“If Bolsonaro (a right-wing deputy famous for his Trump-like style) comes to power, I’ll make Aliyah!”, I heard someone saying.
I admit that I’ve always silently laughed of my friends who expressed their concerns that radical left-wing or right-wing politicians would “come to power” and the Aliyah desire expressed after such comments.
I usually nodded to comments such as the above and smiled, but in my mind I thought “politicians like Trump never “come to power”; our democracy is strong and our institutions are equally strong. Yeah, we have corruption, but in the end, we have a few sane politicians that are not irresponsible and will never let someone insane go so far as to destroy the democratic stability of Brazil”.
So, for me, thinking and desiring Aliyah was always something that came to my mind and heart when I felt anti-Semitism on someone’s comment or when I had to go to some class on Friday night. The invisible energy inside of me that carried my mind to the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem was never originated from a political or institutional instability in my diaspora home, Brazil.
Today was different.
Today, I thought about leaving to Israel due to the shameful situation of the Brazilian political scenario for the first time. I’m frustrated. I’m angry. When I read the newspapers, a question comes to my mind, “what the f*ck?”.
Today, our president, Dilma Rousseff, chose as her Presidential Chief of Staff, ex-president Lula. Unofficially, such decision is the equivalent of an resignation of the current president or the abandonment of the presidential system and the adoption of a parliamentary regime in which the president is Dilma Rousseff and the PM is Lula.
Do you know why it happened? Because ex-president Lula was being investigated by the authorities due to his possible relations with the crimes of corruption discovered by Operation Lava-Jato of the federal policy. As a Presidential Chief of Staff, ex-presentident-current-secretary Lula has a legal shield due to his public office.
“The appointment of Lula is barbarism, a bizarre event, one ridiculous moment.”
Supreme Court Judge, Gilmar Mendes.
Bizarre? I agree. Unfortunately, such appointment wasn’t the only ridiculous thing that ex-president-current-secretary Lula was involved. Tonight, the judge (until today) responsible by the investigations of the Lava-Jato Operation, Sérgio Moro, released the audios of Lula’s phone calls clipped during the investigation. Lula’s comments on current criminal investigations, famous political figures and public institutions were shocking to anyone that appreciates rule of law, democracy, honor, responsibility and uprightness.
“It is necessary much effrontery to do something like this to the institutions. One needs to have lost that threshlod that distingues civilization from barbarism. It’s a barbaric attitude what you are doing with the institutions.”
Supreme Cort Judge, Gilmar Mendes
Even for Latin American political scenarios standards, what happened today is surreal! Usually, when someone is being accused of a crime, that person leaves the public office that he or she has. Today, someone that has been accused of being part of one of the biggest corruption scheme in the history of Brazil was chosen to be Presidential Chief of Staff!!
“Brazil is like this: when someone who is poor steals something, he ends up in jail. When someone who is rich steals something, he ends up in a public office.”
Ex-president Lula, Speech, 1988.
Tomorrow morning, an official ceremony will be held to give ex-president Lula his public office.
What can we, the people, do about about it? Protest. Fortunately, we can do it! Last weekend, an immense protest happened, people went to the street in most of the capitals of my country. In São Paulo, one of the most important cities of Brazil, about 1.5 million citizens went to the most famous avenue of the city to protest. The slogan of the protest of the weekend was “Get out Dilma! Get out Lula! Get out Worker Party!”
On the week after this huge protest, our president appointed ex-president Lula to be her Presidential Chief of Staff. Clearly, our politicians are disconnected of the reality.
Tonight more protests against the President, her Presidential Chief of Staff and other politicians happened. Despite all that, I still love my country and I believe that we, as a nation, can do more. However, today the words of the Supreme Court Judge, Gilmar Mendes, resonate in the air on streets across the country, together with a feeling of defiance and hope for change.