The following article & photo appeared in the Israeli press towards the end of our tour…
“Martin Weatherston is leading a group of Australian
tourists to Israel who were at Beit Eshel for the ceremony: ‘The ANZAC story
has inspired the Australian connection with Israel. This is the second time
I’ve come here for this event, and it is certainly the highlight of our
visit.’ Denise Musgrave proudly displayed military badges on her lapel: ‘My
grandfather fought here, these were his badges. He probably stood right
where I am standing now. I knew him very well, but he never spoke about his
military history. I am very proud to be here today.’
Linda Rodgers, Barry Rodger’s daughter, was one of the riders: ‘We do reenactments of this battle and others in Australia all the time, but it’s very special to do it here in
Israel, at the site where it actually took place. We also visited the
Memorial for the Australian Soldier and the ANZAC military cemetery. It’s
been a fabulous and very moving visit.’
Four tour members stayed on the Jerusalem at the end of the tour – Diane, Cynthia, Robin and myself. See below for a photo shoot outside Christ Church in the Jaffa Gate.
On Tuesday 6 November, we were able to attend the launch of Kelvin Crombie’s latest book – El Alamein- Halting a Possible Holocaust in the Middle East. This release marked the 70th anniversary of this decisive victory over the German campaign in North Africa. In doing the research for this publication, Kelvin had found plenty of anecdotal evidence that, had Rommel broken through at El Alemain, things would not have gone well for the Jewish people in the British Mandate of Palestine. For example, 96% of the 56,000 Jews in Thessalonica under comparable circumstances were taken to Auschwitz. (We had visited the monument to this tragic event there on tour). Thanks to 2 German scholars, Kelvin was able to present primary evidence from Nazi archives in his book that the Einsatz Command (ie death squad) would have followed Rommel’s army into North Africa and on into Palestine. The fact that intercessors were praying for this situation in those days was noted by Kelvin. Recognition of the role played by the 8th army to avert this threat was found in the Hebrew & English words inscribed by those who were leaders of Jewish people at that time & place in a bible presented to express their thanks to Lord Montgomery: “G-d has placed salvation in Zion.” (This bible was on display in a wooden box at the launch destined for subsequent presentation to the House of Lords in the UK).
Kelvin went on to contemporize the moral of this story to the present day situation in which the storm clouds are gathering over Israel once again in our generation. This interpretation was validated by the Director of the Jewish Centre for Genocide Prevention – Dr Eli Richter – who confirmed how powerless they felt at that time 70 years ago. He said, and I quote: “ El Alemain showed the rational pursuit of a demonic agenda”. The ideology might have changed over the past 70 years but the principalities and powers behind them are still alive today.