Danny Dayan
Danny Dayan Israel news photo: Flash 90

The New York Times has dedicated its Saturday Profile this week to Danny Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council. Dayan, 56, is described as “passionately ideological yet profoundly secular.”  

The article focuses in part on Dayan’s pragmatic approach to the issue of Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria, with even opponents such as Peace Now’s Yariv Oppenheimer noting that Dayan can “speak to the public with a much more sensible argument and a much more moderate image” than more strictly ideological counterparts.

Dayan’s cousin, television journalist Ilana Dayan, told the paper, “He’s talking realpolitik, he’s talking rational, he’s talking cost-benefit analysis.”

New York Times writer Jodi Rudoren noted that Dayan’s approach has created some hostility among ideologically motivated youth, with some terming him a “danger to settlements” or even a traitor.

In the course of the profile Dayan revealed his long-term plan for Judea and Samaria: continue to build alongside Palestinian Authority Arabs, maintaining a cold peace. Then, when there is a regime change in Jordan, Israel and Jordan can work out a form of joint rule in Judea and Samaria.

Dayan described his solution as “shared responsibilities for two peoples in two states.” The solution is highly unusual, he granted. “There is no other example in history of a people dispersed for 2,000 years that comes back to its land and reclaims it,” he noted. “It’s a very peculiar situation and will need a peculiar solution.”

The profile follows other PR successes for Dayan: three weeks ago the New York Times published an Op-Ed he wrote declaring the “two-state solution” no longer relevant, and two weeks ago The Atlantic published a lengthy article covering Dayan’s battles within the realm of Judea and Samaria politics which allowed Dayan to express many of his views.

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