Arens, Moshe (1925–)

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ARENS, MOSHE (1925–)

Israeli politician and cabinet minister. Born in Lithuania in 1925, Moshe Arens immigrated to the United States in 1939, then to Israel in 1948. He studied mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Arens was a professor of aeronautical engineering at Haifa University from 1959 to 1961, then served as vice president for engineering at Israeli Aircraft Industries from 1962 until 1971. First elected to the Knesset in 1974, he served as chairman of the foreign affairs and security committee from 1977 to 1982 and was considered a hawk regarding Israeli security. Arens served as ambassador to the United States from 1982 to 1983, then returned to Israel to replace Ariel Sharon as defense minister. In the National Unity government (1984–1986) Arens served as minister without portfolio, then from 1988 to 1990 was foreign minister. In 1990 he was again appointed minister of defense, serving until 1992, at which time he retired from political life. Arens returned to politics in 1999, serving once more as defense minister until 2002.