Uri Avnery on Yossi Beilin

Uri Avnery in his latest weekly column has taken Yossi Beilin apart, with the greatest sympathy, writing that: “MEPHISTO, the demon who bought the soul of Faust in Goethe’s monumental drama, describes himself as ‘a part of that force which always wants the bad and always creates the good’. 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”.

Avnery wrote: “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. For dozens of years, the United States had insisted that all the settlements violate international law. But the approval granted to the ‘settlement blocs’ enabled President George W. Bush to change this stance and approve Israeli ‘population centers’ in the occupied territories. Haim Ramon, who in the past had been Beilin’s partner in the group of ‘eight doves’ within the Labor Party, went even further: he initiated the ‘Separation Wall’, which in practice annexes the ‘settlement blocs to Israel. But Beilin’s brilliant idea did not in the least diminish the opposition of the settlers to a withdrawal from the rest of the West Bank. On the contrary: they continue to prevent by force the dismantling of the settlement outposts, even a single tiny one. Nothing good came out of this idea. The result was totally bad”.

Avnery added: “After the 2006 elections, Beilin had another brilliant idea: to invite Avigdor Liberman to a well publicized friendly breakfast. The intention was no doubt good (even if I can’t fathom what it was) but the result was calamitous: it gave Liberman a ‘leftist’ Kosher certificate which enabled Ehud Olmert to include him in his government. After that, Meretz announced that it would not, under any circumstances, sit in a government that included Liberman. But one cannot return Rosemary’s baby to the womb of its mother. Liberman stays in the government, Meretz remains outside. Now Olmert explains to the Americans that he cannot dismantle even one settlement outpost, nor negotiate about the ‘core issues’ of the conflict, because Liberman would then bring the government coalition crashing down“.

And on and on. Avnery is horrifyingly convincing. His latest weekly column can be found in full here.