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.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you