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

The evil is among us.

Mediocrity personified has a name, a face, and a voice: Simcha Rotman. He does not stand out for his intelligence or virtues but for the hatred distilled in every word. He is the mirror of a society sinking into leniency and complacency with extremists. There are Rotmans in every supermarket aisle, guns on their hips, extremism in their eyes.

Simcha Rotman is not just an individual; he is the reflection of a culture that allowed prejudice and hatred to take root. From an early age, the intolerant are shaped in an environment where prejudice is not only acceptable but encouraged. They grow up believing that superiority is a natural right and that anyone outside this circle deserves contempt. The current public education system has solidified these beliefs, creating a narrow and cruel worldview. Look at your children’s textbooks and check the maps used in schools: they often omit the Green Line, representing the pre-1967 borders accepted by the international community. This omission is part of a narrative that avoids highlighting contested territorial divisions and presents a unified vision of Israeli territory. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Simcha Rotman knows how to use fear as a political weapon. For him, there are no adversaries, only enemies to be eliminated. His rapid rise was fueled by a base that shares his disdain for diversity and his pursuit of an imaginary purity. He is the face of a disease that began with our refusal to do what was right since 1967. Simcha Rotman is a master at turning despair into votes.

When he declared that human rights were a luxury for traitors, some were shocked, but he was applauded by his fanatic followers, with the complacency of the media in tow. He rejects empathy almost pathologically, viewing compassion as a weakness. In a notorious speech, he claimed that “there is no room for mercy when the nation’s security is at stake.” And once again, society barely reacted.

He is our fault. It seems unjust to place another burden on our shoulders, but reflect with me: who allowed extremists, once illegal, to return? We did. Who normalized young people marching with chants of hatred against Arabs? We did. Who minimized the violence in the occupied territories against innocent Arabs? We did. Look at yourselves. Indeed, you did not put the fanatic’s name on the ballot, as you are reading this and not wishing for my death, but you allowed him to exist. We allowed evil to spread. Each time he spews hatred, each time he mistreats the relatives of kidnapped people, he does so with the weight of our complacency. We are complicit. There is no innocence in our omission, only the shadow of guilt shared by silence.

Simcha Rotman did not make himself. It was our choice, our blindness, our omission, that allowed him to thrive. Every inflammatory speech and every gesture of disdain carries the mark of our silence. We gave him the stage to turn pain into public policy. Hannah Arendt warned about the dangers of a society that normalizes cruelty and dehumanization. Apparently, we did not learn the lesson.

Passive acceptance and indifference in our society allow figures like Simcha Rotman to thrive. If we continue like this, Israel is destined to become a fascist and inhumane country. Tolerating these fascists is irresponsible, and we are destroying Israel as a plural society. Simcha Rotman is not a leader; he is a disease spreading, corroding the fundamental values of our society. He reflects the fissures of our hatred and intolerance. But he is a product of our choices. History will judge this figure with repulsion, but also each one of us who accepted his existence.

Simcha Rotman is the visible face of evil, but the hands of many elevated him. Each of those voters bears a responsibility for what he does and will do. The commitment to transform this reality is collective. Confront the reality. Fight so that monsters like him do not prosper. Change begins with the courage to face your shadow and the determination not to let this tragedy continue.

Israel is sick. It’s not just Simcha Rotman; it’s the many extremists emerging from every corner. Hatred has become an educational tool permeating our society. Children grow up hearing that the difference is dangerous, that strength is more important than compassion, and that intolerance is a legitimate defense. Some relativize fascism, hiding behind comfortable lives and not understanding the human cost. We need to look at this urgently. The responsibility is all ours. If we do not act now, history will be about monsters and a society that allowed them to flourish.

We are at a critical point. The decisions we make or do not make will shape the future of our nation. If we continue to allow figures like Simcha Rotman to prosper, we will be signing the death sentence of our humanity. It’s time to stand up and fight against this tide of hatred and intolerance. Recognize that each of us has a role in building a more just and compassionate Israel.

When I say there are fanatics among us, we must fight to ensure they do not become the majority. I’m not talking about right or left but about living in a democratic and plural society. Extremists do not like this; they do not accept opposing views. They are misogynistic, homophobic, and anti-democratic. We are at a decisive moment. We can no longer close our eyes to the rise of fascism disguised as patriotism. We can no longer allow hatred to be our response to fear. We need to act now, not for us, but for future generations who deserve to live in a country that values human dignity above all else.

Simcha Rotman does not just tolerate but fosters misogyny, homophobia, and extremism. He has publicly stated that “women’s rights are exaggerations of the liberal left” and that “women should return to their traditional roles in society.” This resonates with his followers, who see gender equality as threatening traditional values. In another infamous speech, Rotman declared that “homosexuality is a perversion that must be cured” and that “there is no place for these people in our society.” This kind of rhetoric strengthens prejudices and incites violence against the LGBTQ+ community. He constantly uses the argument of national security to justify his extreme position: “There is no room for mercy when the nation’s security is at stake,” legitimizing violent and repressive actions against any group he perceives as a threat.

As Jews and citizens, how do we feel about all this? How can we reconcile our pride in a nation that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust with the shame of seeing hatred become a political weapon? How can we educate our children about past horrors while allowing figures like Simcha Rotman to thrive in the present? The question is inevitable and painful: how do we feel about allowing hatred to be planted and cultivated in the fertile soil of our indifference? As Jews who know the pain of persecution, how can we tolerate the rise of new persecutors in our midst? As citizens of a state that should be a beacon of democracy and humanity, how can we watch passively as our fundamental values deteriorate?

Simcha Rotman is more than an extremist politician; he reflects our collective failures. If we do not recognize our collaboration, if we do not confront the monster we helped create, we will be condemned to live in a nation that denies its most sacred principles. The fight against hatred and intolerance must be our priority. We need to act now, with courage and determination, to ensure that Israel’s history is written with the values of justice and compassion that we have always aspired to uphold.

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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