Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens, one of Likud’s veteran members, died on Monday in his sleep at his home in Savyon, near Tel Aviv, at the age of 93.
Arens was esteemed by many as the “gentleman” of Israeli politics and was one of the leading representatives of national, liberal and democratic Zionism.
Arens is also seen as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political patron. He is regarded as the one who first brought the prime minister into the world of politics by having Netanyahu named to the Israeli embassy in Washington while serving as ambassador there.
“The man is very talented. His talent would have emerged in any event,” he said of Netanayhu.
Netanyahu expressed his mourning in a tweet in Hebrew on Monday, in which he referred to Arens by his nickname, Misha, “my teacher.”
לפני כמה שבועות ביקרתי את מישה בביתו. הוא היה צלול כתמיד, חד כתער, מופלא בהדרו ובאצילות נפשו, דמות מופת. לא היה פטריוט גדול ממנו.
תרומתו העצומה של משה ארנס לעמנו ולמדינתנו תיזכר לעד.
היה שלום מישה, נעמת לי מאוד.
אהבתיך כאהבת בן את אביו.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) January 7, 2019