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

Rwanda’s Dark Secret: What It Reveals About Our Own Hidden Human Nature

We find ourselves lost in the alleys of time, at the crossroads of history. And then we are faced with questions that not even the wisest of grandmothers could answer. The 1994 Rwandan genocide, this dark mirror of humanity, makes us ponder life here, life now. It’s not about comparison, it’s about reflection. It’s like looking deep into the eyes of another and seeing oneself. Seeing the best and the worst of us, side by side, separated only by the thread of a decision, by the trace of circumstance.

But let’s not skim over the horror of it all. In Rwanda, neighbors slaughtered neighbors, children were cut down, women were subjected to unspeakable acts, and entire families were decimated. All within the span of a few months. The viciousness was beyond imagination—like a nightmarish tapestry woven with the darkest threads of human impulse.

However, history, that old storyteller, also speaks of overcoming. Rwanda, that country that saw its bowels turned inside out by hate, found the strength to reinvent itself. In community courts called Gacaca, in a reborn economy, in gender inclusiveness. There’s hope where once there was only darkness.

Now, a new chapter unfolds before us. Since October 7, 2023, the soul of any Israeli Jew carries a weight that cannot be measured, cannot be described. More than 1,400 Jews have been murdered; children decapitated; Holocaust survivors taken hostage; families annihilated with a sophistication of cruelty that defies comprehension. How then do we continue to live? How do we share this piece of earth with the Palestinians after such monumental atrocity?

Humans are paradoxical creatures, capable of loving as intensely as they hate, of building as easily as they destroy. Words of hatred have different names around the world: “Itsembabwoko” in Rwanda, antisemitism here. But behind these words, what do we have? The same impulse, the same error. The same heart that beats but does not feel.

Faced with such suffering, such loss, the question is not whether we should continue living with the Palestinians, but how. How do we turn this blood-soaked soil into fertile ground for understanding? How do we transition from mourning to living, from anger to dialogue, from hate to, perhaps, love? The answer, my friend, isn’t written in the stars or in the pages of some holy book. It’s within each of us, in our ability to stare into the abyss and say, “no, not this time.”

And here we are, amidst the chaos, trying to find a way, a meaning, an answer. History shows us that it’s possible, even when all seems lost. It’s our moral responsibility to seek this possibility, no matter how distant it may seem. And in that search, maybe we’ll find not just the answer, but ourselves as well.

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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