There is no better summary of Moshe Ya’alon’s life and career as can be found on Wikipedia. Please find below an excerpt from the entry (the full entry can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Ya’alon):
Following the Yom Kippur War in 1973, during which Ya’alon served as a reservist, he rejoined the IDF and served in the Paratroopers Brigades and Sayeret Matkal.
Ya’alon was appointed head of Military Intelligence in 1995 and commanding officer of Israel’s Central Command, responsible for the West Bank, in 1998. He was serving in this position when the Second Intifada was launched in September 2000.
He was appointed Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on 9 July 2002, and served in that position until 1 June 2005. The major focus throughout his tenure as Chief of Staff was the army’s effort to quell the Second Intifada.
In February 2005, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz decided not to prolong Ya’alon’s service as Chief of Staff for another year. This marked the climax of tensions between Mofaz and Ya’alon, which had arisen partly through Ya’alon’s objection to the Gaza disengagement plan. On 1 June 2005, Ya’alon ended his military service and Dan Halutz, his successor, oversaw the disengagement.
In December 2005, relatives of the victims of the 1996 shelling of Qana filed suit against Ya’alon in Washington, D.C., for his alleged role in their deaths. In late 2006, Ya’alon was in New Zealand on a private fund-raising trip organised by the Jewish National Fund. An Auckland District Court judge issued a warrant for his arrest for alleged war crimes arising from his role in the 2002 assassination of Hamas leader Salah Shahade in Gaza City, in which at least 14 Palestinian civilians were killed, saying that New Zealand had an obligation to uphold the Geneva Convention. The Attorney-General of New Zealand, Michael Cullen, overruled the warrant after advice from the Crown Law office that there was insufficient evidence.
Think tanks and institutes
After leaving his position as Chief of Staff, Ya’alon has spent time in the think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy and became a Senior Fellow at the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center Institute for International and Middle East Studies. Ya’alon also serves as the chairman of the Center for Jewish Identity and Culture at Beit Morasha in Jerusalem.
On 17 November 2008, Ya’alon announced that he was joining Likud and that he would participate in the primaries which would determine the Likud candidates for the 2009 elections. He won eighth place on the party’s list, and entered the Knesset as Likud won 27 seats. Upon the formation of the Netanyahu government, he was appointed Vice Prime Minister (alongside Silvan Shalom) and Minister of Strategic Affairs.
Ya’alon’s public pronouncements have often been controversial.
Palestinian threat as ‘cancer’
On 27 August 2002, he told the Haaretz newspaper: “The Palestinian threat harbours cancer-like attributes that have to be severed. There are all kinds of solutions to cancer. Some say it’s necessary to amputate organs but at the moment I am applying chemotherapy.” In January 2004, he publicly stated that the thirteen Sayeret Matkal soldiers who refused to serve in the Israeli-occupied territories were taking the unit’s name in vain.
On the need to confront Iran
In January 2008, during a discussion at the Interdisciplinary Center, Ya’alon said “There is no way to stabilize the situation all over the world and especially in the Middle East without confronting Iran.” According to The Sydney Morning Herald Ya’alon said: “We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately. There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped.”
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