“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Moshe Arens (z’’l), a great man who dedicated his life to the service of Israel and the Israeli people.
I have long had a personal, familial connection to Arens through my late father, Yitshaq Ben-Ami, who was like a mentor to him in the Betar Youth Movement and the Irgun. I remember well that when I first moved to Israel in the 1990s, Misha — as we knew him — was among the first people I met with, given our long family history.
When it came to questions of politics, diplomacy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arens and I disagreed about most everything. Yet like so many of those who disagreed with him politically, I always found him to be, on a personal level, impeccably courteous and kind.
As a Member of Knesset, US Ambassador to Israel, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister and later as a columnist and private citizen, Moshe was the epitome of a statesman. He believed strongly in the importance of respect for democracy, democratic institutions and civil public discourse. It was in part this commitment that stood at the heart of his opposition last year to the dangerous “Nation-State Law,” which he decried as “a needless law…damaging to Israel.”
My thoughts and condolences go out to the Arens family, to his many friends and to the people of Israel, who have lost a great man and a great public servant.”