Publish Date: 11/4/2019
On October 31st, the city of Be'er-Sheva marked 102 years since the battle for its liberation in a series of ceremonies that took place around the city: in the British cemetery, at the memorial of the Turkish soldier, and the Australian park.
The ceremonies were attended by Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, his deputies, and many public figures, including ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from, among others, Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey.
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, accompanied by Australian Ambassador Chris Cannan, came especially for the ceremony.
The ANZAC was a military force of Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in the First World War in the Middle East and, among other things, liberated Be'er-Sheva from the Ottomans. The ANZAC are represented throughout the city at sites including the cemetery wherein heroes of the ANZAC forces were laid to rest. The cemetery is a historical memorial site for all Australians, New Zealanders and tourists from the British Empire arriving in Israel. The ANZAC is also represented at the Center for the Commemoration of the ANZAC Soldiers.
At the ceremony held in the British cemetery, the mayor praised the miracle victory of the Allied forces in World War I for the liberation of the city.
"As a historian, I sometimes think about what the world would look like if the ANZAC would have lost. This place is a symbol of heroism and freedom. It expresses a great victory not only in battle but the triumph of the spirit and of the people. This site is part of the heritage of the Jewish people," said Danilovich.