Speaking at the ceremony attended by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife and New Zealand Governor General Patsy Reddy and her husband, Netanyahu linked the themes of battle from World War I to celebrate agreements recently signed by Israel and Australia.
“When the Light Horse were charging here, their commanders were worried about the absence of water. Today we do not worry about that. A few months ago, we signed an agreement on water between Australia and Israel. It can apply to New Zealand. We can make water. We can change the world,” Netanyahu said.
“What we established here with the rise of Israel, the rise of technology, the rise of ingenuity, is that we can cooperate to better the lives of our peoples and of all people everywhere. That too we should remember at the Battle of Beer Sheba,” he continued.
“I believe that those soldiers who fell here would be proud of the deep and enduring alliance between our countries today.”
Lauding the “natural kinship between between our peoples,” the Israeli premier went on to praise the “ANZAC soldiers went on to capture Jerusalem, Tiberias, Megiddo, then continued northward.
“We saw here in Beer Sheba 800 cavalry go against 4,000 embedded Turks with machine guns, with bunkers. The few won against the many.”
Turning to Israel’s battle against terror movements, Netanyahu stated that while peace was the overarching policy, Israel would not hesitate to deploy force when necessary.
"We set out a simple policy: We seek peace with all our neighbors, but we will not tolerate any attacks on our sovereignty, on our people, on our land, whether from the air, from the sea, from the ground or below the ground,” he said in reference to Israel’s controlled explosion Monday of a terror tunnel that had crossed from Gaza into Israeli territory.
“We attack those who seek to attack us. And those who contemplate that, I strongly advise you: Do not test the will of the State of Israel or the army of Israel."
Concluding his remarks, Netanyahu highlighted the values that he said united Israel, New Zealand and Australia.
“As then, today we stand on the same side of history, on the right side of history. We stand for progress; we stand for peace; we stand for democracy. We stand against tyranny and terror. Israel salutes the sacrifice of these brave soldiers. We will never forget them. We will forever honor and treasure their memory."