Moshe ‘ Bogie’ Ya’alon’s resignation from the position of Defence Minister six weeks ago sent a shock wave through Israeli politics. Mr Ya’alon was appointed Defence Minister in 2013, a position considered the second most important in the Israeli cabinet.
Mr Ya’alon quit the Government amidst negotiations to replace him with the Soviet born Avigdor Lieberman, a security hardliner who has never seen combat which is in stark contrast to Mr Ya’alon’s extensive military and strategic experience. As Defence Minister, Mr Ya’alon offered assurance to ‘Middle Israel’ that he would keep the country safe.
Following his resignation, Mr Ya’alon announced that he will be challenging for the top job in the next election in 2019 and Prime Minister Netanyahu now has to face the real possibility of losing power – like he has in the past – to a decorated General.
Moshe Arens, the former Likud Defence Minister, who is famous for being the person who jump-started Mr Netanyahu’s political career, said two days after Ya’alon’s resignation:
“All Israelis were lucky to have Ya’alon as Defence Chief these last few years, and this luck now seems to have run out. Choosing between an excellent Defence Minister serving in a narrow coalition and firing an excellent Defence Minister and obtaining a few more coalition votes should have been easy. But Benjamin Netanyahu made the wrong choice. The confidence of much of the public that Likud can be trusted to assure Israel’s security—confidence that has kept Likud in power for many years—has been shaken by this recent escapade. A political earthquake is in the offing.”
Mr Ya’alon’s impressive career in the IDF began when he was called up as a reservist for the Yom Kippur War in 1973. His unit became the first IDF unit to cross the Suez Canal into Egypt, and they continued fighting as part of Israel’s drive into the Egyptian mainland, culminating in the encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army. Following the Yom Kippur war, he rejoined the IDF as a career soldier, completed an officers’ course and was appointed a platoon commander. He later became a commander in the elite Paratroopers Brigade. Mr Ya’alon was appointed Chief of Staff of the IDF in 2002.
In 2008 his celebrated move to join the Likud brought a bona fide war hero back to the party. In his welcome, Mr Netanyahu said “Ya’alon brings with him the moral values of Israel’s founding generation—courage, honesty, truthfulness, and in one simple word, Zionism.”
WIZO holds a special place for Moshe ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon who spoke at the World WIZO EGM in January this year, as his grandchildren attend a WIZO Day Care Centre and enjoy the nurturing space and dedicated level of care that all WIZO children receive.
On 24th August 2016 WIZO NSW and THE JOINT AUSTRALIA will be joining forces to host an exclusive event with Moshe ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon. This will be an event that you don’t want to miss! Please join us to hear Israel’s man of the moment outline his vision for the future of the State of Israel.