Email Email   

DAYAN, MOSHE (1915-1981).

Israeli soldier and statesman. Born in Kibbutz Degania “A,” he received his early education at Nahalal, a settlement which his parents helped found. He joined the Haganah when still a boy. After the Arab disturbances in 1936, Dayan first served as an instructor in the Supernumerary Police Force and later with General Orde Charles Wingate‘s Special Night Squads. In 1939, he was arrested by the British authorities and served two years of a five-year sentence. He resumed his service in the Haganah and fought in the Syrian border area. In the invasion of Syria, then held by Vichy France, by the Allied forces, Dayan was seriously wounded, losing an eye.

In the War of Independence, Dayan commanded a battalion on the Syrian front. During the siege of Jerusalem he served as military commander. He participated in the Rhodes Armistice talks with the Kingdom of Jordan and served with the Mixed Armistice Commission. In 1953, after attending a course of military studies in England, he became Chief of Staff of the Israeli army with the rank of Major General, a position he held during the Sinai Campaign of 1956. He was released from active service in the Israeli Defense Forces in 1958. He was elected to the Knesset and served as minister of agriculture from 1959 to 1964. In 1967, he was appointed minister of defense. He played an important role in planning the strategy that brought Israel victory in the Six-Day War. He left his post when Golda Meir’s government resigned in 1974. In 1977, he quit the Labor party to become Israel’s foreign minister under Menachem Begin. In this position he played a key role in the negotiations between Israel and Egypt initiated by the visit of Egypt’s President Anwar el-Sadat to Jerusalem in November 1977. In 1965, he wrote the Diary of the Sinai Campaign.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email