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

The first 76 years of the rest of our nation’s life

We live immersed in history, like fish in an aquarium, unaware that we are part of something greater. We swim in the illusion that the present is a static photograph, forgetting that each of our breaths shapes the future and is shaped by the past. History is a living organism, pulsing and evolving, and often, we are blinded by our selfishness or ignorance, believing our reality is immutable, disconnected from the centuries that have passed and those yet to come.

We are celebrating 76 years since the first steps of our nation. A young nation, yes, but with the vitality and turbulence that mark the beginning of an incredible journey. We quickly lose ourselves in routine, in the smallness of daily life, forgetting that we are bricks in this colossal construction.

Look at the United States: its first 76 years were a battleground of hope and contradiction. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was not just a piece of paper but a cry of rupture, a bold dream of self-governance and equality. The Revolutionary War, with its ups and downs, taught the young nation that freedom is fragile and requires tenacity to maintain.

The Constitution of 1787, a masterpiece of governance, carried within it both light and shadow: a manifesto of freedom written by male enslavers. The Louisiana Purchase was a leap towards territorial gigantism, pushing native peoples to the margins of invisibility and oblivion. And the War of 1812 reaffirmed independence, showing that the struggle for freedom was continuous.

Andrew Jackson brought the commoner to the center of the political stage yet simultaneously intensified the suffering of the most vulnerable – natives and the enslaved. Those years were a cacophony of freedom and injustice, a dissonant symphony of hope and pain.

By 1852, the United States was still in the infancy of its identity, struggling to balance lofty ideals with harsh realities. And we, my Israeli brothers and sisters, are navigating the same turbulent waters in our first 76 years. This arduous road is just the beginning. We must remember that freedom is an endless struggle, a continuous construction.

Now, we face the danger of having an incompetent and petty leader accompanied by a group of far-right radicals who do not know the meaning of the word empathy. Our social problems are serious, but this does not mean we have reached the end. These are just our first 76 years of life, and we can still fix our country and return to our initial social contract, our Declaration of Independence. This is what formed us as a nation.

We must remember the words of our Declaration of Independence: “The State of Israel will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

We are at a turning point where our actions define the future. In the coming centuries, these first 76 years will be the foundation upon which our nation will stand, robust and resilient. May the lessons of American history strengthen us to continue building, with determination and depth, the home we so dearly long for. We cannot accept less than what we promised ourselves and our children.

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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