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Yael Dayan
Photo: Ofer Amram
Yael Dayan: Make all war records public
Daughter of former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan welcomes release of shocking 1973 war-time cabinet records, says her father was never concerned about possibility of making minutes public. 'He had full confidence in his actions and conduct'

Yael Dayan, daughter of former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan commented Tuesday on the unnerving minutes published by the State Archives, quoting several shocking statements made by her father during cabinet meetings held over the Yom Kippur War,

 

"Dad wasn’t concerned about the records ever being made public. He wrote them with confidence. All of them – the hardest moments and the lightest ones," she said. "He had full confidence in his actions and conduct."

 

According to Dayan, her father wrote down "everything that wasn't subject to censorship. You have to compare the minutes published in his name to those he wrote and talked about with family.

 

"I'm all for making it all public. As long as there is nothing that might compromise national security, I'm all for it," she added.

 

As for a possible backlash against her father, Dayan said: "Everything about him is controversial. His very name evokes criticism and more often than none – regardless of the truth.

 

"Ever since he passed away people feel free to utter the most mendacious and immoral criticism, so I support the publication of anything that is true."

 

As for one of the most unnerving statements revealed in the minutes, quoting Dayan as saying that barring any other choice, wounded Israeli soldiers would be left behind, she said the decision was not made lightly and followed a string of lengthy deliberations by top Israeli officials, with the sole aim of saving lives.

 

"This was not a whim of my father's," she said. "They held consultations on what kind of price should be paid, if whether it was preferable that the wounded surrender instead of us paying a higher price – their lives and those of their rescuers."

 

The final decision, she stressed, was not made by her father but by the Israeli leadership. "My father wasn’t Napoleon. He didn’t give all the orders himself. (Ariel) Sharon was there, the GOC and many others, too. Sharon's attempt at a rescue failed, and finally, after consulting with the Red Cross, the decision was made. It was made to prevent the men from thinking they couldn’t surrender.

 

"Throughout his entire military career, Dayan acted to rescue wounded men. It's such a shame Arik can't talk. He was part of that decision and it followed a lengthy, sad debate.

 

"It was a joint decision," she concluded. "Dayan didn’t force it on anyone."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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