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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.