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Pining for Yossi

Like or loathe his policies, think he should be blessed or cursed; Yossi Beilin will be sadly missed from mainstream Israeli politics.

Informed cynics amongst you will no doubt be saying right now “but Beilin is not mainstream.” I ask you to hold your horses; at least until the end of this item.

True, Beilin is dubbed “the architect of Oslo,” referring to the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian agreement, but that is not the whole story, whether you praise him for it, or accuse him of betraying the State of Israel.

For the uninformed, Beilin has been relegated to a probably unelectable position on the Labor Party’s national list, largely because of the strange voting system adopted by Labor, and other parties.

Dr. Beilin is first and foremost a gentleman, in the literal sense of the word. He is quietly spoken and, more often than not, a real diplomat, who will tell you exactly what he believes but in a way that does not offend you.

To exemplify: sitting alongside him in his ministerial vehicle one time, I was highly impressed by Beilin’s ability to give some off-record gossip about the corridors of power, without giving the impression that he was doing it to be nasty, but rather he was doing it for the sake of honesty and the State of Israel.

So please feel free to criticize Beilin’s beliefs if you oppose them, but think twice before taking part in a character assassination.