In an article last week in which Evelyn Gordon covered the Likud primaries result ("Three cheers for democracy," December 18), she launched an unwarranted attack on Uzi Dayan, calling him an opportunist. For the sake of good order, I'd like to set the record straight. An opportunist doesn't impose on himself a three-year cooling off period after 36 years of IDF service, during which time he establishes the Sderot Conference on Social Issues, serves as president of the Zionist Council and chairman of the Hugey Hasayarut youth movement, among other things - and all this in a voluntary capacity. Moreover, at no time was Dayan a member of the Labor Party nor did he ever belong to the Israeli Left. After 36 years in uniform and a cooling off period, he founded the Tafnit movement which evolved into a political party that decided six months ago to join the Likud. Dayan was the first to join the Likud - even before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned - at a time when no one ever imagined that elections were looming on the horizon. He joined the Likud when he recognized that the Oslo process was a failure and that the only way to be influential and change the prevailing situation was to join forces with a large party. He chose the Likud because he supported its way, agenda and political objective. It was Dayan's belief that the Likud headed by Binyamin Netanyahu was capable of bringing about the change necessary in the spheres of security, social and economic issues, education and governance. DAYAN DID not make his joining the Likud - or that of Tafnit - contingent on any promise. He announced that he would run in the primaries like all the rest, his only interest being an agreed on agenda comprising of:
Restoring security, an effective war on terrorism wherever it may be, isolating Syria and preventing Iran from nuclear arming.
The advancement of a socioeconomic agenda based on a strong, vibrant economy based on prioritizing education, closing social gaps via employment and reinforcing the security net for those incapable of managing on their own.
A deep, thorough reform of the educational system with emphasis on excellence, Zionism and an equal opportunity for every youngster.
A commitment to clean government by waging a relentless war on corruption.
I WISH to remind you that Dayan led campaigns which matched Likud goals, particularly implementing the lessons of the Second Lebanon War and the demand that Olmert take responsibility (and resign) for the war's failure and the destruction of Israeli values.
And why did Dayan only make the No. 42 spot on the Likud list? Because he was a newcomer to the Likud and was not part of the "deals" (except for being on Moshe Feiglin's "liquidation list"). Although disappointed, he immediately wished well the elected leadership and promised to contribute to the party and country as best as he could.
People of Maj.-Gen.(res.) Dayan's caliber, with capabilities and a proven record, are a welcome addition to the Likud and to Israel's political scene. I feel certain that the Likud members will come to see what Likud chairman Netanyahu understood from the outset.
The writer was one of the founders of the Israel 35 women's campaign for Soviet Jewry, and is a member of the Tafnit Party.