Floating Voter / The Pros and Cons of Uzi Dayan

Uzi Dayan is a good guy, in the good sense of the term. Whoever decides to vote for him will also probably be getting a good deal, though at the moment it is hard to see how, on his own, he could cross the electoral threshold, which is now 2 percent. In order to get into the Knesset, a list must garner 80,000 votes, and that is no easy task. Anyone who has not tried it does not know. He who casts his ballot for Uzi may be placing a losing bet.

Dayan is a worthy candidate, and not necessarily because he is a major general in the reserves. There are plenty of majors general milling about our political system; what difference does one more or one less make? It neither adds or detracts. Rather, he is a worthy candidate because of the cooling-off period he underwent: Nearly five years have elapsed since he set aside his uniform as deputy chief of staff. Would that all former generals went through such a lengthy cooling-off period.

As a civilian, Dayan devoted himself to two main topics: the separation fence and education, both exceedingly important and neglected subjects. His ceaseless dedication to the fence is deserving of esteem, although accompanied by disappointment. I once commented to him that a person has not discharged his duty with the mere cry, "fence, fence;" he must also address the question of the route. If the route is arbitrary and fundamentally political, then it is preferable to forgo the entire fence, as the security damage will outweigh the benefit. Dayan did not agree with me, because he wanted to propitiate everyone - expanders and curtailers alike. Obstructive types are hardly lacking, you'll pardon my saying.

On the other hand, Dayan contributed greatly when he walked through the field of education, which is a blighted field full of thorns and thistles. Limor Livnat is leaving scorched earth in her wake. In a place where not many people have education as their prime concern, Dayan was such a person. At the Sderot Conference, too, which he initiated and organized, Dayan allocated a sizable plot for the tender saplings that Livnat had not gotten around to chopping, and which she now apparently will not get a chance to chop.

At his press conference yesterday, Dayan placed an emphasis on the corruption scourge - and it was well placed. Uzi Dayan really is a clean man as he enters politics, and one can only hope that he will also leave it someday a clean man. It is easier to go in wearing spotless clothing, even down to one's underwear, than to come out wearing the same flawlessly laundered clothes after years of wallowing in the mud.

"Dayan's associates," or so it was reported, said that he had been courted in recent weeks by numerous parties "covering the country's entire political spectrum." Being desired like that, in my view, Uzi, is not necessarily a compliment. If so many parties from every direction saw you as a suitable candidate - someone who deserves them and whom they deserve - that is a sign that your identity card is still a blur. And blurriness is not a superior quality; I personally prefer the disadvantage of clarity. Diffident trackers will not remove mines and blaze a trail.

Dayan is not the only prominent figure from the security realm who is entering politics now. The former head of the Shin Bet security service, Avi Dichter, is also among those joining. Between the two of them, I prefer Uzi Dayan, and not just because he stands exposed, without the black umbrella of Ariel Sharon. Dichter is asking our support for who and what he was, and he spent many years in the dark. Dayan, in contrast, is asking our support for what he is now, and in recent years, he was exposed to the light.