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

Is silence justice?

Today, as we commemorate 48 years since the onset of the military dictatorship in Argentina, a dark period that left indelible marks on the collective memory of Latin America, I find myself transported back to the memories of the years of lead I experienced a shared heritage between Brazil and Argentina. My story, along with those of friends and strangers, interwoven with narratives of loss, resistance, and survival under authoritarian regimes, now accompanies me in Israel, a land that promised to be a refuge against the atrocities of the past century and a beacon of liberal democracy.

In this context, the unmistakable scent of fascism, beginning to permeate the alleys of Jerusalem and spread throughout Israel, awakens in me a sense of déjà vu and fear. The rise of figures like Smotrich and Ben Gvir, whose speeches and policies echo sinister echoes of an authoritarian past, ignites an alert about the importance of not forgetting the lessons learned through such sacrifice.

Why do I bring up today’s date in remembrance? A question that has been with me since my time in Latin America resurfaces today in Israel: Is silence justice?

Silence, although it may be seen as a neutral or even prudent response in times of oppression and dark times, bears the weight of omission. Historically, authoritarian regimes have fed on silence: the silence of victims coerced by fear, the silence of observers who choose to look away, and the silence of institutions that fail to fulfill their role in protecting justice and freedom.

Bringing these reflections to the current context in Israel, the question of silence and justice gains renewed urgency.

This dialogue between past and present, between memory and action, reinforces our commitment to building a society that needs to value justice, diversity, and freedom above all.

Our history, as a people and as a nation, with its scars and lessons, serves as a constant reminder that the fight for freedom is ongoing work, requiring vigilance, courage, and, above all, the rejection of silence as an accomplice to injustice.

Therefore, as we reflect on the years of lead in Argentina and the current challenges in Israel, we must remember the transformative power of voice. Against the advance of authoritarianism, our voices must rise in a chorus of resistance, memory, and justice. So, is silence justice? Definitely not. And it is through this understanding that we move forward, determined not to allow the shadows of the past to obscure our future.

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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