Moshe Dayan (1915-1981), one of Israel’s most outstanding leaders, symbolized four decades of military strength. His face, with the famous eye patch, was familiar to all.
This is the story of Dayan’s life from his beginning in Kibbutz Degania on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, until his death. His years as a soldier, commander, Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense, and his contribution to the peace accords with Egypt, all serve as the backdrop for this thrilling biography.
The book describes Dayan’s formative years in the Jezreel Valley, where he grew into an independent and brave young man, the prototype of the New Jew growing in Eretz Israel, at one with the landscape and familiar with the Arab inhabitants. When the Arab uprising began, Dayan joined the Hagana, and during WWII, he joined the British forces, serving in Lebanon. It was there that he lost his eye. During the 1948 War of Independence, Dayan served as a senior commander, fighting daring and brave battles. During the 1950s Dayan was appointed Chief of Staff, leading the IDF during the Suez Canal Operation. At this time, Dayan decided to enter politics, and he was appointed Minister of Defense before the Six-Day War broke out in 1967. Dayan's career in public service reached its pinnacle during this period. The biography also describes Dayan's complex and controversial personal life and his adventurous streak, while trying to understand the steps he took to promote peace with the Egyptians during his last years.
Ben-Ezer does an excellent job in presenting how Dayan become what he was. Highly recommended reading for the generation unacquainted with Dayan.