Uzi Dayan: Israel's connection to world Jewry as strategic as F35

Dayan served as head of IDF Central Command, deputy chief of staff and head of the National Security Council, and now wants to head the Jewish Agency.

ISRAEL HAS to examine carefully how much the US wants to sell the F35 to the UAE.  (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
ISRAEL HAS to examine carefully how much the US wants to sell the F35 to the UAE.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Israel’s connections to Diaspora Jewry are as important a strategic necessity as F35 jets, Jerusalem and defensible borders, Jewish Agency chairmanship candidate Uzi Dayan said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Dayan served as head of IDF Central Command, deputy chief of staff and head of the National Security Council. If chosen, he would be the highest ranking IDF officer to ever head the agency.

“It is one of the most important organizations for the Jewish people and for the State of Israel and that is what pulls me to head it,” Dayan said. “The Jewish people need strengthening from Jewish education and defense in the fight against antisemitism.”

Dayan noted that by Israel’s centennial in 2048, 17-20 million people are expected to live in the country, including 15 million Jews, that is more than in the rest of the world combined.

“My model among the chairmen of the Jewish Agency is Isaac Herzog,” Dayan said of the president, who relinquished the post two months ago. “He knew how to build cooperation with different bodies and enhance unity and cohesion.    

Dayan said he is not for multiculturalism but is for pluralism and accepting a wide range of views. He said he does not see his affiliation with the Likud as a burden, because he has good relations with the current government. He was involved in lobbying government ministries for local authorities as head of Mifal Hapayis.

“The Jewish people are above politics,” he said.  

Uzi Dayan (credit:  Iki Maimon)Uzi Dayan (credit: Iki Maimon)

Dayan, 73, is one of ten candidates vying for the plum post. The other candidates are Intelligence Services Minister Elazar Stern,  former minister Danny Danon, former Diaspora affairs minister Omer Yankelevitch former MKs Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Tehila Friedman, and Michael Oren, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, ANU – Museum of the Jewish People board chairwoman Irina Nevzlin and Bar-Ilan University law professor Yaffa Zilbershats.

To be chosen as agency chairman, seven of the 10 members of the selection committee must vote in favor and no more than one can vote against. To win the support of the members of the panel, Dayan has already spoken to all ten, and he will be flying to North America next week for face-to-face meetings with panel members.

“The procedure must be fit and proper,” he said. “Needing almost consensus gives an advantage to whoever is most fit and most accepted by a wide range. I wish everyone well, including myself. Let the best candidate win.”