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Playing Israeli politician
By Ariel Natan Pasko
Dr. Yossi Beilin -- let's not forget the man has a PhD -- is truly following in the footsteps of his political mentor Shimon Peres. "Peres' Poodle," as former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called Beilin, has had a dream of "peace" and recently acted out his fantasy at Geneva. Like Peres, he's been rejected in the electoral realm of politics. And also like Peres, since the Israeli electorate rejected him, and he knows "better," Beilin has pursued his "dream" into other realms. Beilin himself has called the Geneva Initiative -- he helped author -- a "virtual" agreement that he hopes to make real.
From the 1970s-90s, Shimon Peres had been up and down the Labor Party ladder of leadership. His arch nemesis was Yitzhak Rabin. Twice Yitzhak Rabin led the Labor Party to electoral success. Twice Peres succeeded him as prime minister -- in parliamentary fashion -- without being elected, after unfortunate circumstances caused Rabin's fall. The first time Rabin fell after the discovery of his wife's illegal foreign currency bank account in America; the second time, with his murder. But the oddest fact of all is that Peres has run for prime minister five times and lost five elections, yet been prime minister three times. How has he managed to circumvent the Israeli people's will?
We might not fully understand it, but Beilin does. He has managed to learn the lessons well. What the people of Israel think, and how they vote is neither hear nor there, it doesn't count. What counts is Beilin's "dream." And what is Beilin's "dream"?
Dr. Yossi Beilin -- a shrewd political scientist -- during the last Israeli election season received too low a position during the internal Labor primary to be realistically elected to the Knesset -- Israel's parliament -- so he moved to the further-left Meretz Party. He managed to get himself put on the party's election list, but Meretz didn't get that many votes and Beilin didn't get into the Knesset, the first time since 1988. Yossi Beilin, like his mentor Shimon Peres lost the election.
But Beilin had already tasted power. He's been Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Economics and Social Development, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Religious Affairs. His political drive toward the top seemed unstoppable. Then the debacle called the "Oslo Process" became apparent, and Yossi Beilin's secret back-channel involvement in formulating the whole Oslo thing lost him credibility with "Joe Israeli," who hasn't been too happy with the three-year-old Oslo War. Beilin paid the price, the way politicians do in democratic countries -- if Israel was like it's neighbors, he probably would have been executed -- instead he lost an election and was drummed out of political life, temporarily.
But Beilin had a "dream." So, he organized a political movement called Shachar-Dawn to push it forward. Yossi has been driven since the beginning of the 1990s to bring "peace" to Israel, or at least, like his mentor, to get himself to the top of the political ladder. Yossi understood that Israel was going through some hard economic times, so like the Joseph of the Bible, he proposed a "new social-democratic party." Swerving away from his obsession of "peace," Yossi spoke words of social equality and economic justice just long enough to build himself into a "complete" politician, with a full range of policies. With the Geneva Initiative in his back pocket, bankrolled by Switzerland and other EU states -- who want to set-up the Geneva Initiative as a counter-balance to the US's Road Map -- he's cajoled members of the Meretz Party to merge with Shachar. Yossi now stands to run for the leadership of a combined party presently called Meretz-Ya'ad.
Beilin had a "dream," he would be a leader over his brothers. And so, Yossi Beilin spoke to the people's fears of economic catastrophe. He promised he could "fix the economy" and bring "peace" too. So, Yossi and his friends negotiated a "peace agreement" unofficially, as private citizens -- remember the Israeli government does not back the Geneva Initiative -- with private Palestinian citizens.
It's not clear how much Arafat, or the Palestinian government supports the Geneva Initiative, but it is known there have been several large demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza against the agreement, and Palestinian Authority religious leaders have issued a "Fatwa" -- Islamic legal ruling -- forbidding any Muslim from signing an agreement that gives up the so-called "right-of-return" of "Palestinian Refugees." Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Arafat's own Fatah have circulated leaflets calling the Palestinians involved with the agreement "traitors and collaborators," and called for them to be brought to trial.
But Yossi has a "dream" and a little opposition from Israelis or Palestinians won't stop him, especially since he has a blank check from Europe to chase his "dream." The Europeans finally found their way and their "boy" to weasel into what had up to now been an exclusively American adventure, the "peace process." Circumventing Israel's democracy is second nature to the "poodle," just as his mentor taught. By the way, Shimon Peres himself has expressed serious reservations about the Geneva Initiative, including the giving away of the Temple Mount to the Palestinians and any further Jewish claims to it. So have most prominent politicians in Israel, including those from both large parties, Labor and Likud.
By linking Israeli fears of economic collapse, to Yossi's "dream," of Middle East peace, he is positioning himself to run for prime minister in the future. But as the biblical Joseph -- who really wasn't in charge -- only second to Pharaoh, Yossi Beilin if he ever became prime minister of Israel, is in the pocket of the Europeans.
Yossi Beilin, the student of Israel's preeminent political animal, is on a destructive collision course with Jewish history. Like the biblical Joseph story in reverse, he seems willing to trade Israeli rights for grain, i.e. EU money. But whereas the biblical Joseph was doing G-D's will to help Egypt, who would later preserve the small nascent Jewish People -- his father, brothers and family -- during the famine, Yossi Beilin is willing to endanger Israel in a poorly worded suicidal "peace agreement," and destroy Jewish culture in the process.
Joseph had a dream, he would rule over his brothers for their sake and G-D's plan; Yossi "dreams" to lead for his own selfish interests, and it doesn't matter how many Jews die in the next war after the "peace agreement" is signed and sovereignty over vast areas of the "Promised Land" are transferred to the Palestinians. The proof of it is that he hasn't expressed any regret about the approximately 1,300 Israelis killed in the last ten years because of his "Oslo dream." Joseph tried to preserve life during a famine; Yossi wants to throw more than 100,000 Jewish "settlers" out of their homes and impoverish them. And by moving the borders of "Palestine" closer to Israel's population centers, put millions of Jews on the front lines.
Yossi has a "dream," but if it comes true, it will become Israel's nightmare!
Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's
Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear
regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank web sites, in newspapers,
and can be read at: www.geocities.com/ariel_natan_pasko (c) 2003/5764 Pasko
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