Israel Defense Prize Award Ceremony

IDF (Zahal) Website

The Israel Defense Prize is awarded each year for innovations contributing to the safety of the State of Israel

Date: 24/06/2010, 5:12 PM     Author: Rani Sneh

The 2009 Israel Defense Prize was held on Tuesday evening (June 23rd) at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The prize, which has been awarded for 52 consecutive years, is awarded annually to people and organizations who made significant contributions to the security of the State of Israel. The prize is given in the name of Eliyahu Golomb, who was the leader of the Haganah defense organization. The names of the prize winners won’t be published due to security reasons.

“This is a great day for the State of Israel, even though it is forbidden to discuss what it’s about,” said President Shimon Peres. Peres also discussed the difference between Israel and countries such as Iran, whose method of governing is classified and whose increased amounts of weaponry is publicized. He emphasized that Israel’s defense systems are kept classified. “We know the truth, and truth is power, even though it appears to be a weakness.”

The Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, announced the prize winners, and stated that Israel is stronger and more secure because of them. “Thanks to the prize winners, the IDF (Zahal) combat units have excellent intelligence, and special devices enabling them supremacy in the combat field. The State of Israel’s security requires a collaboration of leading people in the science and technology fields.” Moreover, Barak claimed that also now, the State of Israel faces an array of dangers. “We witness nowadays the fascinating developments in our region, which requires us to be cautious. We are not allowed to lose preparedness against our threats.”

The director general of the Defense Ministry, Pinchas Buchris, also spoke: “It is not an exaggeration to say that this ceremony embodies one of the major pillars of this country since its establishment. It is no coincidence that the awarded prizes aren’t disclosed. As a forner recepient of the prize I can say that those who do this work don’t do it for fame nor fortune. Their research and development is held far from the lime lights, and the crew members are concentrated only on their tasks. This ceremony is one of the few moments in which the receipients of the prize are ecknowledged for their work.”

The Winning Projects

The winners of the Israel Defense Prize were determined by a committee made up of Maj. Gen. (Res.) Moshe Kaplinsky, Ze’ev Tzinamon and Dr. Giora Shalgi. The committee chose 12 different safety projects, with the criteria for the winning projects being flexibility and provision of creative solutions for various needs. “We were looking for cheap systems on the one hand, however innovative on the other hand,” pointed out Maj. Gen. (Res.) Kaplinsky during the ceremony. “We emphazised the short development time for operational maturity.”

First Prize was awarded to a Military Intelligence Directorate team for developing and implementing a techno-intelligence project.

Second Prize was awarded to a team of the company VISION MAP, the Administration for the Development of Weapons and the Technological Industry, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Israel Air Force, and the Intelligence Corps for the development of a highly advanced system that is currently being implemented.

Third Prize was awarded to a team of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Administration for the Development of Weapons and the Technological Industry, the Ground Forces and the Home Front Command for the development of an alert system for rockets and missiles being fired at the State of Israel.