Moshe Levi

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Moshe Levi
(משה לוי)
Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine
DiedJanuary 8, 2008
Afula, Israel
Allegiance Israel
Service/branchIsrael Defense Forces
Years of service1954–1987
RankIDF rav aluf.svg Rav Aluf (highest rank)

Moshe Levi (Hebrew: משה לוי‎, 1936 – January 8, 2008) was an Israeli military commander and the 12th chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He served in this position from 1983 to 1987. He was the first chief of staff of Mizrahi origin.


Levi, born in Tel Aviv to an Iraqi-Jewish family, was known by his army nickname Moshe VaHetzi (Hebrew: משה וחצי‎ ("Moshe and a half") because of his towering height.[1]

He was drafted into the army in 1954 and served in the Golani infantry brigade. After completing his officers' course, Levy joined the paratroops, and in 1956 he took part in the Mitla Pass parachute drop.[2]

Levy was promoted to chief of staff in 1983, succeeding Rafael Eitan. During his tenure, he presided over the IDF withdrawal in Lebanon in 1985 and oversaw the redeployment of Israeli troops and the creation of the security zone in South Lebanon.

Levy helped to found the IDF ground forces branch.[2] He created two new brigades: the Nahal and Givati brigades.[3]

While serving as Chief of Staff and after retiring from the army, Levy lived on Kibbutz Beit Alfa in northern Israel. In his last years, he was the founding chairperson of the supervisory board of Highway 6, also known as the Trans-Israel Highway.

Levy was married twice and was survived by five children and five grandchildren.

On January 1, 2008, Levy suffered a massive stroke, his second, and died eight days later of a brain aneurysm at HaEmek Medical Center in Afula.[3] He was buried Wednesday in Kibbutz Beit Alpha, with eight generals carrying his body, top government officials, and hundreds who knew and worked with him in attendance.

Popular culture[edit]

In a sketch by the HaGashash HaHiver comedy trio, Moshe Levy is referred to as Musa Wanus (Moshe and a half in Arabic).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The project of 'Moshe-and-a-half' Haaretz, 11 January 2008
  2. ^ a b Ex-IDF chief Moshe Levy dies at 72 Haaretz, 10 January 2008
  3. ^ a b Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Levy hospitalized Yediot Ahronoth, 1 January 2008

External links[edit]