In November 2008, Dr. Beilin resigned from the Knesset and established Beilink, Business Foreign Affairs – a Global consulting firm where he serves as President.
Dr. Beilin’s lengthy career of public service, beginning in 1984 with his appointment as Cabinet Secretary, makes him one of the most experienced politicians in Israel. A member of Knesset for eleven years, Dr. Beilin has held ministerial positions in the governments of Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak. In these various roles—which have included Deputy Foreign Minister, Deputy Finance Minister, Minister of Economy and Planning, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister for Religious Affairs, and Minister of Justice.
Yossi Beilin is 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. He initiated the secret channel of talks that resulted in the 1993 Oslo Accords, and subsequently in late 1995 concluded a ‘non-paper’ of guidelines for a permanent status peace agreement with Palestinian leader Abu Mazen. Dr. Beilin headed the Israeli delegation to the Multilateral peace process working groups from 1992-95 and was a negotiator at the Taba talks with the Palestinians in January 2001. He created and led the public movement in Israel for a unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon.
In July 2001, following the fall of the Barak government and finding himself out of official political office, Yossi Beilin led a group of Israeli intellectuals and academics in signing a Joint Declaration with Palestinian peers, headed by Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, the first and only action of its kind since the start of the current crisis. In parallel, Dr. Beilin and Mr. Abed Rabbo, leading teams of Israeli and Palestinian experts, former officials and members of civil society, initiated talks aimed at reaching a detailed permanent status agreement. This effort culminated in the Geneva Accord, which was launched in Geneva, on 1st December 2003.
Over the years, Dr. Beilin has established himself as one of Israel’s foremost thinkers on the issue of Jewish continuity and relations between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. He was an innovator of the “Birthright” program, which has brought over the years tens of thousands of Jews to Israel. Other recent initiatives include successfully sponsoring legislation to guarantee equal representation for the Israeli Arab minority in the public administration, Government-owned companies, and public authorities.
Before entering politics, Yossi Beilin worked as a journalist, and taught political science at Tel Aviv University, where he received his doctorate. He is the author of several books, including Israel: A Concise Political History, Touching Peace, The Manual for Leaving Lebanon, His Brother’s Keeper, Manual for a Wounded Dove, and The Path to Geneva: The Quest for a Permanent Agreement, 1996-2004.
At a glance
Member of Knesset, Meretz-Yachad Party, as of April 2006
Chairman of the Meretz-Yachad Party, March 2004 - March 2008
Minister of Justice, 1999 - 2001
Minister of Religious Affairs, 2000 - 2001
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, 1996
Minister of Economy and Planning, 1995
Deputy Foreign Minister, 1992 - 1995; initiated the Oslo process
Deputy Finance Minister, 1988 - 1990
Director General of the Foreign Ministry, 1986 - 1988
Cabinet Secretary, 1984 - 1986
Spokesman for the Labor Party, 1977 - 1984
Member of Knesset, Labor Party, 1988 - 2008
Served as a member of the Knesset committees on Constitution, Law and
Justice; Foreign Relations and Security; and the Advancement of the Status of
Ph.D. in Political Science, Tel Aviv University, 1981
M.A. in Political Science, Tel Aviv University, 1976
B.A. in Hebrew Literature and Political Science, Tel Aviv University, 1972
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Senior Researcher, Economic Cooperation Foundation, 2001 - 2006
Lecturer in Political Science, Tel Aviv University, 1972 - 1985
Journalist for Davar daily newspaper, 1969 - 1977
The Path to Geneva: The Quest for a Permanent Agreement, 2004
From Hachula to Geneva, 2004
Manual for a Wounded Dove, 2001
His Brother’s Keeper, 2000
From Socialism to Social Liberalism, 1999
The Manual for Leaving Lebanon, 1998
Touching Peace, 1997
Israel: A Concise Political History, 1992
The Roots of Israeli Industry, 1987
The Price of Unity, 1985
Sons in the Shadow of Their Fathers, 1984
Yossi Beilin was born in Israel in June 1948. He is married to Daniela, and has two sons and three granddaughters.