Wishing a fond farewell to Australian Ambassador to Israel, H. E. Paul Griffiths
The letter sent by IBCA Chair Brenda Katten following her attendance at the farewell reception for Ambassador Griffiths
On behalf of IBCA – and myself – may I say what a privilege it has been to know you and to work with you in the strengthening of the Australian-Israeli relationship.
During these past two years IBCA has benefitted from the warm relationship that exists between our two countries. It was a great pleasure to interview you – for The Jerusalem Post – and to recall the catalytic part played by Australia back in 1917.
As you stated at the recent “Battle of Beersheba Service of Remembrance” there is no doubt that without the bravery of the young horsemen of the Australian Light Horse Cavalry the battle would not have been won. It was the winning of this battle that enabled Arthur James Balfour to write to Lord Rothschild committing the British Government to creating a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.
IBCA made a special visit to the ANZAC Museum where all were deeply moved to view a film reconstructing the Battle of Beersheba. There was not a dry eye in the house.
However it is not only about yesterday but equally about today. IBCA and Israel deeply appreciate the support of Australia especially at the United Nations where – too often – Israel is chosen for unfair and unwarranted criticism.
It has been an honour and pleasure to welcome you to our gatherings; in particular, we were very happy to have your participation when a delegation of 100 IBCA members were warmly and personally received by the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, at his Residence in Jerusalem.
IBCA will sorely miss your presence but our hope is that we will have the opportunity of hosting you should you return here for a personal visit.
With deep appreciation and every good wish for the future.