Australia and Israel jointly issued a stamp commemorating the 1917 Battle of Beersheva, which involved the Australian Light Horse Brigade. But media reports Down Under say Palestinian activists are trying to encourage people to boycott the stamps. I have visited the impressive statue of the charging of the horse soldier in Beersheba. I also have a library of books on the battle for Palestine in the First World War. There would have been no need for the charge if the British had attacked the lightly defended Turkish positions along the Mediterranean coast much earlier. Palestine would have fallen with hardly a shot fired. Unfortunately, the disaster at Gallipoli had a negative influence on any decision to mount a seaborne attack. In the event, it was the Jewish spy group NILI that won Palestine for the Allies with vital information that enabled the eventual attack on Beersheba. Nevertheless, kudos should also be given to the Australian Light Horse for its bravery. The punchline below should be sung to the tune of the classic British war song of 1917, Bless ‘Em All.
Jun 23, 2013