Beilin and Lieberman - Friends Forever

Because I'm not a total idiot, I know with certainty that anything said by a job-leaver to his replacement is suspect and sensitive. I really don't care about that because I truly do care and it is important for me to speak about the wonderful and surprising friendship between Yossi Beilin and Avigdor Lieberman, as described at length and with amazement by Nehama Duek in Friday's Yedioth Ahronoth. And to those with suspicious minds I say, live and be well.

We had no idea that they were those kind of people - best buddies, who meet at Beilin's home to eat a "hearty breakfast," a meal that "lights up Lieberman's face."

"The mutual affection between them is obvious," Duek notes.

"They suddenly discovered each other," she writes, finding that instead of shutting out Lieberman it was better "to attempt to understand, to get closer." The result, so we are told, is "a courageous political friendship that keeps growing."

How good and pleasant for brothers to sit down together for breakfast and friendly conversation.

Thereafter, they heap praise upon each other's heads. Beilin says about Lieberman: "I have many compliments [for him]. I think Avigdor is very intelligent, a successful politician, an excellent man of action, a wise Jew," etc. etc.

Lieberman is quick to reciprocate: "Beilin is an amazing person, in my opinion. I admire him, and you could even say I worship him for being so willing to maintain his convictions," etc. etc.

"After a few juicy pickled herrings, some cheese, good bread, strong coffee, cake and fruit, they find a common denominator," Duek adds.

Beilin confesses to her and a guest that "his love is her embarrassment, which did not diminish when the two went into detail about their areas of disagreement. It doesn't ruin their appetite or their friendship.

Broad-minded people can become friends even with their rivals. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. I do not make friends with people who support "transferring" the Arabs elsewhere. They don't come to my home and I don't serve them juicy herring.

And I don't mean only the transfer proponents, but anyone with as unsavory a past - and future - as Lieberman, who has been convicted in a court of law and still faces investigation on a large number of complex and wide-ranging affairs. In order to intimidate the detectives, he slings mud at them, slandering and accusing them of harboring anti-Russian prejudices.

That's why the "common denominator" between him and Beilin seems both loose and suspicious; and the chairman of my party can correct me if I'm wrong.

Strange, so strange. What makes Beilin compliment Lieberman and even admit to "many compliments?" And if his new friend is truly "wise and successful and intelligent," then that's even more threatening. And the biggest threat of all is Lieberman being "an excellent man of action." I would be a little reassured had Beilin mentioned stupid, ignorant and above all a schlemiel or a bungler.

What is so wonderful about Lieberman's transfer philosophy? And what exactly is the head of Meretz looking for in that wonderful thing?

What can come out of their warm-hearted and weird meeting apart from a photo of the two of them in the most popular weekend newspaper? Who and what exactly does it serve, anyway?

Too bad Yossi's mother didn't tell him what other mothers occasionally have to tell their children: Son, they aren't your friends. Or maybe she did tell him, and Yossi simply forgot.