Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Safety Engineer

Aryeh Ehrlich

As Israel’s defense minister, one of his nicknames was “Mr. Security.” Decades later, he is still an authority on Israeli security and military affairs, but with his hands no longer tied by political constraints, Moshe Arens — who turned 90 last month — pulls no punches when the discussion turns to how Israel wins its wars but loses its battles.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When Moshe Arens celebrated his 90th birthday at the end of December, it was a truly old-fashioned Israeli affair.

Surrounded by his many friends and supporters, the celebration was devoid of the pomp and fanfare that accompaniedPresidentShimonPeres’s 90th birthday bash in the summer of 2013 at the International Convention Center.

BillClintonand other celebrities were nowhere to be seen. Nor were the 3,000 VIPs from all over the world who came to fete Peres. There were no helium balloons. Neckties were scarce — a throwback to a bygone era where a tie symbolized American and European formality unsuited to Israelis’ brusque and unceremonious society.

Arens’s party was crowded, but with close friends and political comrades-in-arms — a generation of security chiefs, veterans of Israel’s aerospace industry and old-time Irgun buddies. They came for one reason: to show their affection and gratitude to a man who devoted his career to the safety and security of Israel’s citizens and who crafted an imposing posture of deterrence for the Jewish state that he is pained to see being steadily eroded.

But this was a night of celebration. Arens greeted his guests with his trademark humility and deadpan expression. He didn’t bat an eyelash when his most famous protégé,Prime MinisterNetanyahu, declared that if not for Arens, he would never have entered politics.

In that respect, Arens and Netanyahu were cut from the same cloth.


To read the rest of the story, subscribe now!

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"