else, the very close relationship between Israel and Australia, and especially the Jewish community there.”

Rabbi Raymond Apple delivered a short speech:

When we stand before the graves in this cemetery we realise how literally true are the words, “They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old”.  These were boys and always will be.   Their contemporaries grew old and eventually passed away, but  not these boys. Everything has changed in the meantime; people don’t eat, talk, travel, or even fight the way they did a hundred years ago.   Plato says that change is evil, but he isn’t right.   Change can be good, and many of the changes of this past century have been good for mankind.  True, we can and do challenge God and ask why He allowed so many new evils to come upon His world.  Whatever answer He gives, He surely also says, “But what about all the good things that came into My world?”  Actually, one of the best blessings of the past century is seen by who we are and where we are,  people who love (and mostly live in) Israel, an Israel that owes much of its foundation to the boys and battles of World War I.  We pray that the boys buried here will rest in peace: we pray for their souls, we praise their gallantry, we pray that peace will come to the region.

Lest We Forget.


3 Responses to “Anzac Day commemorated in Jerusalem”
  1. Rafi says:

    Well Adrian now you have!!
    Sorry but your comment is puerile and irrelevant

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      Rafi – what a rude and ignorant person you are. I was an Australian infantry officer for 23 years so I know a bit about a professional regular army.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    I have never seen an UNARMED party of ADF soldiers in such a ceremony. Where are their arms?

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