An eyewitness account by Moshe Dayan's daughter

By Yael Dayan, April 17, 2008

Moshe Dayan 1915-1981


As a young girl, I wasn’t aware of all the fuss around my father. I was just another high-school girl in Tel Aviv with two working parents. Of course, I knew that he was Chief of Staff; we read about it in the papers, and IDF generals came to our house. But the whole atmosphere around him was laid back; there were no bodyguards or ceremonies, and he drove his own car. There was no ostentation. He became a public figure because he was more noticeable than chiefs of staff before him — there was the eye-patch, of course. At the time there was one icon, David Ben-Gurion, and all the rest were young men. People made less fuss over generals then, perhaps because we were a more humble society. The 1956 war was the first time that Israel became a military power on the international stage, on a level with the British and French. The war boosted his image and suddenly there were photographers around and foreign journalists came to interview him. Ten years later, after the Six-Day War, I was already a grown woman, and I saw the worshipping of the generals in a totally different light.

Last updated: 12:52pm, September 16 2008