Renowned Israeli Doctor, Ruchama Marton Backs BDS

Dr. Ruchama Marton (Photo: via Twitter)

A renowned Israeli doctor and human rights activist has issued an impassioned defence of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, saying a boycott is essential for confronting “occupation and apartheid”.

Writing in Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Tuesday, Dr. Ruchama Marton, the founder and president of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, rebutted criticisms of BDS, which she defended as “the only nonviolent lever that can cause Jewish-Israeli society to feel the yoke and pain of the occupation”.

Rather than paying “lip service” to “peace” – something no one opposes – Marton argues that the “present question is the question of occupation and apartheid”, and “the correct struggle…is the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid struggle”.

She adds: “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”.


In answer to the claim that boycotting Israel would “drive the entire Israeli public into the arms of the settlers”, Marton suggested a different analysis.

“If the occupation and apartheid lead to economic, cultural and diplomatic suffering because of an international boycott, it is very possible that a change will occur in Israel’s worldview, which is based on one hand on the enormous benefit to the country and its Jewish citizens from the occupation and separation, and on the other hand the cowardice of what is called the Israeli left, or peace camp”.

Marton served in the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade during the 1956 Sinai War, before going on to attend medical school. In her professional life, Marton has worked as a senior psychiatrist and taught at Tel Aviv University.

Marton compared Jewish Israelis who oppose BDS and “think it is possible to change from within” to “the parable of the rabbit who wanted to change the lion from within. So the lion ate him”.

“To change from within today is an illusion, the radical left cannot think and act in such a way”.

In 1988, Marton co-founded the Association of Israeli-Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights, now known as Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. She is also a co-founder of The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, as well as having been active in a number of other issues.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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1 Comment

  1. Tyranny, is being jailed for supporting the laws of Humanity.

    Crimes against humanity , Just reason to boycott Israel. My Congressman Brad Sherman attacked the bill of rights, giving me a reason closer to home, to boycott Israel, to protect the Constitution of the United States of America. The First Amendment of the Constitution or bill of rights says
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    The Supreme Court ruled boycotting is protected as free speech

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