The Druze Veterans Association (DVA) has once again stepped in to assist Israel’s diplomatic efforts in an important and practical manner, this time helping Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine secure the safe evacuation of 200+ Israeli students who were studying in that country and wanted to return home in face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
As did their peers throughout the world, the young Israeli students turned to the Israeli embassy (@IsraelinUkraine) for help getting to the relative safety of home, but Ukraine had already shut down its borders and all international flights had been cancelled.
The Ambassador, Rabbi Joel Lion (@ambassadorlion), a veteran Israeli diplomat, lost no time in reaching out to the appropriate officials to secure safe passage for the students despite the shutdown.
Due to the severity and urgency of the situation, Ambassador Lion began, as did his colleagues through the world, looking for other, more creative solutions, to parallel his activity via official channels. Remembering a meeting several months ago held with the Israeli-Druze Veterans Association and a senior Ukrainian official in the international education field, the Ambassador contacted the official who agreed to help. The official succeeded, via her own personal connections, to help the students get home.
“What began with standard meetings and discussions with international officials regarding educational cooperation with our new DTEC – The 1st Druze High-Tech Empowerment Center (druzetech.us) ended up in our being able to assist an ambassador in bringing fellow Israelis home to relative safety,” said Koftan Halabi, founder & CEO of the Israeli-Druze Veterans Association.
“The Druze Veterans have spent the better part of a decade traveling the world speaking on Israel’s behalf and against BDS to all who would listen and making friends all across the globe. In the past two years, as the Druze Veterans Association has dedicated itself to building the first Druze high-tech program of its kind in the world, we have made friends in an entirely new sector – a sector, in which to many, Israel is not even on the radar screen. We are thrilled and blessed to have these efforts prove fruitful in helping an Israeli official in whatever small way to secure the safety and health of fellow Israelis. It is what the Druze cooperation with and loyalty to Israel is all about. We are here to serve.”