Former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. General (Res.) Moshe “Bogy” Ya’alon said on Wednesday that the Arab propaganda as to the legitimacy of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish state has been most successful, and has also taken root among Israelis themselves.
"Arab propaganda strengthens claims against the legitimacy of the existence of a Jewish State," Ya'alon said, "and, very unfortunately, these claims are even seeping into Israeli society, and among the Israeli youth who find themselves in a crisis of identity and of ignorance of the history of the Jewish people."
Ya’alon made these comments in an address before the conference of Beit Morasha in Jerusalem Wednesday.
Ya’alon added that "beyond military and economic strength, the key to Israeli national well-being is education to values and to a Jewish Zionist identity. Therefore, I have decided to take action in this area in the context of Beit Morasha and in collaboration with [its founder] Professor Binyamin Ish-Shalom, with whom I have worked since the days of my service as the Chief of Staff.... The establishment of the Center for Jewish Culture at Beit Morasha will allow us to act together for the promotion of value-based education and to address matters of identity, of Jewish culture, and issues of society and the State."
Since his retirement from military service in June of 2005, Ya’alon has dedicated himself to academic research and public advocacy in the realms of security, Zionism and Jewish identity, and has rejected numerous proposals by political parties to enter the Israeli political scene.