At a special tribute event in honor of the Druze 'Sword' Battalion, HIT's president received an honorary award from Koftan Halabi, chairman of the Association for the Promotion of Druze Soldiers. The event took place in Tel-Aviv's Rabin Square with the participation of Mr. Yaron Mazuz, Israel's Deputy Interior Minister. Also in attendance were the IDF's Manpower Director, Major General Hagai Topolansky; Golani Brigade Commander, Colonel Ghassan Alian; and Baram Brigade Commander, Colonel Alon Mednes. The tribute event was launched by the Tel-Aviv-Yafo city council, headed by Mr. Ron Huldai, in collaboration with the Association for the Promotion of Druze Soldiers.
HIT's president with Druze notables
The 'Sword' Battalion is manned by soldiers of the Druze and Circassian ethnic groups. Its motto is: "At each step – proud to belong". The Battalion is proud of its long military heritage, especially on the Northern front, under the Northern Command. For many years, the Battalion was positioned near the Gaza Strip, and in 2001 was transferred to the Northern front. In the Second Lebanon War, it was the first battalion to enter Lebanese territory. Over the years, many commanders of the Battalion ranked among the IDF's leading Druze officers, some of them attaining the highest command positions in the IDF.
The tribute evening sent out a very clear message of honor and gratitude to the Druze people, for having tied their destiny to that of the State of Israel, as brothers in arms, sharing in its hopes and dreams. The participation in the event by members of the Association for the Promotion of Druze Soldiers, government officials, and representatives of the economy, industry, academia and the media, emphasize the will and readiness to make significant steps to reduce gaps between Druze and other parts of the population beyond the IDF as well.
HIT's president at the tribute event to Druze battalion soldiers
Prof. Eduard Yakubov
, president of HIT, received an honorary award at this event for his activities, which extend over many years, to advance Druze citizens and help the Association accomplish its goals. Awards were also distributed to Bank of Israel's Director General, Mr. Hezi Kalo; the Chairman of the Israeli High Tech CEO Forum, Mr. Shlomo Gradman; and journalist Alon Ben David.