Israel's Labor Party, which championed the Oslo accords with the Palestinians, dealt the country's battered peace camp another blow today, slapping down an architect of the landmark 1993 agreement.
Final results in the Labor Party's vote Monday to choose parliamentary candidates for the Jan. 28 general election showed that Yossi Beilin, 54, lost his bid to remain in the Knesset, Israel's legislature.
Four years ago, in the previous Labor primaries, Beilin was ranked second on the center-left party's list of candidates.
In Monday's vote, held after more than two years of Israeli-Palestinian violence, Beilin fell to 39th place. That would put him well out of range of winning a place in the 120-member Knesset with opinion polls showing Labor winning only 20 seats in the January election under Israel's single-constituency, proportional voting system.
Political commentators said Labor members, who replaced their hawkish leader, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, with the dovish Amram Mitzna last month, believed Beilin was too closely identified with the Oslo accords, which many Israelis view as dead.
"Yossi Beilin is today a minority in a party which is seeking its way toward the center and in a country as a whole in which [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat is not relevant," commentator Emmanuel Rosenne said on Army Radio.