Moshé Machover

Oded (Odik) Pilavsky

Author:Moshé Machover
Source: New Interventions, Volume 13, no 4, Summer 2011.
Prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive: by Paul Flewers & David Walters in 2017 & 2018
Copyright: New Interventions & Paul Flewers. Used here with permission.

Odik was, for many years, my comrade in struggle and a dear personal friend. When we were still members of the Israeli Communist Party, 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.



Created or last updated on 9 January 2018