Monday, December 31, 2007

The Beilin Syndrome

Paving the Road to Hell



"....Yossi Beilin, who resigned this week as chairman of the Meretz party, is Mephisto's opposite: he always wants the good and all too often creates the bad.

THE "SETTLEMENT BLOCS" provide a glaring example. It was Beilin who invented this term a dozen years ago. It was included in the unofficial understanding that became known as the "Beilin-Abu-Mazen agreement".

The intention was good. Beilin believed that if most settlers were concentrated in several limited areas near the Green Line, the settlers as a whole would agree to a withdrawal from the rest of the West Bank.

The actual result was disastrous. The government and the settlers jumped at the opportunity. The permit of the "Zionist peace movement" was displayed like a Kosher certificate on the wall of a butcher shop selling pork chops. The settlement blocs were enlarged at a frantic pace and became veritable towns, like Ma'aleh Adumim, the Etzion Bloc and Modi'in Illit......

His input to Oslo was certainly significant. But he did not prevent two black holes in the agreement: the omission of the crucial words "Palestinian state" and the absence of an unequivocal ban on the continuation of settlement activity.

These two faults have buried the agreement. The negotiations for a permanent peace agreement, which were to be concluded in 1999, did not even start. The settlements were being enlarged rapidly while everybody was talking about peace......

BEILIN'S PROBLEMS go beyond his personal story. They symbolize the tragedy of the camp which calls itself the "Zionist Left". Probably the appellation itself already contains the problem.

This camp was born a hundred years ago, and it seems that it never once engaged in real self-criticism. In his last interview, Beilin uses all the terminology of the Zionist establishment. Like everybody else he calls the Palestinian fighters in the Gaza strip "terrorists". In his scale of values, "it is important that a boy attains the rank of an outstanding soldier". And, of course, "If Israel ceases to be a Jewish state, I will have no more interest in it."

With such views, the Zionist peace camp cannot become a political fighting force, engage in a real opposition struggle, bring about change in the country. And that is more than just one of Yossi Beilin's personal problems."

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