DAYAN, MOSHE (1915–1981), Israeli military commander and statesman, member of the Fourth to Tenth Knessets. The eldest son of Shemuel Dayan, who had been a member of the First Knesset, Dayan was born in kibbutz Deganya Alef, and raised in Nahalal. As a young man, he served as a watchman in Nahalal's fields, and later joined the Haganah. During the disturbances of 1936–39, he served with the special Jewish police force in the Jezreel Valley and Galilee. He was commander of a unit of the Haganah field squads in 1938, and participated in the operations of the special night squads commanded by orde wingate . Dayan was arrested in 1939, in an illegal Haganah commanders' course, and was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for possession of illegal firearms. Released in 1941, he joined an auxiliary force of the Haganah that cooperated with the British army in the conquest of the Lebanon from Vichy forces. In the course of this operation he was wounded, and lost his left eye. The eye patch Dayan started wearing from that time on, became his trademark. After joining the Palmaḥ, he helped British intelligence set up a broadcasting network, the purpose of which was clandestine operations behind enemy lines in the event that Palestine fell into German hands. During the 1948–49 War of Independence, Dayan commanded the defense of Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley. In the spring of 1948 he was named commander of a mechanized battalion that fought in Ramleh and Lydda, and helped halt the Egyptian forces on the Southern front. In August 1948Dayan was appointed commander of the Jerusalem front and reached a local cease-fire agreement with the commander of the Arab Legion in the area. In this period Dayan was viewed as Mapai's answer to generals such as yigal allon , who had emerged from mapam and Aḥdut ha-Avodah . Dayan and Allon remained competitors, first in the military sphere and later in politics, for the rest of their lives. In the spring of 1949 Dayan participated in the armistice agreement talks between Israel and Jordan at Rhodes. In October 1949 he was appointed commander of the Southern Command, and in June 1952 commander of the Northern Command. In the same period he attended a senior officers' course in Great Britain. He was appointed chief of operations at General Headquarters in December 1952, and the following year was appointed as Israel's fourth chief of staff, a post he held until January 1958. As chief of staff, Dayan concentrated on improving the military capabilities of the IDF. With the intensification of fedayeen terrorist attacks in the course of 1955, Dayan organized a series of reprisal raids into Jordanian and Egyptian territory, to hit fedayeen bases there. He commanded the Israeli forces in the sinai campaign , at the end of 1956, and emerged as a national hero. Dayan retired from active army service in 1958 and spent the following year attending courses at the universities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In the fall of 1959 he was elected to the Fourth Knesset on the mapai list . In the government formed by david ben-gurion after the election, Dayan was appointed minister of agriculture, a post he held until November 1964. Dayan supported Ben-Gurion's position in the lavon affair and resigned from Prime Minister levi eshkol 's government to join Ben-Gurion against this background. In July 1965 Dayan broke away with Ben-Gurion from Mapai, and was one of the founders of rafi and elected on its list to the Sixth Knesset. In August 1966 he made an independent study tour of war-torn Vietnam and wrote of his experience in a diary, which he published. Following public pressure, Dayan was appointed minister of defense on the eve of the outbreak of the six-day war in June 1967, even though Prime Minister Eshkol, who had also served as minister of defense up to that point, had wanted to appoint Allon to the post. Dayan once again emerged from the war as a hero. After the war, as minister of defense, Dayan was responsible for administering the territories occupied by Israel. He devised a relatively liberal policy for the Palestinian population in the territories, following a policy of "open bridges" to Jordan, enabling the movement of both people and goods. Unlike Allon, who started to advocate a peace plan with Jordan based on territorial compromise and the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian state that would include most of the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Dayan preferred a functional solution that would create a Jordanian-Israeli condominium in the territories. In the year after the Six-Day War Dayan actively supported the formation of the israel labor party by Mapai, Aḥdut ha-Avodah, and Rafi. Dayan was still minister of defense on the outbreak of the yom kippur war of October 1973, and was widely blamed for the country's lack of preparedness. Even though the agranat Commission established to investigate the background to the outbreak of the war (or the meḥdal, as the failure was termed in Hebrew) did not criticize Dayan, and did not find anything wrong in his conduct, after golda meir resigned as prime minister following the publication of the Committee's interim report, yitzhak rabin , who formed a government in June 1974, did not include Dayan in it. Following the 1977 "political upheaval" (mahapakh) Dayan, elected to the Ninth Knesset on the Alignment list, decided to leave the Alignment and join the government formed by Menaḥem Begin as foreign minister, remaining an independent MK in the Knesset until May 1981, when he formed the Telem parliamentary group. As foreign minister, Dayan played a major role in the peace talks with Egypt that led to the historic visit of Egyptian President anwar sadat to Jerusalem in November 1977, to the signing of the Camp David Accords in September 1978, and to the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty in March 1979. In October 1979 he resigned from the government in protest against the appointment of joseph burg as head of the team to negotiate an autonomy plan for the Palestinians with the Egyptians. The new Telem Party that he formed towards the end of the Ninth Knesset advocated a continuation of the peace process on the basis of the Camp David Accords; continued Israeli military presence in areas vital for Israel's defense; opposition to any territorial compromise in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, on the one hand,   and the extension of Israeli sovereignty to them, on the other; self-administration for the Palestinians in the territories, on the one hand, and continued Jewish settlement on State lands and land legally purchased. Telem received only two mandates in the elections to the Tenth Knesset. Dayan passed away in October 1981, four months after the election, and was buried in Nahalal. His daughter, yael dayan , was a novelist and a member of the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Knessets. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: N. Lau-Lavie, Moshe Dayan: A Biography (1968); P. Jurman (ed.), Moshe Dayan, A Portrait (1968). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: I.I. Taslitt, Soldier of Israel: The Story of General Moshe Dayan (1969); Yehudah Harel, Follow Me, the Story of Moshe Dayan (1972); Shabtai Teveth, Moshe Dayan: The Soldier, the Man, the Legend (1974); Y. Harel, Ha-Loḥem: Ḥayyav ve-Alilotav shel Moshe Dayan (1978); Y. Dayan, My Father, His Daughter (1985); A. Falk, Moshe Dayan: ha-Ish ve-ha-Aggadah – Biografiyah Psikho'analitit (1985); R. Slater, Warrior Statesman: The Life of Moshe Dayan (1991); A. Bar-On, Ḥotam Ishi: Moshe Dayan be-Milḥemet Sheshet ha-Yamim ve-Aḥareiha (1997); E. Ben-Azar, Ometz: Sippuro shel Moshe Dayan (1998); A. Yadlin, G. Teren, et al., Moshe Dayan: Bein Estrateg Li-Medina'i. Le-Zikhro shel Rav Aluf Moshe Dayan (2003); M. Levi Van Creveld, Moshe Dayan (2004). (Yehuda Slutsky / Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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