Major General (res.) Uzi Dayan, nephew of former Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and formerly the head of the Israeli National Security Council, is a leading candidate to replace Matan Vilnai as Home Front Defense Minister, Channel 2 News reported on Monday.
Vilnai is leaving his position in order to become Israel's ambassador to China. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked for a special session of the Knesset to be held Thursday for appointing Vilnai's replacement.
According to the Channel 2 report, Dayan’s position regarding an Israeli strike in Iran is similar to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s position on the issue.
Dayan spent 15 years in the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal. He eventually commanded the unit and later served as head of Central Command and Deputy Chief of Staff. He later formed the Tafnit party to run in the 2006 elections. He and his party joined Likud in mid-2008 and Dayan was placed 42nd on the Likud’s list to the Knesset and did not become an MK. In May of 2011 Dayan was appointed to chair the National Lottery.
Earlier reports indicated that none of the ministers who are seen as natural candidates for the job is interested in taking it. The two leading candidates are Ministers Dan Meridor and Moshe Ya'alon. However, they are not interested in the job. Minister Yossi Peled was another favored candidate but he is about to leave the government and head the company in charge of the Eilat-Ashkelon Oil Pipeline.
Former minister Tzachi Hanegbi was mentioned as a candidate, but he said Wednesday that he has not been offered the job.