Jewish 100, 2014: Moshe Ya’alon – Government
Israel’s Minister of Defense
Having served with distinction in both the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the Lebanon War of 1982, Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon rapidly rose through the ranks of the Israeli military to become Chief of Staff of the IDF in 2002, a position he held until 2005. Currently Israel’s Minister of Defense, Ya’alon’s judgement on the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza didn’t pull any punches. “We got what we wanted. A truce under our conditions,” he said. “Israel showed it can stand up to war that has the characteristics of attrition.” Though he has a reputation for being undiplomatic – one of the many disputes between Israel and the Obama Administration was triggered by Ya’alon’s description of Secretary of State John Kerry as “obsessive” and “messianic” – it is his military acumen, which informs his conviction that any withdrawal from the West Bank under present conditions could fatally compromise Israel’s security, that has continually won the Israeli public’s confidence.