Moshe Dayan’s grave desecrated with graffiti

Police suspect vandalism at former defense minister’s resting place stems from anger over Yom Kippur War debacle

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Moshe Dayan, June 1981. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Moshe Dayan, June 1981. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Vandals sprayed graffiti on the grave of former defense minister and IDF chief of staff Moshe Dayan, 31 years after the feted general’s death.

The attackers wrote “Minister of Disaster, in the name of the fallen” on Dayan’s grave in black paint and daubed the gravestone with splotches of red paint, apparently to represent blood, overnight Monday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday condemned the vandalism, saying Israeli society “cannot permit the unacceptable norm of the desecration of graves and holy places.” The premier spoke at a memorial service at Mount Herzl for late minister Rehavam Ze’evi, who was assassinated by Palestinian terrorists during the Second Intifada.

The graffiti was discovered by a passerby in the Nahalal cemetery, where Dayan is buried, on Tuesday morning. He died on October 16, 1981.

Dayan’s first wife, Ruth, condemned the incident.

“They are not even letting the dead rest in peace,” she told Ynet. “Like everyone else, I think this is an audacity. Who does this help? I’ve no idea. It is just nasty, I have no other words for it. It is a growing phenomenon and I am shocked by it.”

In recent months there have been a number of graffiti attacks on Israeli heritage and Christian holy sites. The attacks are politically motivated and are often attributed to right-wing extremists protesting the removal of settler outpost.

However, police investigating the incident at Dayan’s grave suspect the perpetrators in this incident were Yom Kippur War bereaved.

Dayan was defense minister during the Yom Kippur War, the 39th anniversary of which was marked earlier this month in Israel. He was held partially responsible for the disastrous opening days of the war, when a surprise attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces inflicted heavy casualties on the Israel Defense Forces.

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