Dani Dayan

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Dani Dayan (Hebrew: דני דיין‎); born 1955) is an Israeli political leader, entrepreneur [1] and advocate for the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. He served as the Chairman of the Yesha Council from 2007 - 2013.[2][3] In 2013, he resigned as Chairman of the Yesha Council to endorse Benjamin Netanyahu for Prime Minister.[3] Dayan was subsequently appointed as Chief Foreign Envoy [4] of the Yesha Council, as the only official representative of the Israeli settlement movement to the international community.[3]

Described by the New York Times as “worldly and pragmatic”[5] and "the most effective leader the settlers have had.[6]" Dayan is perceived by many to be the face of the Israeli settlement movement to the international community. His writing appears in many publications, including The New York Times,[7] The Los Angeles Times,[8] The Boston Globe,[9] USA Today,[10] The Guardian,[11] Haaretz,[12] The Times of Israel[13] and The Jerusalem Post.

Early life[edit]

Dayan was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[3] He and his family immigrated to Israel in 1971, when he was 15,[3] settling in the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Yad Eliyahu.[14] Dayan spent 7.5 years in the Israeli Army.[3]

He holds a B.Sc in Economics and Computer Science from Bar Ilan University and an M.Sc in Finance from the Tel Aviv University. He is a Major (Res.) in the IDF.

In 1982, Dayan established an information technology firm "Elad Systems", which he headed, first as CEO and later as Chairman, until 2005, when he sold his interests in the company. He continues to invest in high-tech companies and serves as a lecturer at Ariel University.

He is a cousin of journalist Ilana Dayan.

Political Life[edit]

Dayan was the Secretary-General of the Tehiya political party and was a candidate to the Knesset on its list in the Israeli legislative elections in 1988 and 1992.

In 2004, he sold his software company and entered into settlement politics.

In 2009 he was offered a spot on The Jewish Home's list, but declined.

He was a member on the Executive Committee of the Yesha Council for 8 years, before being elected as Chairman on July 13, 2007.

As Chairman he led the Settlers' struggle against the Settlement freeze in 2010.

Dayan was elected chairman of the Yesha Council in July 2007. The Yesha Council is a political lobby for the Israeli settler movement. The organization's mandate is to provide support to Israeli settlements in ways such as helping them acquire bulletproof ambulances and buses, and lobbying the government to provide basic utilities to settlements.

Following his election, Dayan began transforming the council into an effective political lobby, modeled on American political lobbies. Dayan resigned in 2013, but at the same time created a new post for himself as the foreign face of the settler movement.[3]

Despite being a key figure in the largely religious settlement movement, Dayan is secular, although not an atheist.[3] He opposes a two-state solution, and believes that holding onto the West Bank is in Israel's best interest.[3] He currently lives in Ma'ale Shomron in the West Bank.

Dayan attempted a run for the Knesset on the Jewish Home slate in the March 2015 elections.[3] Ultimately, he was not elected.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Politics in Spires"
  2. ^ "Settler council head Dani Dayan quits"
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Done fighting the White House, settlers’ ‘foreign minister’ vies for Knesset seat," Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel
  4. ^ "Not a Stereotypical Settler"
  5. ^ "A Settler Leader, Worldly and Pragmatic"
  6. ^ "A Settler Leader, Worldly and Pragmatic"
  7. ^ "Israel’s Settlers Are Here to Stay" ,by Dani Dayan
  8. ^ "For Israelis and Palestinians, the two-stage option" ,by Dani Dayan.
  9. ^ "The new path to peace in the Mideast" ,by Dani Dayan.
  10. ^ "Keep settlements out of peace efforts: Column" ,by Dani Dayan.
  11. ^ "What you call 'settlements' are on solid moral ground" ,by Dani Dayan.
  12. ^ "Take land swaps off the table", by Dani Dayan.
  13. ^ "‘Settlements’ are legal, legitimate and necessary for peace"
  14. ^ "Meet the Settlers," Jake Wallis Simons, Telegraph