Centrist Dayan to Join Likud

Ex-National Security Advisor Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan is joining the Likud party. Likud reactions are mixed.

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Hillel Fendel,

Ex-National Security Advisor Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan is joining the opposition Likud party, but reactions in the party are mixed.

Dayan held a press conference on Monday afternoon, announcing his new political path. The Likud is currently leading in the polls by a wide margin over both the Labor and Kadima parties, though it is not known when the next national elections will be held.

Senior Likud MK Limor Livnat, a former Education Minister, welcomed Dayan's arrival, saying his "rich security past will enhance the gallery of personalities that the Likud will present in the coming elections."

Feiglin: No Room for Ideological Acrobatics
Others take the opposite approach, saying that Dayan's strong left-wing leanings disqualify him from Likud membership.  Dayan favors the establishment of a Palestinian state and headed the Israeli delegation for security talks with the Palestinian Authority in the framework of the Oslo II talks in the early 1990's.  In 2003, Dayan included this fact in his official biography - but the current version of his biography omits this fact.

In 2003, Dayan's speech at the prestigious Herzliya Conference dealt with the Israeli-Arab issue. He supported introducing Arab culture into the Jewish school curricula, as well as the upscaling of Arab municipalities.  He has said, "Citizens of a country are not a demographic threat... they are an opportunity or a challenge."

Moshe Feiglin, head of the Likud's Jewish Leadership (Manhigut Yehudit) faction, said, "Ideological acrobatics, as in the Kadima party, are a form of very grave and dangerous corruption, no less bad than financial corruption. The members of the Likud must make sure not to allow this type of corruption into their party."

Dayan Started "Centrist" Party
Dayan is the nephew of the late Israeli military hero Moshe Dayan, and his wife, unlike him, is religiously observant. He started a party named Tafnit (Turnaround) in time for the 2006 elections, but it did not earn enough votes to enter the Knesset. The party, which labeled itself "centrist" on Israel's political map, was involved in the formulation of the Gabizon-Meidan document seeking to define religious-secular relations in Israel, and aimed to fight against "public corruption." 

Politically, Dayan's Tafnit party strongly favored the speedy construction of the partition/wall separating most of Judea and Samaria from the rest of Israel, and Israels' abandonment of most small and/or isolated Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.