Thursday, January 20, 2011

  • Thursday, January 20, 2011
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yesterday I linked to an interview with Dani Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, in the Washington Times.

Moment magazine has published its own interview with him, and it is fascinating:

On a clear day, Dani Dayan can look out the bedroom window of his two-story home and see the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv, just 20 miles away. But as we sit in his open and airy modern living room on a chilly winter day, with a eucalyptus tree swaying in the breeze and an ancient-looking wine press in the sprawling green yard, Tel Aviv seems a world away. The neighborhood’s serenity belies the fact that Dayan’s home is in the settlement of Maale Shomron in the northern West Bank, far beyond the separation barrier and deep in territory that may very well someday be part of a Palestinian state.

At a time when settlements are perceived as a major obstacle to a two-state solution by much of the world—and by many Israelis eager to resolve the long-standing conflict—Dayan insists that Israelis will rue the day, if it ever comes, when his home and community are not part of the Jewish State. “It’s either me and my family or a belligerent Palestinian state,” says Dayan, a clean-shaven, bareheaded secular Israeli who speaks in an accented English that reveals his roots in Argentina, where he lived until he was 15. A two-state solution, he continues, “wouldn’t improve the situation for a single Israeli or Palestinian.”

...To convince Israelis that holding on to the West Bank is in their interest, Dayan recently hired a new director-general for Yesha, Naftali Bennett, another high-tech veteran with a law degree who served as then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2008. It is notable that he does not live in the West Bank, but in the rather bourgeois Tel Aviv suburb of Ra’anana. “Our main challenge in the next couple of years is to move public opinion,” says Dayan of his selection, which was approved by Yesha’s executive committee amid some controversy. “And in that, Naftali knows the client best.”

Bennett, who refers to the settlements as “suburbs of Tel Aviv, and beautiful ones, at that,” has polished and near-perfect English—thanks in part to his American parents and five years spent working in New York. In an effort to give influential figures a first-hand view of a West Bank that is decidedly different from the one they see on the nightly news, the Council treats Israeli celebrities to tours of the settlements, complete with wine and organic cheese tastings. The organization’s Hebrew website has a section on local cafes, restaurants and vineyards to attract Israeli tourists to a part of the country they’ve never cared to explore. “They come to Yesha and see the peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs,” says Bennett. “They see the vast amount of land available for Jews and Arabs. And they can only see all of this from being there—not from talking about it.”

...Although Dayan describes himself as essentially “an urban guy,” he and Einat preferred the hilltops of Judea and Samaria—the biblical terms for the West Bank—to the hip neighborhoods of Tel Aviv. Although many Israelis buy homes in settlements for a higher quality of life and lower cost of living made possible by financial incentives, the Dayans’ decision was an ideological one. “There are more important things in life than being near good restaurants and the opera house,” says Dayan. “We thought that the best thing for the State of Israel and its security is being here. So we decided to move to Samaria.”

They chose Maale Shomron, founded in 1980 and now home to about 150 families, in part for its mix of religious and non-religious Jews. “Our way of life is almost completely secular,” he says, “but we didn’t want to live in a secular ghetto.”

...From Dayan’s point-of-view, anything remains possible: Settlers will return to Gaza someday, which is why Yesha continues to keep the ayin in its name representing Aza—Gaza. And he wants his daughter Ofir to be among the “hilltop youth,” as they’re known, but still be a woman of the world. “I would like her to establish an outpost on a very distant hilltop in Judea and Samaria, but I would also like her to know the road to the cultural centers of Israel well, and to be able to enjoy a trip to London or Paris,” Dayan says. “You don’t have to choose between Hebron and Tel Aviv. You can have both.”

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive