AIJAC mourns two Israeli giants – Amos Oz and Moshe Arens

The late Amos Oz, 1939-2018, and Moshe Arens, 1925-2019

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) mourns the loss of two great Israelis – Amos Oz and Moshe Arens.

Arens, who passed away on January 7 aged 93, was an Israeli statesman who served as Israel’s Ambassador to the US and subsequently as Israeli Defence Minister and Foreign Minister.

A Likud Member of the Knesset until from 1973-1992 and again from 1999-2003, Arens, who grew up in the US and moved to Israel at the age of 23, was also a mentor to the current Likud leader and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Moshe Arens was a true Zionist who put his country above all else,” Colin Rubenstein AM, AIJAC executive director, said. “His commitment to the defence and security of the Jewish state could never be doubted.

“I welcomed Arens to Australia in the early 1980s, when he was received warmly by the local community,” Mark Leibler AC, AIJAC’s national chairman, said. “I later met with him in Israel when he served in the ministries of Menachem Begin, Yitzchak Shamir and the Netanyahu.”

Condolences have also flowed for Amos Oz, an intellectual giant and one of Israel’s best known authors. Oz died on December 28, aged 79.

The author of 40 books and the winner of the Israel Prize, as well as numerous international prizes, Oz too was a staunch Zionist and an early advocate of a two-state peace.

“I had the pleasure of spending time with, and hosting, Amos Oz when he visited Australia in 1981,” Jeremy Jones AM, AIJAC’s Director of International and of Community Affairs, said.

“He had a great ability to communicate ideas and have people not simply like him but, after hearing to his insights, far better appreciate the nuances and achievements of modern Israel.”

For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660.