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

Open Letter to my father-in-law

Gadi Kedem - Photo by Twitter

My dear Jan,

P.S. – I hope you will allow me to call you this after two years of dating your daughter. I am Latino, and Latinos will understand me.

We have always had intense but respectful discussions about the future of Israel. You, with your kippah and right-wing convictions, and I, a vigorous defender of the left, have found common ground in our ability to dialogue without resorting to hatred or violence. This exchange of ideas is something I deeply cherish, and I believe everyone in Israel should have the privilege of experiencing it. Unfortunately, this is not the reality of our country at the moment. Look at what happened to Gadi Kedem.

Allow me, dear father-in-law, to repeat part of the text from yesterday that brought you indignation.

The far right in Israel, with its face disfigured by violence and intolerance, reveals the true nature of a country lost in its delusions of racial purity and exclusivity. The image of Gadi Kedem bloodied and thrown to the ground is a cruel mirror of our current state. Kedem, who has already known the unimaginable pain of losing three grandchildren, a daughter, a son-in-law, and a father-in-law, now finds himself in the eye of a storm in a nation that no longer recognizes human dignity but rather brute force and repression.

Netanyahu’s supporters, carrying signs that shout “leftist traitors,” are not just attacking individuals; they are demolishing the pillars of a society that promised to be a refuge of justice and freedom. The implicit and sometimes explicit permission of the government for such acts of violence is a betrayal of the fundamental values that once united us. Israel, the promised land, is transforming into the land of oppression, where the heavy hand of fascism crushes any dissent.

Where is the voice of reason? Where are the leaders who should stand against this wave of hatred? They are buried under populist rhetoric and the shouts of an enraged mob. Political cowardice and the unbridled ambition to stay in power at any cost have allowed the poison of fascism to infiltrate every corner of our society.

The Gadi Kedem’s lynching is not an isolated incident; it is a symptom of a deeper disease. A disease fueled by the narrative that anyone dares to question government orthodoxy is an enemy of the state. It is an old tactic, filled with echoes of the darkest eras of human history. And we, as a society, are allowing this shadow to grow ever longer.

Indignation must transform into action. We can no longer passively watch as our brothers and sisters are attacked in the streets, and our promises of equality and justice are shattered. Each act of violence we let go unpunished brings us closer to the complete dehumanization of the other, one step closer to the annihilation of our values.

Gadi Kedem represents each one of us. His pain and his struggle are a reflection of our failure to stand up against the monster we created. Fascism does not come with ridiculous mustaches and choreographed marches; it hides in words of hatred, exclusionary policies, and the indifference of the silent majority. And as long as we remain silent, we are complicit in this tragedy.

It’s time to wake up. It’s time to remember the promises made at the founding of our state. We cannot allow history to repeat itself. We cannot allow violence and hatred to be the legacy we leave for our children. We need to fight, not just for the memory of those we have lost but for the future of those who still have hope.

You and I, dear father-in-law, are enemies of all this. We have different views on achieving our goals but stand together in the humanistic vision of being Jewish. That is why I write you this open letter, for it is for all the Gils and Jans of Israel, for all those who are shocked to understand what they did to Kedem, regardless of what he wished to be done.

The photo of Gadi Kedem bloodied should haunt us. It should move us. Because if we do not act now, tomorrow, it will be us, thrown to the ground, crushed by the weight of our own apathy.

With respect and a solidary hug,

Gil

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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