Huberman Dayan

  • Issue: November 1988
  • Designer: R. Beckman
  • Stamp size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5

Moshe Dayan is considered by many the foremost representative of the State of Israel in the first generation of its existence. He was born to Shemuel and Devora Dayan in Degania, South of Tiberias. When he was five, his parents joined the founders of Nahalal, a settlement not far from Nazareth. It was here, later, that his involvement in security matters began. He served as a special policeman, as motor patrol commander, as an instructor in the Haganah and as a fighter under Orde Wingate. Dayan, together with 43 other trainees in the Haganah, was sent to Acre prison. After his release, he served as one of two deputies (the otherwasYigal Allon) to Yitzhak Sadeh. In 1944, Dayan commanded a Haganah force that participated in the Allied invasion of Syria. It was in this battle that he lost his eye and thereafter the black eyepatch became his mark of recognition.

At the outset of the War of Independence, Dayan served as the officer for Arab affairs in the Haganah head-quarters. Later, as commander of Jerusalem, Dayan got his first opportunity to display his diplomatic skills. He participated in negotiations with King Abdullah and his representatives which resulted in a series of agreements at the end of the war. Dayan fulfilled a decisive function in shaping the character of the Israel Defence Forces, and in developing a new military doctrine which was crystalised and reached its peak in the Sinai Campaign of 1956, which he commanded as Chief of Staff.

In January 1958, Dayan retired from the IDF and, following two years of law studies, entered active politics as a representative of the Labour Party. He was one of the those who supported Ben-Gurion in his decision to break away from the party mainline. In 1963 he resigned from the Eshkol Government in protest against his exclusion from responsibility for security matters.

On the eve of the Six Day War (June 1967) Dayan was appointed Minister of Defence in the National Unity Government and led the IDF in that war. The appointment of Dayan was a result of public pressure and broad multi-party support.

Following the war, Dayan formulated the "open bridges' policy and originated the policy of economic integration between the State of Israel and the "territories", as well as ways and means of arriving at Jewish-Arab co-existence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. He endeavoured to found a "different relationship" between Israel and its neighbours with the object of instilling into the Arabs' awareness the fact of Israel's existence as a legitimate, permanent reality in this part of the world, whilst, at the same time, establishing normal relations and mutual dependence between Israel and the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Dayan continued as Minister of Defence during and after the Yom Kippur War and was the subject of severe public criticism relating to the opening stages of the war. However, the "Agranat" Committee, which investigated the events of the war, found no fault in the manner in which Dayan had discharged his duties- though it did not take a position on the subject of his ministerial responsibility. After the vvar, Dayan was an active partner in achieving the separation of forces agreement with Egypt, in 1974, hut, after Prime Minister Golda Meir's resignation on April 11th, 1974, Dayan aid not join the Rabin government.

After the 1977 electoral upheaval, Dayan acceded to the invitation of the Likud leader, Menachem Begin. to serve as Foreign Minister in his cabinet. At the end of his term in the ninth Knesset, he established an independent list, Telem, on which he was elected to the tenth Knesset.

As Foreign Minister, Dayan initiated the first contacts with Egyptian representatives preceding President Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, Dayan fulfilled a central role in the Camp David Conference and the signing of the peace treaty with Egypt. He resigned from the cabinet on October 23rd. 1979 because of differences of opinion over the implementation of the agreement regarding autonomy for the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Dayan's approach sought to achieve a continued Israeli military control of the territories together with a centrally-planned settlement effort (in his formulation:

Jews should never again be made foreigners in any parts of Eretz-Yisrael while opposing the extension of Israel sovereignty over the territories or the running of the day-to-day lives of the Arab inhabitants.

After resigning from the government. Dayan tried to further his plan for the unilateral implementation of autonomy in the territories. He propounded this position both in the Knesset and in the "Forum for Political and Social Discussion" which served as his main stage for expressing political opinions after the 1977 elections.

Moshe Dayan, son of the land, fighter, soldier and statesman died on October 16th, 1981.

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Moshe Dayan