By Moshé Machover – 17 Apr 2011
In memoriam: Comrade Oded (Odik) Pilavsky, 1932-2011
Odik was, these many years, my comrade in struggle and a dear personal friend.
When we were still members of the Israeli CP, he was known to me as a fearless fighter for the interests of the working class, both immediate and historical interests – namely, for the future of humanity as a whole; for a just, equal and free society, without exploitation and oppression.
It was therefore no accident that when Akiva Orr and I looked for partners for establishing a new socialist organisation (which was eventually known as Matzpen), he was the first person we contacted. We discovered that he too was looking for partners for a road leading in the same direction.
Since that meeting, in the spring half a century ago, I was privileged to know him well personally. I loved him as a friend. Now the purest, most courageous and most honest heart I have ever known has stopped beating.
More than any other comrade, he embodied Matzpen’s political road.
Some define Matzpen as an “anti-Zionist organization”. This is misleading. Of course, we have struggled uncompromisingly against Zionist ideology and practice. But for us this was not the point of departure, but a necessary consequence of our revolutionary socialist, internationalist position. The journal Matzpen, of which Odik was editor, carried the sub-heading “A workers’ monthly”.
These values found their concentrated expression in Odik’s personality and activity. He was proud of his working-class origin (his father was a worker in the Dead Sea Potash industry) and of his belonging to this class. He was a leader of workers’ struggles – not an appointed leader, but one who emerged from the ranks, in the course of the struggle itself.
His death has deprived us of a friend and comrade; and the socialist movement in Israel, the region and the world has lost a rare personality, a first-rank fighter for a better world.
We shall cherish his memory, and continue along his path.
Moshé Machover is an Israeli socialist anti-Zionist activist and co-founder of the Socialist Organization in Israel (Matzpen). He is currently living in London, England. He is emeritus professor of philosophy, King’s College, London University. His most recent book is Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Resolution.
All IOA commentaries by Moshé Machover
Adam Keller: Oded Pilavsky – 1932-2011
Oded Pilavsky: How I arrived to Matzpen