Bikers hit the road on 2,000-mile journey to Israel


A group of motorcyclists have begun a journey from London to Israel to express their support for the Israeli people.

The nine Ride4Solidarity bikers were waved off from the Board of Deputies offices on Tuesday morning on a route that will include France, Germany, Austria and Greece where they will take a boat to Israel. Five more bikers will join them along the way.

The group,  made up of enthusiasts from Hungary, Romania, the United States and Israel, are due to arrive in Tel Aviv, from where they will carry the torch to Jerusalem for the opening ceremony  of the 20th Maccabiah Games, on July 6.

Accompanying them on the first stage of the 2,000-mile journey was Board president Jonathan Arkush, a keen biker himself, who is riding from London to the Channel Tunnel in Folkstone.

Seeing them off from the Board’s HQ, Israeli ambassador Mark Regev told them: “The Jewish people are free and independent and can defend themselves. You are celebrating that freedom. Because in that vast Middle East, from Morocco on the Atlantic shore through to Afghanistan, there’s only one country that’s a free country – only one country which is democratic. There’s only one country that has independent courts and open and real elections, with a free press, with religious freedom for all – and that’s Israel.

“So by travelling on this bike ride you are celebrating Israel and you are celebrating freedom.

“I hope you have a good time and enjoy the road.”

Texan biker Gary Burd told the JC his Christian belief that Israel is land “promised to the Jews” was the motivation for making the journey.

Mr Burd, 65, said: “I love Israel – I’ve been there four times. I love the history, I love the people.

“The land is beautiful but this world’s full of beautiful land. I love the people and what it stands for. Absolutely, I feel a connection to it.”

Mr Arkush paid tribute to Mr Burd and his fellow riders.

He said: “I want to pay tribute to you guys. You are riding to Israel, in solidarity with Israel because it’s a country you believe in. You believe in its freedoms and its rights and its liberties, compared to the sea of violent autocracies all around it.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive