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Moshe Dayan

Dayan, Moshe (mōˈshə dĪänˈ, däyänˈ) [key], 1915–81, Israeli military leader, b. Palestine. After attending Senior Agricultural School in Nahalal, Dayan fought with the Haganah (Jewish militia) throughout the 1930s and with the British Army during World War II. He lost an eye in battle in 1941, necessitating the eye patch that became his trademark. As Israel's chief of staff (1953–58), he established a reputation as a military strategist by directing the 1956 Sinai campaign against Egypt. Dayan then served as minister of agriculture (1959–64). Appointed minister of defense in 1967, his reputation was enhanced by Israel's military success in the Six-Day War (1967). Despite his increasing influence in foreign affairs, he was blamed for Israel's unpreparedness in the 1973 October War and resigned (May, 1974) with Golda Meir. In 1977 Dayan became foreign minister under Menachem Begin and was largely responsible for successful negotiations that led to the Camp David accords with Egypt.

See his autobiography (1976); account by his daughter Yael Dayan, My Father, His Daughter (1985).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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