Remembering the vote

December 4, 2014 by Dalia Ayalon Sinclair.
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Worlds and generations apart they assembled at the 10th Anniversary of NCJWA ‘Celebrating Israel’ event recently at Council House in Sydney’s Woollahra, to share their personal accounts of ‘The Vote’ by UN General Assembly of Resolution 181 on 29 November 1947.

This was the day the Jewish people were given the opportunity to grasp hold of the book of history in order to write down their own destiny.

Vic Alhadeff, Gabrielle Upton and Dalia Sinclair

Vic Alhadeff, Gabrielle Upton and Dalia Ayalon Sinclair

“Although successfully passed 67 years ago, it was doomed by Arab opposition to the proposed partition of Palestine and the implications of the vote are still felt deeply today as outcomes for peace in the Middle East have not been achieved. The preconditions for a peaceful two-state resolution and a secure Israel are still as complex as they were in 1947.” said Guest of Honour at the event,  Gabrielle Upton MP Member for Vaucluse and Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Israel.

Australia played a significant role in the establishment of the State of Israel.  The Australian Foreign Minister Dr Herbert Vere Evatt, Doc Evatt, who was chairman of the Ad Hoc committee on Palestine, was in charge of the Partition Plan and Australia was the first to cast the Yes vote.

The highlight of the event was the presentation by Betar Shlicha and Madrichim of stories depicting the memories of four members of the Jewish community in Australia whose lives where impacted by ‘The Vote’.

Whilst Esther Udovich was eagerly awaiting the results of the vote after which she joined the thousands of Jews dancing in the streets of Jerusalem, the Israeli born David Sachar, a merely 17 Hagana member was on guard as he was facing the Arabs assembling to attack.

To Dennis Rudnick from South Africa and Morris Fremder who fled to Brazil after WWII with a false identity, the vote was a defining moment in their lives. As a young Betarnik, Dennis and his friends decided to make their way to Israel to help the Jewish state in the making and for Morris his move to Israel meant that he could gain back his identity as a Jew.

Dalia Ayalon Sinclair delivered personal messages received by Australian born Mike Landshut Amir, raised in a sheep farm who joined the British Mandate forces in Palestine and after  numerous ‘incidents’  he had experienced he risked his  life to help the Jewish people defend themselves during the establishment of the State of Israel.

A special message was sent by Rosalind Carrodus, daughter of Doc Evatt, who lives in NSW and was unable to attend the Celebration.

The event was jointly co hosted by NCJWA NSW, Hamoadon HaIsraeli, The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Zionist Council of NSW and Betar.

“As a shlicha, it was very moving to celebrate this important day here, in Sydney, my temporary home for the past year. I was happy to see the connection between the young generation- the madrichim of Betar and the heroes that helped shaped Israel.  I find both the madrichim and the heroes to be very inspiring with their passion and actions about Zionism.”  said Ortal Dari,shlicha, Betar NSW and the Jewish Agency for Israel

The event was also addressed by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff, who delivered a chilling overview of what he termed “the United Nations’ jaundiced worldview of Israel”.

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