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Uzi Dayan on mount Sarbata with Jordan valley and Jordanian mountain range in background
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Uzi Dayan, born on Moshav Nahalal in 1948, the nephew of General Moshe Dayan.
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Ascending Mount Sarbata with Jordan valley below
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Dayan being filmed by a German crew on Sarbata with the expanse of the Jordan valley in background
photo by Rhonda Spivak


Jordan valley is Israel's security buffer against any attempt by jihadist ISS to overthrow King Abdullah and advance to Jerusalem

by Rhonda Spivak, July 12, 2014



At  the David Citadel Hotel during Prime Minister Harper's visit to Israel this past January , I bumped into   Maj. Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan,  who invited me to join him  on a security briefing for a handful of journalists on Mt. Sarbata,  a pyramid shaped peak, which is a high point in the West Bank overlooking the Jordan Valley.



I am very glad I went on this security briefing as "seeing is believing" and from Sarbata it is easy to understand why Dayan maintains that Israel cannot cede control of the Jordan Valley in any potential future peace deal with the Palestinians.


Born in 1948, Uzi Dayan is the nephew of General Moshe Dayan--his father Zorik Dayan, Moshe's younger brother, was killed in the 1948 War of Independence, when Uzi was a baby.



From the towering peak of Sarbata, Dayan, who was head of the Israel Defense Forces Central Command, IDF deputy chief of staff, and National Security Adviser to then Prime Minister Rabin, laid out why Israel must keep military control of the Jordan Valley, which he believes is "critical for Israel to maintain defensible borders." 



The sweeping 360 degree view from Sarbata says it all.  Looking eastward, from this towering peak the complete Jordan valley with its rich farm land was laid out before my eyes, and I could see the Adomite Mountains of Jordan in the background, as well as an expansive view of the Dead Sea. Looking westward from Sarbata, you can see as far as Jerusalem.

As Dayan pointed out, Sarbata's strategic importance was recognized by Jews in ancient times. It was the second station on which signal fires were relayed from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (fires were lit in order to signal the new moon and the beginning of the various Jewish festivals.)

Dayan explained that a withdrawal from the Jordan Valley would be a major error. The “Arab Spring” which "has led to civil wars and unprecedented bloodshed and increased terrorism" has created real "uncertainty," and as Dayan said in a time of uncertainty there is one thing you don't do- " you don’t give up strategic assets.”



Standing atop Sarbata, it is impossible not to see what Dayan is talking about which is that the Jordan Valley serves as  Israel's strategically vital security buffer against threats from the East from aggressive state and non-state actors alike.

Dayan pointed out that the Jordan Valley has a very small Palestinian population, such that it is not the case that by keeping the Jordan Valley Israel would be ruling over a significant Palestinian population.


According to Dayan, in the south of Israel (with the demilitarization in Sinai) and in the north (given that Israel has kept the Golan Heights), "Israel has defensible borders." In regard to the Golan, Dayan mentioned the nightmare Israel would be facing if had agreed to a [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan- brokered peace deal with Syria and withdrawn from the Golan Heights.   “We’d now have Sunni terrorists at the Sea of Galilee,” Dayan said.



Dayan pointed out that "Israel is small and narrow" with "seventy percent of its population and 80 percent of its industrial capacity" concentrated in the narrow coastal strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the West Bank.

The hills of the West Bank topographically dominate the exposed coastal plain, (a plane which has lots of Israel’s national infrastructure such as Ben-Gurion International Airport, the Trans-Israel Highway (Road 6), Israel’s National Water Carrier, its main high-voltage electric power lines, etc).


"This West Bank t

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.