Israel is a small country. People tend to read the same news and watch the same TV shows. Before you know it, "everybody" thinks alike. It seems to be working on Mr. Burston as well. We get here an Israeli style article, full of the writer's opinions (which are Conventional Wisdom, in this case) but little actual news or analysis. Better not worry too much about Beilin. He may not be a great politician, but he is a great statesman. Beilin has a valid position to promote, the Geneva Accords. The Israeli public may not have the patient for it right now, or perhaps yesterday, but it may wake up to it soon. After all, Sharon is not proposing any specific program. Sharon says he would no longer use unilateral steps. Nobody believes that, though. First, what else is there in the present circumstances. And besides, Sharon is not known to be a 'truthful' man (to say the least). It could be that once the election campaign starts in earnest and the question is raised, Sharon will need to say something specific. At that point, Geneva might look much better. In any case, the facts do not support Burston's dismissive attitude. Before the Peretz election as Labor head, polls expected Meretz to get 7 Knesset seats - one more than it has now. Today, after Peretz, Meretz is expected to get 5 seats. This is not bad, considering that it is Labor which collects those 2 seats. If Peretz stumbles, Meretz might get even more. There is no reason yet to eulogize Beilin. He should run on the unique program he has to offer.
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