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

The paradox of our democracy

At the pulsating heart of democracy, where we should feel the free flow of voices in vibrant dialogue, a dissonant rhythm emerges, a vibration that threatens to detune the collective harmony. The illiberal Right, armed with the baton of authoritarianism, is not content to be just another voice in the choir; it aspires to dominate the stage, rewriting the rules with a veneer of unity that, in truth, masks the monochrome of enforced silence.

At the crossroads of identities—Jewish, secular, Latino, Israeli—this tide threatens not just to knock on the door; it promises to tear it off its hinges.

The scene, under the shadow of leaders whose names have become synonymous with division—Netanyahu, Trump, Bolsonaro, Orban, Bukelis—reveals a dispute over power, but over the very soul of democracy. Wielding the majority like an axe, they do not hesitate to cut through the fabric of diversity in a grotesque spectacle that confuses supremacy with a divine right to rule.

This illiberal Right, with its aspirations to preserve what it considers purely national or traditional, overlooks the true essence of the nation: its ability to flourish in a thousand colors, to live and breathe through its multitude of voices. Democracy, reduced to a tool to amplify a single narrative, loses its flavor, its zest; it becomes a bland dish served at the banquet of freedom.

But it is in the specific context of Israel that the paradox of democracy becomes most acute, challenging the nation to balance its Jewish identity with the commitment to universal democratic values. The tension manifests in the coexistence of laws that guarantee equal rights for all citizens and policies that privilege particular identities and narratives. The complexity of this challenge is exacerbated by a prolonged occupation, which puts the ideals of equality and justice under the banner of security and sovereignty to the test.

Leaders like Netanyahu—or any of their counterparts on the global stage of the illiberal Right—with their one-dimensional hunger for power, forget that a nation cannot be forged in exclusion but in the emotional inclusion of all its citizens. They confuse leadership with domination dialogue with monologue, forgetting that the proper leader dances to the rhythm of their people, not the other way around.

Against this tide, we, the inhabitants of the margins, the bridge builders, must raise our voices, not just in protest, but in celebration of what truly unites us: the ability to listen, understand, and love our differences. The battle for the soul of our nation is fought not with weapons but with words, not with decrees, but with dialogues.

The future, though uncertain, is ours to write. Against the restricted palette of the illiberal Right, we must choose the audacity of colors, the richness of diversity. Democracy, in its zestiest essence, is an invitation to the banquet of humanity, where all flavors are welcome, and each voice adds a unique seasoning to the collective recipe. It’s time to reclaim this space, to remind the world that true harmony resides in the cacophony of differences, dancing together in a familiar rhythm.

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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