Why in Israel (especially in Beer - Shev) love Australia and New Zealand?
In the history of battles of World War I fight for Beer - to Shev holds on October 31, 1917 a specific place. I know 4 reasons:
1. After this battle Palestine was freed from Turks and passed under the British mandate, the well-known declaration of Balfur of November 2, 1917 about desirability of creation of the Jewish national state in Palestine became result of what.
2. It was the last large battle in the history of wars in which the leading role was played by a cavalry; already the era of the mechanized troops began.
3. After defeat in fight for Beer - to Shev the Ottoman empire existing since the 14th century very quickly became property of history, other history of Turkey - the secular state with the democratic form of government began.
4. The Australian and New Zealand cavalrymen were the main striking power of battle, since then these countries are very respected in Israel.
On October 31, 2007 in Israel noted 90 - the anniversary of fight for Beer - to Shev. The holiday was grandiose, the program for the whole day.
At first on streets Beer - Shev by a monument to the general Allenbi towards the British cemetery where 1300 soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England are buried, passed parade of cavalrymen - members of the Australian society of a light cavalry. Australians are men and women in a military uniform of those years - almost all were obviously retirement age, but it did not affect quality of riding. Horses, I think, were Israeli...
Horsemen in 4 days passed along all route of the British forwarding case freeing Palestine in 1917, and ceremonial march entered into Beer - to Shev. Streets were filled with the people - children from schools and just curious citizens. (It was remembered to me as in the old days students on Leninsky Avenue in Moscow represented friendship of the people, meeting different progressive figures...) .
There arrived ambassadors of Australia and New Zealand, ministers from these countries. There were also military from structure of UN peacekeepers. Only looking at them, I, at last, understood what is meant by the words “ martial bearing “. Was Australians and New Zealanders much - free tourists, and also participants of various historical societies, societies of friendship of Australia with Israel. There was even one native with a boomerang and other necessary things. Everywhere flags with the Southern Cross.
As the cemetery is located through the road from an ulpan where I studied Hebrew, naturally, I asked for leave and went to look, for me and the class with the teacher was tightened... On a cemetery near a monument chairs for guests - officials and tourists were placed.
Among cavalrymen and other guests there were also relatives of those who are buried there, and also the granddaughter of the commander of the forwarding case of the general Shuval. Among 1300 monuments with crosses only one - with David`s star, is based under him the captain from South Africa.
Of course, there were speeches in two languages, wreaths and flowers to a monument. Then everything repeated nearby, near ancient. station where the monument to the died Turkish and German soldiers is established. Military attaches of Turkey and Germany assigned wreaths to both monuments. Time reconciled the former enemies...
It is known how in Israel treat safety, however this sacred cow does not prevent people to rejoice. Everyone could watch and photograph all events and distinguished guests. After the above described ceremonies the holiday moved to under construction “ To Park of the Australian soldiers “ (it was open at the end of April of this year), and then - to the country where cavalrymen played part of battle.