Thinking that Israel can fix a colonial, apartheid regime without outside help is a dangerous illusion.
As long as Jewish Israelis who do not support BDS think it is possible to change from within, they are like the parable of the rabbit who wanted to change the lion from within. So the lion ate him. The rabbit did enter the lion but there his story ended.
In his article in Haaretz, Uri Avnery responds to what I said at my 80th birthday party. “Some of my friends believe the fight is lost, that it’s no longer possible to change Israel ‘from within,’ that only outside pressure can help and that the external pressure that is capable of doing this is the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. One of these friends is Dr. Ruchama Marton,” he writes.
“First of all, I profoundly reject the argument that there is nothing we can do to save the state, and that we must trust foreigners to do our job for us. Israel is our state. We are responsible for it,” says Avnery.
Here is my response to him.
I never said at any time or in any place that I, or we, the non-Zionist left that’s called radical, want or expect that someone in the world will do our work for us. Not only isn’t it moral, it’s also stupid and impractical. From the civil war in Spain, a war that failed, to South Africa, a war that succeeded, and all the other struggles – the locals always fought and were killed together with their supporters around the world, never separately. In this respect, the radical left in Israel is in very good company. Avnery has no right to say about me/us that we expect someone from outside Israel to fight the fight for us. This is truly wrong.
The correct struggle, in my opinion, is the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggle. Whoever deludes themselves that they can win this battle without help from the outside holds a mistaken, dangerous illusion, based on Zionist-Israeli macho pride. Me and only me.