President Reuven Rivlin participated Friday morning in the memorial ceremony to commemorate ANZAC Day, in memory of fallen soldiers of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
The President laid a wreath and spoke at the ceremony which took place at the Commonwealth Military Cemetery on Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, and this year focused on the commemoration of 100 years since the Battle of Gallipoli.
"The bond between the State of Israel, and Australia and New Zealand, is historic and strong," Rivlin said. "This bond is based on the common values our nations share: The pioneering spirit, creativity, and faith."
"The participation of the Zion Mule Corps. in this tragic and heroic chapter of history, was crucial to the establishment of the State of Israel," he added. The Mule Corps, also known as the Jewish Legion, was comprised of Jewish soldiers from the UK who fought against the Ottoman Empire in World War I.
"It was then our leaders learned that no nation can - nor should - stand by itself, and that the Jewish people will always have you as true partners."
"We are standing here today, honoring ANZAC soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the name of liberty," he continued. "The liberty, we all enjoy today; liberty that should not be taken for granted."
"May we always remember our heroes, the values they carried, and the cause they died for. May their memory be in our hearts forever."
Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma said, "For Australia, Gallipoli was our first major military action as a newly independent nation. We went on to make many further sacrifices in the First World War, and all the wars that we have fought since that time."
"But part of Australia’s national character was forged, our identity constructed, and much of our national myth built, on the western shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula," he continued. "These attributes cluster around several values: endurance; courage, ingenuity; good humor – especially in the face of adversity; a healthy disrespect for protocol and hierarchy – a national trait that is as much Israeli as it is Australian; and, of course, 'mateship'.”