Moshe Arens, former Israeli defense minister, passed away at 93 at his home in Savion near Tel Aviv on Monday morning.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Moshe Arens, former Israeli defense minister, passed away at 93 at his home in Savion near Tel Aviv on Monday morning. He was surrounded by family according to a statement released by former Knesset Member and colleague Nahman Shai.
Arens lived with his wife, Muriel. He is survived by four children and grandchildren.
Arens, who served three times as Israel’s defense minister and once as minister of foreign affairs, was instrumental in bringing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the Likud fold.
In 1982, when Arens was appointed ambassador to the United States, he brought along Benjamin Netanyahu, then 32, as his protege. Similarly, in 1988, when Arens was appointed minister of foreign affairs, he brought Netanyahu along as his deputy.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement describing Arens as “my teacher and mentor” and saying he’d visited Arens only a few weeks ago.
“He was lucid as always, sharp as a razor, marvelous in the splendor and nobility of his soul, an exemplar. There was no greater patriot. Moshe Arens’ great contribution to our people and our state will be remembered forever.”
Arens was born in 1925 in Latvia, Politically precocious, he joined the Revisionist-Zionist movement when he was still in elementary school. When his family emigrated to the United States in 1939 and settled in New York, he remained a politically active Revisionist as a member of its youth movement Betar.
Arens was present at the Hunter, New York Betar camp where Revisionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky died in 1940.
A mechanical-engineer who studied at MIT, Arens went on to teach at Israel’s prestigious Technion in the 1950s after moving to Israel and in 1962, he became chief engineer of Israel Aerospace Industries.
Arens wrote several books, including a memoir In Defense of Israel, published in 2018, and Flags Over the Warsaw Ghetto in 2011, a book which sought to reconstruct the heroism of fighters from the Revisionist wing of the Zionist movement who fought in that April 1943 uprising, but whose contributions were erased or ignored by political opponents.