Evelyn Jaffe said she likes to honour the Anzac Soldiers who fought so bravely during World War One in Gallipoli.
To that end, she wants to share a short story that many may not know. She discovered it when she worked at the Auckland War Memorial Museum for five years. It’s about the strong connection that New Zealand and Australia have with Israel…
It is about the Zion mule corps. They were Jewish men living in Palestine who emigrated from Russia known as the Hagana. They were a force of 700 troops who fought in the British army under Colonel John Henry Patterson.
They landed with the ANZACs at Gallipoli on April 25th 1915. Gallipoli was the event shaped that Australia and New Zealand as independent nations.
8609 Australian soldiers, 2779 New Zealand soldiers, and 14 Jewish soldiers from the Zion Mule Corps never returned from Gallipoli.
Two years after Gallipoli it was the Australian soldiers of the Horse Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles who, upon their return from Gallipoli, charged and conquered Be’er Sheba on the 31st of October 1917. It was the last successful cavalry charge in history against Turkey.
This led to the issuing of the Belfour Declaration and the establishment of the Modern State of Israel.
The ANZACs played a crucial part in the formation of Israel in spite of the many threats to its very existence from the very day of its proclamation 73 years ago.