A group of New Zealand government and business people are visiting Israel this week as part of an innovation delegation, seeking to expand business ties and learn from Israel’s expertise in communications, infrastructure, agriculture, VC funds, and technological incubators.
The 56 New Zealanders, led by Spark CEO Simon Moutter, also took time to visit a site of historical significance to New Zealand.
On 31 Oct 1917 the ANZACs won a decisive battle against the Turks at Tel Beer Sheva. This, followed by the seizure of Beer Sheva town two days later, gave the British foreign secretary, Lord Balfour, sufficient confidence to issue the Balfour Declaration, in which the British Government declared support for the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the area of Palestine.
Moutter and the youngest member of the delegation, Jonathan Reid, laid a wreath, following an emotional ceremony in which the names of the New Zealand soldiers were read out. A lasting connection and memory was created, which for one particular member of the delegation was especially significant, as their great uncle (Trooper McMahon) perished at the site on 31 Oct 1917.