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Moshe Arens

(1925 - )

Moshe Arens is an Israeli politician and diplomat who served as Minister of Defense three times and Minister of Foreign Affairs once.

Arens (born December 27, 1925) was born in Lithuania and moved with his family to the United States in 1939. He studied mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. During World War II, Arens served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. 

In 1948, shortly before Israel declared indepedence, Arens again moved with his family to the Jewish State. In Israel, he joined the Irgun and later became a founding member of the Herut political party.

From 1962 until 1971, Arens was a Deputy Director General at Israel Aircraft Industries, and won the Israel Defense Prize in 1971. After the Yom Kippur War (1973) he entered politics and was elected to the Knesset as a member of Likud in the 1973 elections. After being re-elected in 1977, he became chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Arens was re-elected to the Knesset in 1982, but resigned from his seat to serve as Israel's Ambassador to the United States. He returned to Israel in February 1983 and was appointed Minister of Defense, replacing Ariel Sharon after the disastrous Sabra & Shatilla incident.

Re-elected in 1984, Arens was this time appointed Minister without Portfolio. After another re-election in 1988, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs (with Benjamin Netanyahu as his deputy), and in 1990 was returned to the Minister of Defense portfolio, a position he held until 1992 when he retired from political life.

Aren returned to politics in 1999 to challenge Netanyahu for the Likud leadership although he failed in his challenge, Netanyahu appointed him Minister of Defense. Likud, however, lost the general election in 1999 and Arens was pushed out of the Cabinet. He lost his seat in the Knesset in the 2003 elections.

Arens is crurrently chairman of the International Board of Governors of the Ariel University Center of Samaria.

Sources: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Wikipedia