by Andre Gasiorowski
English translation from: Polska bez cenzury: “Sojusz dwóch lwów”
September 2015: There was a great gala concert in the beautiful newly built Jerusalem Pays Arena. Ten thousand invited guests from Israel, including several thousand victims of the Holocaust, the heads of dozens of social organizations, representatives of the Israeli authorities, diplomats from dozens of countries were in attendance.
The concert was directly broadcast on television by the RR-Sat reaching the TBN broadcasting TV network to over 600 million viewers in 180 countries around the world. I had the honor of being the producer of this event.
Beautiful scenery, several hundred great artists, lights danced gracefully around. The Mayor of Jerusalem and several Knesset members spoke. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the organizers, the guests and the audience all over the world from a large screen above the event.
On behalf of Helping Hand Coalition Global Forum – the organizer of the event – along with his wife, welcomed and greeted a delegation of several hundred from the international organization “Asia Pacific Coalition for Israel”. They came to Israel from the remotest corners of the Far East. Prominent representatives of the world of business, culture and art, and the governments of their countries. And all of these people were motivation to travel great distances because of their deep sympathy and love for Israel. This organization was the main sponsor of this unique gala.
I welcomed to the stage its President – Pastor George Annadorai. In the past, he was the general director of the Port of Singapore – the second largest in the world. He is the pastor of the Church of Evangelical Christians in Singapore and has been for many years. His life’s mission is to inspire Asian countries’ leaders and communities to share his fascination and connection to modern Israel.
Pastor Annadorai is a fiery orator. His charisma captivated thousands of viewers from the beginning, all of which were surprised and amazed to hear his story. He spoke as a witness to those events, about the beginnings of Singapore in the context of modern Israel.
Singapore, a city-state located near the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, is located in south-east Asia. The name Singapore is derived from two Sanskrit words: Singa (lion) and pura (city), hence sometimes used name of the Lion City.
Israel – a country located on the far western edge of Asia. The official emblem of the capital city of Jerusalem is a lion, which represents the symbol of the ancient tribe of Judah and later the Kingdom of Judah, whose capital was Jerusalem.
Israel and Singapore have a long and deep relationship, the nature of which was initially for defense related purposes. The two states established diplomatic relations in 1969, four years after Singapore gained its independence, and twenty-one years since the creation of the modern state of Israel. A major role played by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which built the Singapore armed forces.
In his book “From Third World to First: History of Singapore 1965-2000,” published in 2000, Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of the state, and Singapore’s first prime minister revealed a secret that had been kept for almost 40 years: “It is the Israel Defense Forces that created the army of Singapore. Israeli military missions were led by Jacob (Jack) Elizara, then Colonel, later Brigadier General. To hide and camouflage the presence of the Israelis among the Muslim world all around Singapore, they called them “Mexicans”. They looked swarthy enough,” wrote Lee.
As in any other business, the training of the security forces is a derivative of organizational skills. As it turned out, Singapore and Israel are allied with their spirited character. Before being sent to Singapore, members of the Israeli military mission were invited to the office of Chief of Staff. “Dear friends,” said Itzhak Rabin: “I want you to remember a few things. First, we do not intend to turn Singapore into an Israeli colony. Your job is to teach them the profession of the military, to put them on their feet, so that they can lead their own army. Your success will be determined if at some point they (the Singapore military) will be able to take initiative and act independently. Secondly, you are not there to give orders, but to advise them. “
Israel today is the most militarized country in the world. Second place is Singapore. As experts explain, the city-state located near the tip of the Malay Peninsula, spends large amounts of money on armaments for several reasons: strategic location between powers such as India, or ultra-Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia, and strong roots army in society. Similarly, Israel is a tiny island in a hostile Muslim endless ocean.
The Singapore army today is considered one of the strongest and most advanced armed forces in Southeast Asia. Alliance defense establishments of Israel and Singapore is more and more developed every year. The Singapore army is a major customer for Israeli and military technology. The rate of formation of modern technology is today an absolute basis to achieve military superiority over the enemy.
The current cooperation between the countries goes far beyond just military. They are also cooperating in research and technological development, as well as academic and cultural exchanges. The number of Israeli investments in Singapore has grown. Singapore as an economic power, Israel as a technological force, together they can become key players in the world. The rate of selling advanced technology in today’s times is the main source of prosperity for both countries. The export of Singapore technology – which was once non-existent, amounted to more than $ 140 billion in 2015 (in comparison with Poland’s annual $12 billion exports). In the early 60s, the GDP per capita in Singapore was about $600, and in 2013 reached more than $61,000, placing Singapore after Qatar and Luxembourg in third place in the world.
“Those who bless you (Israel) – I will bless.” – Quoting the ancient biblical text, Pastor George Annadorai ended his story. Fifty years ago in a newly post-colonial country he was in the first group of Singaporean army officers trained by the Israeli “Mexicans.”
Today, the people of his country enjoy the highest standard of living in Asia, outside of Japan and Brunei.