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Yossi Beilin

(1948 - )

Yossi Beilin is an Israeli politician, peace negotiator, and scholar.

Beilin was born on June 12, 1948, and raised in Tel Aviv. In the IDF, he served in the signal corps and participated in the Six-Day War (1967) and during the Yom Kippur War (1973) he served in the army headquarters. The trauma of the war shook his faith and he left the religious lifestyle.

He received his Ph.D. in political science from Tel-Aviv University and began his journalistic career in 1969, writing for the newspaper "Davar."

Beilin served as spokesman of the Israel Labour Party from 1977-1984. He served as Government Secretary from 1984-1986 and as Director-General for Political Affairs of the Foreign Ministry from 1986-1988.

He was elected to the Knesset in 1988 and served as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1988-1990. He was a member of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee (1990-1992).

From 1992-1995 Beilin served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.  In July 1995, he was appointed Minister of Economics and Social Development.  In November 1995, he was appointed Minister without Portfolio in the Prime Minister's Office, serving until July 1996. From 1999 to 2001, he served as Minister of Justice under Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and from 2000 to 2001 he also simultaneously served as Minister of Religious Affairs.

Beilin served in Knesset for the Labor Party from 1988 to 2003 and represented the Meretz Party from 2004 to 2008. On October 28, 2008, prior to the eighteenth elections, Beilin announced his retirement from political life. 

He has published several books: Sons in the Shadow of their Fathers, The Price of Unity, Industry in Israel and Israel at Age 40 Plus (all in Hebrew); and Israel, A Concise Political History.

Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Photo used with permission of the Knesset.