Royal honour for Israeli WW2 veterans

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2010
The medals will be awarded on behalf of the Queen

The medals will be awarded on behalf of the Queen

Israeli war veterans who were injured fighting for Britain during the Second World War are to be royally honoured.

The 32 disabled soldiers will receive British Ministry of Defence medals on behalf of the Queen at a ceremony in Tel Aviv. The newly knighted Sir Tom Phillips, the outgoing British ambassador, will make the awards.

Some of the soldiers, who served in the Jewish Brigade, went on to fight for Israel during the war of independence in 1948.

Zvi Avidror, chairman and founder of the British Royal Navy veterans’ organisation in Israel, launched a search in 2007 to reunite the veterans so they could be honoured.

The 85-year-old, who served in both the RAF and the Israeli Air Force, was badly injured during the Second World War.

He said: "I realised that anyone who served during the war is entitled to receive the medal and decided to initiate the bestowal for all the soldiers."

More than 30,000 Jews in pre-state Israel volunteered for the British army in the Second World War.

Last updated: 12:00pm, January 10 2011