Famous Israeli Military Leaders

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Israeli Military Leaders

 1 
Moshe Dayan
(Israeli Military & Political Leader)

Moshe Dayan
8
Birthdate: May 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Degania Alef, Israel
Died: October 16, 1981

Born to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, military leader/politician Moshe Dayan, grew up to be an revered for his exploits against Israel’s Arab neighbors. His invasion of the Sinai peninsula is etched in his memoir, Diary of the Sinai Campaign. Following his death, his eye patch was sold on eBay for US$75,000.

 2 
Ariel Sharon
(Prime Minister of Israel)

Ariel Sharon
6
Birthdate: February 26, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: British Mandate of Palestine
Died: January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon was the Israeli prime minister from 2001 to 2006. As a commander of the Israeli Army, he had participated in the Palestine War of 1948 and the 1967 Six-Day War. He was removed as the defense minister after he led the massacre of Palestinians in the Lebanon War.

 3 
Gideon
(Military Leader of The Israelites Who Won an Important Battle Against The Midianites)

Gideon
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown

Gideon was a military leader, prophet, and judge whose victory over the Midianites are described in the Hebrew Bible. Like the 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, Gideon's army of 300 valiant men is well-known for achieving a decisive victory over the Midianites despite a vast numerical disadvantage. 

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 4 
Deborah
(Prophetess)

Deborah
4
Birthdate: 1107 AD
Birthplace: Israel
Died: 1067 AD

Deborah was an Israeli prophetess and a judge of Israel who made her judgments underneath a date palm tree between Bethel in the Tribe of Ephraim and Ramah in Benjamin. According to the Bible, Deborah was the only female judge in pre-monarchic Israel.

 5 
Yonatan Netanyahu
('Israel Defense Forces' Officer Best Remembered for Commanding 'Operation Entebbe')

Yonatan Netanyahu
4
Birthdate: March 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 4, 1976

Yonatan Netanyahu was an Israel Defense Forces officer best remembered for commanding Sayeret Matkal, an elite commando unit, during Operation Entebbe. The operation, which was a planned mission to rescue hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, was successful. However, Yonatan Netanyahu was killed in action. His life and career inspired the 2012 film Follow Me.

 6 
Benny Gantz
(Alternate Prime Minister of Israel)

Benny Gantz
4
Birthdate: June 9, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kfar Ahim, Israel

Born to Holocaust survivors, Benny Gantz later soared through the ranks of the Israeli military, gaining the nickname The Prince. He founded Israel Resilience, which later merged into the Blue and White alliance. As the IDF’s chief of staff, he presided over the operations Pillar of Defence and Protective Edge.

 7 
Gilad Shalit
(Sports columnist, Soldier, Journalist, Investment Advisor)

Gilad Shalit
4
Birthdate: August 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nahariya

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was held by Palestinian militants from 2006 to 2011 and thus became significant in the Israeli political scene. He was eventually released as part of a prisoner-exchange deal, mediated by Germany ad Egypt, which required the release of over 1,000 Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners.

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 8 
Dan Shomron
(Israeli Military Commander Best Remembered For Planning and Commanding 'Operation Entebbe')

Dan Shomron
2
Birthdate: August 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ashdot Ya'akov
Died: February 26, 2008

Dan Shomron was a Israeli military commander who served as the Israel Defense Forces' Chief of Staff from 1987 to 1991. He is best remembered for planning and commanding Operation Entebbe, a hostage-rescue operation, in 1976. The operation was dramatized in a couple of films, including the 1977 film Raid on Entebbe, where Dan Shomron was played by Charles Bronson.

 9 
David Elazar
(Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (1972 – 1974))

David Elazar
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Died: April 15, 1976

David Elazar was an Israeli military commander best remembered for his service as the Israel Defense Forces' Chief of Staff from 1972 to 1974. As the Chief of Staff, Elazar saw action in The Yom Kippur War which broke out in October 1973. Israel took a beating as it was unprepared and Elazar was forced to retire after the war.

 10 
Yigael Yadin
(Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Politician, Military personnel)

Yigael Yadin
2
Birthdate: March 20, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jerusalem
Died: June 28, 1984

Yigael Yadin was an Israeli archeologist, soldier, and politician. From 1977 to 1981, he served as the second chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and deputy prime minister. He had an extensive career in the army, following which he joined politics. He was also a brilliant archeologist and received the Israel Prize in Jewish studies. 

 11 
Rafael Eitan
(Deputy Prime Minister of Israel (1996 – 1999))

Rafael Eitan
1
Birthdate: January 11, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Afula, Mandatory Palestine
Died: November 23, 2004

Rafael Eitan was an Israeli general who served as the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces from 1978 to 1983. He then went on to become a politician, serving in various ministerial positions between 1990 and 1999. Rafael Eitan also served as the Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999.

 12 
Zivia Lubetkin
(One of the Leaders of Jewish Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Warsaw)

Zivia Lubetkin
1
Birthdate: November 9, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Byten', Belarus
Died: July 11, 1978

Zivia Lubetkin was a Holocaust survivor and leader of the Jewish resistance under Nazi rule in Warsaw. Lubetkin was one of the leaders of the Jewish Combat Organization, the only woman to hold a leadership position within the group. The Jewish Combat Organization played a key role in launching the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

 13 
Amnon Lipkin-Shahak
(Minister of Transportation and Tourism of Israel (1999 – 2001))

Amnon Lipkin-Shahak
1
Birthdate: March 18, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tel Aviv–Yafo, Israel
Died: December 19, 2012

Amnon Lipkin-Shahak was an Israeli politician and military officer who served as the Israel Defense Forces' Chief of Staff from 1995 to 1998. He also served as the Minister of Transportation from 1999 to 2001 and as Minister of Tourism from 2000 to 2001.

 14 
Yossi Harel
(Commander of the 'Exodus 1947' Operation and a Leading Member of the Israeli Intelligence Community)

Yossi Harel
1
Birthdate: January 4, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Died: April 26, 2008

Yossi Harel was an Israeli military leader who served as the commander of a mission called Exodus 1947, which transported 4,515 Jewish migrants from France to Mandatory Palestine. The mission was dramatized in the 1960 film Exodus, where he was played by Paul Newman. Yossi Harel was also one of the most important members of the Israeli intelligence community.

 15 
Pierre d'Aubusson
(Grand Master of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, and a zealous opponent of the Ottoman Empire)

Pierre d'Aubusson
1
Birthdate: 1423 AD
Birthplace: Monteil-au-Vicomte, France
Died: July 3, 1503

Pierre d'Aubusson was a military leader who served as the Grand Master of a Catholic military order called Knights Hospitaller. In this capacity, d'Aubusson was responsible for the modernization of the fortifications of several castles and the city of Rhodes.

 16 
Itzhak Ilan
(Deputy Director of the 'Israel Security Agency' (2010 – 2011))

Itzhak Ilan
0
Birthdate: July 28, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Surami, Georgia
Died: October 16, 2020

Itzhak Ilan was a military officer best remembered for his service in the Israel Security Agency from 1982 to 2012. From 2010 to 2011, he also served as the Deputy Director of the agency. Ilan is also remembered for his service in the Israel Defense Forces where he was a Commander of the Israeli Air Force's Anti-aircraft Artillery Battery Division.