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Israeli consulate in San Francisco promotes Beilin (Makor Rishon)



Makor Rishon, October 24th, 2003: Israeli consulate in San Francisco promotes Beilin.

Dr. Yossi Beilin currently holds no public office in Israel. He holds no seat in the Israeli Knesset. Indeed, Beillin handily lost his bid for re-election in the Labor Party primaries last year, and wasn't placed high enough in a small left wing party to be re-elected to the Knesset.

Beilin's previous record of government service over the past twenty years had been impressive.

He had served as Israel's cabinet secretary, director general of the foreign ministry, deputy foreign minister, the minister of economic planning, and minister of Justice.

Yet Yossi Beilin today conducts negotiations with the PLO, on his own, with a few back benchers of the Israeli Knesset participating.

On Thursday, an Israeli Physician filed a criminal complaint against Beilin at the Jerusalem Police Headquarters.

Beilin, as a private Israeli citizen, acts in violation of Israel Penal Code Section 97 B, which clearly states that an Israeli citizen who negotiates with a foreign power to hand over sovereignty of any portion of the land of Israel to a foreign entity is liable for indictment and prosecution on the grounds of treason.

By law, all criminal complaints filed by one citizen against another in Israel must be followed by a police investigation.

What will be the nature of the police investigation against Beilin? Time will tell. Dr. Elyakim Rubenstein, Israel's Attorney General, has indicated that he is reluctant to prosecute those who are now engaging in these independent negotiations with the PLO.

Beilin has gone a step further, however, to establish his credentials with the mainstream of public opinion.

Although current Israeli government condemns Beilin, the government acts as if he has sanction to do what he is doing.

The President of Israel received Beilin and his delegation in his office on Thursday morning.

Although the Israeli President also indicated his disagreement with Beilin's independent negotiations with the PLO, he invited Beilin to make a presentation at the office of the President of Israel , following the Israeli Prime Minister's refusal to host any such presentation. The Israeli president therefore gave witting or unwitting sanction for Beilin before his forthcoming trip to the US.

Indeed, what our news agency has uncovered is that Beilin's trip to the US has been planned in coordinated with the US representatives of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Indeed, Beilin's own spokesman, Uri Zakkai, indicated that Beilin's itinerary in Northern California was being arranged through the Israeli consulate in San Francisco.

Lee Kaplan, head of an Israel advocacy group known as Dafka in Northern California, contacted the Israeli consulate in San Francisco, after he learned that Beilin was going to be speaking for the Saudi-funded Center for Middle East Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

What the spokeswoman at the Israeli consulate told Kaplan was that the Israeli consulate was helping with all of the arrangements for Beilin's itinerary in Northern California, and that the Israeli consulate had arranged for Beilin to give a major solo address to the Jewish community on November 8th, at Temple Emunuel in San Francisco.

The spokeswoman at Israeli Consulate in San Francisco followed up her conversation with Kaplan with by sending him the memo which the Israeli consulate is now distributing towards Beilin's visit, which describes Beilin as "a leading proponent of the peace process with Israel's neighbors and especially the Palestinians, identifying Israel's national interest as being best served by achieving a fair, just, and comprehensive peace in the region".

Moreover, the c.v that the Israeli consulate in San Francisco is circulating about Beilin is the old c.v. for an "M.K. Yossi Beilin" from when he was in the Israeli government, more than 30 months ago.

Anyone who receives the Israeli consulate's Beilin memo would assume that Beilin's peace initiative was indeed endorsed by the Israeli government and that Beilin was still a part of the Israeli government.

The spokesman of the Israeli Foreign Minister told me, however, that the Israeli consul in San Francisco had assured the Israeli Foreign Minster that the Israeli consulate had nothing to do with making arrangements for Beilin's trip and that the Israeli consulate had extended an invitation to Dr. Yuval Steinitz, the Likud MK who chairs of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, to "balance" Beilin after his address to the Jewish community in San Francisco.

Steinitz says that he never got any invitation from the Israeli consulate in San Francisco to "balance Beilin".

Meanwhile, the Israeli consulate in San Francisco continues to circulate the invitation for Beilin to speak on behalf of the government of Israel on November 8th, 2003.

The question remains: Will the Israeli government remove its sanction from Beilin's speech? This will be the test of whether the Israeli government really wants to distance itself from Beilin's independent initiative with the PLO.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

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Mis en ligne le 24 octobre 2003 sur le site