The IDF (Zahal) awarded 12 outstanding companies for supporting their employees’ reserve duty. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defense and Chief of the General Staff
Date: 29/05/2011, 1:00 PM Author: Idf Website
On Sunday evening (May 24), the IDF (Zahal) saluted their reserve soldiers and expressed their gratitude to their employers: 12 companies received a badge, a Reserve Shield, from the Defense Minister for being outstanding employees. The ceremony took place in the Intelligence Corps memorial site in Gelilot, amongst the attendees were the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak and the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.
The ceremony, which was held for the third time this year, as a result of Benny Gaon’s initiative, awarded their employers including Reshef Insurance Company, WideMed Ltd, Green Buildings Ltd, Marom Dolphin Ltd, Intentia Israel Ltd, Raved, Magriso, Benkel, Lahav & Co, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Amy-Metom Ltd, M.B Ltd, ECI Telecom, Phoenicia America-Israel Ltd. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
An external committee, with the chairmanship of former head of the General Security Service, Yaakov Peri, selected the outstanding employers out of 70 companies that applied for the prize. The prize was given to the employers whose activities fulfill the employer’s covenant, and having no discrimination in regards to workers that serve in the reserve duty of the IDF (Zahal) (according to the Reserve Soldiers Law of 2008) from those who do not. The selected employers demonstrated to their employees the ability to leave for service and return without their position being threatened, giving their employees a sense that the organization supports them.
The Chief of the General Staff said in the ceremony that: “By observing our surroundings, we learn that we need a strong army that has its reserve soldiers in the center. During Operation Cast Lead, this assumption was reinforced, when tens of thousands of reserve soldiers showed up for service.” In addition, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi mentioned: “In recent years, we have been working very hard to improve our readiness, equipment and fitness of the reserve soldiers to prepare for a battle.
The Chief of the General Staff added and said that reserve duty it is not seen as being obvious. He referred to the improvement that began in recent years concerning society and the employers of those who serve in the reserve duty. “I feel a change, and it gives me the hope and the faith that we are on the right path. I look forward to reach a situation that all the employers and academic institutes will join this path.”
During the ceremony, Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed his disgust on the issue that there are still many employers applying pressure on their employees to shorten, postpone or end their reserve duty. He added that: “The ambition for normality is natural, but the reality of the State of Israel isn’t normal.”
“Only a strong Israel can push away the risks and fulfill the possibilities. A strong Israel relies on a strong IDF (Zahal), and a strong IDF (Zahal) depends on their reserve soldiers,” concluded Ehud Barak.