Former minister Yossi Beilin said Saturday that former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was a man with a short temper and a long streak of nastiness when it came to dealing with residents of towns in Judea and Samaria.
“It wasn't worthy behavior for a Prime Minister,” said Beilin, a former Labor politician who was identified with the radical-left elements of the party. Beilin, one of the proponents of the Geneva Initiative, which advocated a total Israeli withdrawal from all lands liberated in 1967, said that Rabin “would fight with the settlers for fighting's sake. When you want to remove thousands of people from their homes you have to do it in a sympathetic manner.” Rabin, Beiln said in an interview on a Tel Aviv radio station Saturday night, was too coarse a personality for sympathy.
Beilin said that he had been insulted numerous times by Rabin, but that he held his peace. “I admired what he was trying to do diplomatically,” Beilin said. “I was with the author Amos Oz when he was killed, I remember crying like a baby when we heard the news. I do not remember crying like that for any member of my family. In essence, though, I was crying for a man I really didn't like.”
While he appreciated Rabin's policies and even his “wisdom,” said Beilin, “I really didn't care for the nasty attitude he had to others," as he insulted many others besides himself. "He was modest, even shy, but also very outspoken. That combination did not appeal to me.”
Beilin also discussed President Shimon Peres, who promoted Beilin when he was a Labor leader. “I am not a good friend of his,” said Beilin. “We are two very different people. I do like him a lot, though – he is the most optimistic man I have ever met. I remember him saying even during the most difficult situations that there was always a ray of light, something we can use to grow to greater heights.”