Moshe Arens (1925–2019) was an Israeli aeronautical engineer, Likud-party politician, and diplomat who served as Israel’s defense minister and foreign minister.
Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, Arens grew up in Latvia until 1939, when his family left for America, settling in New York. He graduated in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1947, worked in the U.S. Army for two years, and moved to Israel after it came into being in 1948.
A leader of Betar, a Zionist youth movement, Arens helped establish Herut, a forerunner to the rightwing Likud political party, and taught Jewish communities self-defense in Europe and North Africa. Arens designed water systems for Tel Aviv before studying aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology 1951–54 and working for American aviation firms.
Arens lectured in aeronautical engineering at the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology 1957–62 and was the deputy director of Israel Aircraft Industries before entering the Knesset in 1973.
Arens served as Israel’s ambassador to America 1982–83, and then as the minister of defense 1983–84. He was a minister without portfolio until 1987 and the foreign minister until 1990, when he returned to his former role of minister of defense 1990–92 during the 1991 Gulf War. After briefly serving as the minister of defense again in 1999, he retired from politics later that year.
Arens wrote Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the U.S. and Israel (1994.) He also served on the Board of Governors of the Technion and was a deputy director for the investment firm Israel Corporation Ltd.
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.