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

The abuse of power is your problem, too

In the luxurious residence of Benjamin Netanyahu, where power manifests as a modern fiefdom, three public servants were reduced to servants. Aharon Naor, Yair Yitzhaki, and Joseph Korson, victims of unrestrained abuse by a family that considers itself above the law, endured daily humiliations to satisfy their employers’ whims. This scenario is a raw demonstration of domination and arrogance, which Michel Foucault, the French philosopher, would understand as the ultimate manifestation of disciplinary power.

Michel Foucault investigated how power infiltrates institutions and controls the lives of individuals, operating in subtle yet pervasive ways. He taught us to look at the micro-physics of power – those everyday practices that collectively sustain systems of domination.

Naor was forced to transport food and perform personal tasks at Netanyahu’s private home in Caesarea. Watering plants and cleaning pools were not part of his duties as a state employee; he was transformed into a private servant, a silent witness to the pomp of a family that sees itself as royalty. This abuse is not merely a misassignment of duties but a fundamental violation of human dignity.

Yitzhaki, in his frustrated attempts to escape this oppressive environment, represents the illusion of freedom. His resignation letters, systematically ignored, are cries stifled by an elite that views public service as its private right. He was manipulated into staying, a captive to the arbitrary wills of his masters.

Korson, the chef, saw his culinary talent turned into servitude. Cooking six days a week for private events without proper compensation is inhumane. Serving breakfast in the elevator and catering to every gastronomic whim is more than a misassignment of duties; it is total subjugation, a daily offering to the Netanyahu family’s overbearing arrogance.

While these employees suffered, our young people continued to be sent to Gaza, a war that the army declared over but which persists due to the whims of the powerful. Our sons and daughters are treated as pawns, sacrificed in an endless conflict to satisfy the desires of an insensitive elite. The lives and dignity of these soldiers are treated with the same indifference as the residence’s staff.

And now, as a final insult, the financial compensations of 380,000 shekels to Korson, 250,000 to Naor, and 265,000 to Yitzhaki will not come from the Netanyahu family’s pockets. No, this money will be taken from public coffers, from our pockets, diverting resources that could be used for education, health, or infrastructure. We are paying for their arrogance while they continue to live in their palace, untouched and unconcerned.

The state’s defense, which dismissed the complaints as lousy faith, reveals the bureaucratic coldness that normalizes abuse. The labor and rest laws, disregarded with disdain, show how servitude is institutionalized. For Foucault, Netanyahu’s residence would be a perfect example of the subtleties of power: a microcosm of a society where control permeates every aspect of life, turning freedom into a grotesque farce.

For us Israelis, the tragedy in Netanyahu’s residence is a brutal reminder of our vulnerability to power. While the powerful enjoy their privileges, we are relegated to servants, disposable pieces in their game. In the daily struggle of these employees and the constant battle of our young people in Gaza, we see the stark truth of a society where justice is an illusion and dignity an unattainable luxury.

Paraphrasing Foucault, I would say there is a danger in thinking that abuse of power, violence, and injustice are deviations from an ideal functioning. Power itself is always laden with possibilities of abuse. And we have handed the Netanyahu family the key to our land.

If they treat those whose names they know and whose lives they control this way, what will they do to our sons and daughters, who, to them, are just numbers?

Will you continue to leave the key to our land in the hands of this family?

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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