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Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

I am not alone

At the crossroads of my dual essence, I stand as a Zionist Jew, deeply entrenched in a historical and cultural lineage that weaves itself through my being. Besides this, a different part of me stirs – the humanist, viewing the world through empathy and understanding, seeking connection in places where division often reigns.

This duality isn’t just a matter of choice but a vibrant reality within me, resonating with every news that transcends borders, touching the core of my being. As a Zionist Jew, there’s an unshakable bond with Israel, a land transcending mere geography to become a symbol of refuge, a dream realized through centuries of perseverance.

My love for Israel burns fiercely, kindled by tales of resilience and the enduring spirit of my forebears. This flame is a beacon of strength, pride, and belonging.

Yet, the humanist in me yearns for a broader understanding, reaching across national lines to grasp the shared narrative of humanity. This side of me is driven by an urge to connect, empathize, and see each personal story as a fragment of a larger, intricate human tapestry.

In this inner conversation, I often find myself adrift in a sea of contradiction and conflict. How can I fully support my nation while the humanist within grieves for the losses on the other side? How do I reconcile my faith in my country’s choices with the loud calls for justice and peace echoing in my heart?

In this state of perpetual introspection, I navigate a complex love divided between devotion to my homeland and compassion for all humanity. Each step on this path is a search for balance, a harmony that seems perpetually just beyond reach.

In my dialogues with friends, in the heated debates that are part of our everyday day, I see reflections of my internal struggle. Many, like me, grapple with reconciling their love for Israel with an empathy that transcends borders and identities.

In these shared moments, I realize my solitude is but an illusion. This duality is a shared experience, a common thread that challenges yet enriches us.

Thus, I turn to the small, poignant human stories, seeking to comprehend this complex fabric of emotions and loyalties—stories of Israelis and Palestinians finding paths to understanding and compassion amidst a backdrop of enduring conflict.

These narratives are beacons of hope in a world often dimmed by strife and suspicion. They remind us that beneath the surface differences, our similarities run deep.

In this pursuit, I find moments of profound human connection where love for my country and empathy for others are not conflicting forces but complementary elements. I discovered that one can be a dedicated Zionist Jew and a humanist committed to understanding and peace.

This journey taught me that my profound love for my homeland encompasses the courage to question, reflect, and always seek a path toward justice and humanity. It means being true to myself while remaining open to the world and its myriad pains and joys.

In this delicate equilibrium, I find my place. A place where I can honor my heritage, stand up for my people, and still embrace the vast spectrum of humanity.

Day after day, I move forward, holding onto the hope that I can contribute to a world where loyalty to a nation and empathy for humanity can harmoniously coexist. A world where the love for my land and my fellow human beings are two sides of the same coin – the coin of our shared humanity.

Observing our current political leadership, with figures like Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right group at the helm, I sense a profound disconnect from the core values I hold dear. Their actions and rhetoric often seem at odds with the principles of wisdom and justice.

This disconnect becomes starkly apparent when considering the Tzavah. I watch with relief and concern as others entrust their youths’ safety to leaders whose values I question. The burden of this decision, fraught with uncertainty, is not one I envy.

Netanyahu’s approach often appears to overlook the actual needs and wishes of his people. The intolerance shown by his government towards dissenting voices is deeply troubling.

This divide is vividly illustrated in the Tzavah, where at least 50% of those serving opposed the government’s attempted coup and were branded as traitors. This situation exposes a profound rift in values, highlighting a schism between governmental rhetoric and the people’s true sentiments.

This political and ideological divide not only unsettles the foundation of our society but also challenges the very essence of Israeli identity. It raises critical questions about the principles guiding our nation and the nature of loyalty and patriotism.

Amidst these turbulent political times, I continue my quest to balance my love for Israel with my empathy for all humanity. Clinging to the values I believe define the true legacy of our people – strength, courage, and, above all, humanity – I journey on.

About the Author
Gil Mildar is a 60-year-old Brazilian who made Aliyah a few years ago. He holds a Law degree from the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos in Brazil and a postgraduate degree in Marketing from the Universidad de Belgrano in Argentina. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to work in Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and now Israel. For the past 30 years, his focus has been on marketing projects in Latin America.
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