A newly appointed officer gives a salute
New officers marching in their commencement ceremony
New officers standing at their commencement ceremony
Newly appointed officers receiving their ranks Second Lieutenant Hadas has an untraditional story leading her to the IAF. The newly minted officer is a professional theatre director who lived in France for most of her life before returning to give back
The Officer Course completion ceremony held today at the “Uvda” Airbase, was of particular meaning to 25-year-old Hadas, who completed the course as an Information Security Officer.
By the time she moved back to Israel after leaving at the age of 10, Second Lieutenant Hadas already held a Master degree in music and directed a theatre production in London.
Filled with Grief
“The production I directed concerned Israel and was really the turning point for me”, she says when asked about the decision to move back to Israel. “It was put on in London at the same time as operation ‘Cast lead’ was carried out in Israel, as a response to an anti-Semite show on the same subject. I had invited many people who I knew ahead of time would profoundly criticize the show. And so I decided to invite someone else who I thought could lend me some moral support: a well-known British director who is Jewish. Surprisingly, he was the one who gave the most harsh, worst critic about the State of Israel. He said horrifying things”, Hadas says with pain.
“I had wanted many people to see the show. I wanted people to know my point of view, to see what’s really going on in Israel, to see how good people here really are. And I have always thought the IDF, as far as armies go, is a deeply conscientious one”, she says. “I arrived at the conclusion that if I want to be among Jews who know how to protect themselves and defend their honor, I need to be a part of the Israeli Defense Forces”.
“My entire family is very supportive”, says Eshkar when asked about friends’ and family members’ response to her decision to get drafted to the IDF. Furthermore, Hadas is the adoptive granddaughter of Major General (Res.) Dan Tolkovsky, the fifth Commander of the Israeli Air Force.
“I wasn’t the only one who felt the commitment. My brother also returned at the age of 24, got drafted, became a fighter and later an officer. He served five years in the army”, She says. “I miss them very, very much. But it’s a decision I made wholeheartedly and I don’t regret a second of it. My family and friends knew that I’m not the kind of person who does something without really believing in it. Theysaid: ‘If this is something you really believe in, go with it all the way’”.
“Today is ideal”, Hadas describes the feeling of completing her course. “From the minute I decided to come, I knew I’m getting drafted in order to give more of myself, to become an officer. It’s a tremendous honor to be here amongst people who are much younger than me, people who took upon themselves such a serious responsibility. This is what I think is the closest thing to true Zionism”, she says.
Second-Lieutenant Hadas is quick to thank the people of the IAF who helped her along the way. “I’m very grateful that the Air Force believed in me, believed that I could do this. I’m endlessly thankful to the commanders and authorities who pushed me because I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone”, she says. “They’re the reason I’m here today”.