Moshe Arens, Israel Patriot and Defender, Dies at 93

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Moshe Arens, a former Israeli defense minister, foreign minister, and Israeli ambassador to the United States, died Monday at his home in central Israel. He was 93.

Arens was born in Lithuania in 1925 but his family immigrated to the United States when he was 14, just before World War II. After serving in the U.S. army during World War II, he moved to Israel and fought with the Irgun. After the War of Independence, he became active with the Herut poliitcal movement, the precursor to the Likud.

He entered the Knesset in 1973, and was appointed Israel's ambassador to Washington in 1982, serving as a mentor to a young Binyamin Netanyahu. He first became defense minister in 1983, after Ariel Sharon was removed following the First Lebanon War. In 1988, he was appointed foreign minister, and then defense minister for a second and third time in 1990 and 1999.

According to the Times of Israel, Arens was known as a man of principle and was remembered by Prime Minister Netanyahu this way:

Calling Arens “my teacher and master,” Netanyahu said in a statement Monday that Arens “did wonders to strengthen Israel as our ambassador in Washington, as foreign minister, as chairman of the [Knesset] Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and as defense minister time and again…. I visited him in his home a few weeks ago. He was as clear as ever, sharp, dignified and noble, an example to us all. There was no greater patriot than him. Misha, I loved you as a son loves a father.”

Baruch Dayan Haemet.

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