moshe dayan Quotes

Moshe Dayan Quotes

Birth Date: 1915-05-20 (Thursday, May 20th, 1915)
Date of Death: 1981-10-16 (Friday, October 16th, 1981)

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Quotes

    • There is no more Palestine. Finished . . .
    • In two cases I did not fulfill my role as defense minister, in that I did not stop things that I was sure should have been stopped.
    • Along the Syria border there were no farms and no refugee camps - there was only the Syrian army... The kibbutzim saw the good agricultural land ... and they dreamed about it... They didn't even try to hide their greed for the land... We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn't possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that's how it was...The Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.
    • It is not in our hands to prevent the murder of workers: and families: but it is in our hands to fix a high price for our blood, so high that the Arab community and the Arab military forces will not be willing to pay it.
    • We have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this process leads.
    • The quote is taken from an address Dayan gave to Technion University students on March 19, 1969. A transcription of the speech appeared in Ha'aretz on April 4, 1969.
    • Using the moral yardstick mentioned by [Moshe Sharett], I must ask: Are [we justified] in opening fire on the Arabs who cross [the border] to reap the crops they planted in our territory; they, their women, and their children? Will this stand up to moral scrutiny . . .? We shoot at those from among the 200,000 hungry arabs who cross the line - will this stand up to moral review? Arabs cross to collect the grain that they left in the abandoned villages and we set mines for them and they go back without an arm or a leg. . . [It may be that this] cannot pass review, but I know no other method of guarding the borders. then tomorrow the State of Israel will have no borders.
    • The only method that proved effective, not justified or moral but effective, when Arabs plant mines on our side [is retaliation]. If we try to search for the [particular] Arab [who planted mines], it has not value. But if we harass the nearby village . . . then the population there comes out against the [infiltrators] . . . and the Egyptian Government and the Transjordanian Government are [driven] to prevent such incidents, because their prestige is [assailed], as the Jews have opened fire, and they are unready to begin a war . . . the method of collective punishment so far has proved effective.
    • Let us not today fling accusation at the murderers. What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived. We should demand his blood not from the Arabs of Gaza but from ourselves. . . . Let us make our reckoning today. We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and gun barrel, we shall not be able to plant a tree or build a house. . . . Let us not be afraid to see the hatred that accompanies and consumes the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who sit all around us and wait for the moment when their hands will be able to reach our blood.
    • We could not guard every water pipeline from being blown up and every tree from being uprooted. We could not prevent every murder of a worker in an orchard or a family in their beds. But it was in our power to set high price for our blood, a price too high for the Arab community, the Arab army, or the Arab governments to think it worth paying. . . It was in our power to cause the Arab governments to renounce 'the policy of strength' toward Israel by turning it into a demonstration of weakness.
    • All that is required is to find an officer, even a captain would do, to win his heart or buy him with money to get him to agreed to declare himself the savior of the Maronite population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, occupy the necessary territory, create a Christian regime that will ally itself with Israel. The territory from Litani southward will be totally annexed to Israel, and everything will fall into place.
    • A new State of Israel with broad frontiers, strong and solid, with the authority of the Israel Government extending from the Jordan to the Suez Canal.
    • During the last 100 years our people have been in a process of building up the country and the nation, of expansion, of getting additional Jews and additional settlements in order to expand the borders here. Let no Jew say that the process has ended. Let no Jew say that we are near the end of the road.
    • Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.
    • I know of nothing more exciting than war.
    • If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.
    • Our American friends offer us money, arms, and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice.
    • We have returned to the holiest of our Holy Places, never to part from it again.
    • [Israel] must see the sword as the main, if not the only, instrument with which to keep its morale high and to retain its moral tension. Toward this end it may, no - it must - invent dangers, and to do this it must adopt the method of provocation-and-revenge...
    • He would wake up with a hundred ideas. Of them ninety-five were dangerous; three more were bad; the remaining two, however, were brilliant.
    • He jumped to the sky with anger about Hebron and the provocation of Levinger that has become such a tragedy.
    • Dayan didn't want the government to allow the kibbutzim to build there afterwards - he hoped to trade it back for peace.
    • Moshe Dayan unfolded one plan after another for direct action. The first - what should be done to force open blockade of the Gulf of Eilat. A ship flying the Israeli flag should be sent, and if the Egyptians bomb it, we should bomb the Egyptian base from the air, or conquer Ras al-Naqb, or open our way south of Gaza Strip to the coast. There was a general uproar. I asked Moshe: Do you realize that this would mean war with Egypt?, he said: Of course.
    • Moshe Dayan saw no need for American guarantees of Israel's security and strongly opposed America's conditions i.e. that Israel forswear territorial expansion and military retaliation. In an informal talk with the ambassadors to Washington, London, and Paris, Dayan describe military retaliations as a 'life drug' to the Israel Army. First, it obliged the Arab governments to take drastic measures to protect their borders. Second, and this was the essence, it enabled the Israeli government to maintain a high degree of tension in the country and the army. Gideaon Rafael, also present at the meeting with Dayan, remarked to Moshe Sharett: 'This is how fascism began in Italy and Germany!'
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