Moshe Ya’alon is a former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, who also served as Israel’s Defense Minister from 2013-2016. Born near Haifa, Moshe Ya’alon served in the Nahal Paratroop Regiment in 1968 and fought in the War of Attrition. A reserve paratrooper during the Yom Kippur War, he part of the first brigade to cross the Suez Canal. After the war he returned to active service, fulfilling combat command positions, including in Israel’s most elite commando unit, Sayeret Matkal.
In 1995, he became Head of Military Intelligence. In 2000, at the onset of what became known as the “Al Aqsa Intifada,” he was appointed IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff, and together with Chief-of-Staff Shaul Mofaz, led Operation Defensive Shield. In 2002, Ya’alon was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General and served as the 17th IDF Chief-of-Staff.
In 2008, he joined the Likud Party, and following the 2009 election, he was elected as a member of the Knesset and appointed as Minister for Strategic Affairs and Vice Prime Minister. In 2013, he was appointed Minister of Defense, working to destroy Palestinian terrorism and uphold the values of the IDF and Israeli society. He resigned as Minister of Defense and MK in 2016 following differences of opinion with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Pending his resignation, he established the Association for Alternative Leadership.