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

My absence was my vote

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This year, I decided to sit it out. It wasn’t out of laziness or indifference but a conscious choice, a silent protest against a system I’ve seen fail too often. I remember the promises in Haifa, the hopes I placed in leaders who, in the end, turned out to be just more of the same. Einat Kalisch-Rotem’s defeat wasn’t a surprise to me; it was confirmation that, in Israel, changing who’s in power is a Herculean task, nearly impossible.

Unlimited re-election always seemed like a mistake to me. After a while, it feels like politicians settle in and embed themselves into the fabric of power so deeply that removing them requires more than just dissatisfaction; it requires a catastrophic failure. And even then, it’s tough.

So, this year, when the municipal elections came around, I couldn’t participate. I didn’t want to choose the lesser of two evils; I didn’t want to endorse a system that seemed so broken. My absence from the polls was my way of saying “enough.” I’m tired of watching the same cycle of unfulfilled promises and tolerated incompetence.

Not voting was my rebellion, asking for more meaningful change. It’s not that I don’t care; on the contrary, I care too much. I want to see a system that truly allows for new ideas and new people in power, a system that doesn’t just accept change but embraces it.

Maybe my decision not to vote won’t change anything. But at least, when I lay down at night, I know I didn’t contribute to perpetuating a system that, in my view, needs deep reform. I’m waiting for a time when voting feels again like an act of hope, not resignation. Until then, my absence was my vote.

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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