Monday, June 03, 2002

Yossi Beilin, the co-architect of the Oslo process and about the only Israeli politician who still believes in negotiating with Yasser Arafat, does have admirers. Not that I know any of them.

Today I saw banners for the "Run, Beilin, Run" rally tonite in Tel Aviv. Beilin won't announce anything tonite, but he is considering leaving the Labour party and starting his own party in conjunction with the left-wing Meretz.

I would actually like to see him run as this would show the extent to which most Israelis view Oslo as a failure. It might even be a mistake for Meretz (which is supported by many for its strong stance for Arab rights and against religious coercion) who could get dragged down with him.

But Beilin is dangerous because he'll appear in foreign media and attack our gov't. He'll say that Arafat is a peace partner. He'll be portrayed as a "lone voice for peace".

Army Radio this AM had some witty banter:

Leftist : I used to think he was a formidable politician, but now I can't abide the idea of urging "Run, Beilin, Run" without adding "but apologize first"


Rightist : [His supporters think] that it's not him that's the problem, but "reality"

Leftist: He hasn't done any introspection [about Oslo] or faced up to the situation we're in.

Update: Beilin is expected to announce formation of a new political party "to unite all leftist movements", but is not now resigning from Labor (details).

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