Thursday, January 21st, 2016
11:00-12:00 Keynote Address: "Israel's Security: An In-Depth Overview"
Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon, Minister of Defense of the State of Israel, was born in 1950 in Kiryat Haim, a suburb of Haifa. In 1968, he was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces and, after three years as a paratrooper soldier, was released with the rank of sergeant first class. He then moved south to Kibbutz Grofit, in the Arava Valley. With the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, Ya'alon was sent as a reserve soldier to join the battle against the Egyptian Army on the Southern Front.
At the war’s conclusion, Ya'alon joined the military as a platoon leader and enlisted in an officer’s training course. He went on to hold several prominent combat commanding positions in the prestigious paratrooper brigade, from company to battalion and brigade commander. He was also commander of the prestigious paratroopers reconnaissance platoon and of Israel’s most elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. Ya'alon also served as Judea and Samaria Division Commander and commander of the IDF’s central land warfare training base in Tzeelim.
In 1995, Minister Ya'alon was awarded the rank of Major General and was appointed head of the IDF’s military intelligence corps. He later served as commander of Central Command, Deputy Chief Of Staff and then Chief Of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. During his tenure as chief of staff, from 2002-2005, the IDF continuously fought against Palestinian terror aimed at Israeli civilians.
Minister Ya'alon joined the Likud party in 2008 and, from 2009-2013, served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs. In 2013, Mr. Ya'alon was appointed Minister of Defense.
Minister Ya'alon is a married father of three and grandfather of six.