Podcast: Why IDF generals go into politics

"There is no right or left anymore, just right and wrong," Dayan said regarding Benny Gantz's foray into politics.

uzi dayan points map 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
uzi dayan points map 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
IDF Gen (res.) Uzi Dayan is one of the numerous candidates running for the Likud primaries on February 5. The former deputy chief of staff spoke to Jerusalem Post political corespondent Gil Hoffman on his Inside Israel Today podcast on The Land of Israel Network as part of his Meet the Candidates series.
"All your life you work for your country, so you must continue to do so, " he said of his rational for running in the crowded race.
Dayan has been a Likud member since 2008
and headed the National Security Council. His drive to run stems from his thoughts on Israel's future. "In 2048 Israel will be 100 years old and will have 20 million citizens in this small country, "he explained. "15 million will be Jewish, and we have to be prepared," he said. "In Israel you remain Jewish, you speak Hebrew, you live in the holy land, you don't become something else. We have to make preparations for such large numbers."
Dayan is among many IDF generals who have gone into politics. The 2019 election will see two former IDF chiefs of staff, Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya'alon entering the race. Dayan explained the attraction explaining that in elections "the best person to lead is not necessarily elected, but the best candidate. You can be a good school teacher, or office manager and nobody will know your name." In contrast, generals have immediate name recognition making them prime material to boost a party's list in an election.
"When you're a general, you need a second career at 50 or 60 years old." In regards to Benny Gantz, who served under him, Dayan said I knew him as a general, but as a politician I know nothing," echoing the sentiment expressed by many in the media, especially considering Gantz tight lips in the early weeks of the race.
Gantz was the  IDF's chief of staff from 2001 - 2015 who  formed the Israel Resilience Party in December. "we wont be shocked when he opens his mouth," Dayan predicted, "same slogans, 'peace' and 'security' and 'taking Israel forward'." He pontificated about the state of Israel politics commenting "there is no right or left anymore, just right and wrong."
As far as Dayan's personal aspirations, he is sticking with Likud, Israel's largest and most diverse party. Dayan formed the Tafnit party which ran unsuccessfully in the 2006 election before joining Likud. He called the concept of forming small parties a mistake, "we generals want to complete the mission quickly," Dayan said, "but in politics you have to be there for a long time."
Dayan is the nephew of storied IDF general Moshe Dayan, grandson of MK Shmuel Dayan and cousin of celebrated singer Yehonatan Geffen.
Regarding his famous family, Dayan stated, "i grew up in a pretty famous family with many different views, but now after 36 years in the IDF and all the things I did with the Sderot Conference and as National Security Advisor, hopefully my activities will talk for themselves. It's interesting to live with such a famous name, but its not about names but to continuing to do our mission."