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


Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman, an enigma in flesh and blood, has become a modern legend for his refusal to conform to the conventions of academic and social recognition. This Russian mathematician, born in 1966 in Leningrad, came to the scientific world’s attention by solving the Poincaré Conjecture, one of the most intricate and challenging problems of the millennium.

Perelman not only solved a mathematical enigma that had perplexed brilliant minds for over a century, but he did so with a rare intellectual purity, far removed from the pursuit of fame or fortune. In a world where awards and accolades often measure notoriety, Perelman chose the path of reclusion, rejecting the prestigious Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics, plus one million dollars.

His journey reflects a mind operating on a different plane, where external recognition is irrelevant. Perelman lived and worked in a modest apartment in St. Petersburg, away from the limelight, dedicated to a near-monastic quest for mathematical truth. His refusal to accept prizes, money, and interviews was not an act of arrogance but an affirmation of his values: mathematics, for him, was a matter of essence, not ego.

Perelman’s impact goes beyond solving the Poincaré Conjecture. He forces us to confront our notions of success and value, reminding us that the most significant achievements are not in gold plaques or honorary titles but in the depth of knowledge and the purity of intellectual pursuit. Perelman is a living reminder that in a world obsessed with superficialities, those still tread the path of substance and proper understanding.

But then you might ask: why the hell am I talking about this in a blog for an Israeli newspaper?

The answer is simple. While Perelman personifies the pure and disinterested pursuit of knowledge, Benjamin Netanyahu is the exact opposite: an unrelenting and irresponsible quest for power for power’s sake. Nowadays, Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, faces one of the most turbulent periods of his political career. Amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas, Netanyahu is determined to continue the offensive in Gaza, even against the wishes of key allies like the United States, who fear a humanitarian catastrophe.

Netanyahu’s desperation to remain in power at any cost is misguided and downright dangerous. His actions are not those of a statesman but a power-hungry autocrat willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to cling to his position. He manipulates fear, exacerbates divisions, and fuels the flames of conflict, all while pretending to act in the nation’s best interest. This leader would rather see his country burn than step down from his throne of lies.

One of the most egregious examples of Netanyahu’s insensitivity is the situation with the hostages still held in Gaza. Under his leadership, the government has failed to do everything possible—really everything—to secure their release. This failure is a slap in the face to the suffering families, whose pain is met with cold indifference. Netanyahu and his ministers, who are despised by a significant portion of the Israeli population, represent the worst of Israeli society. They are a government that thrives on discord, embodying the antithesis of the unity and compassion that should define Israel.

The stark contrast between Perelman’s humble rejection of worldly rewards and Netanyahu’s rabid pursuit of power could not be more glaring. Perelman rejects awards, money, and applause, content with simplicity and truth, while Netanyahu clings to power with a ferocity that is as pathetic as perilous. Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman reminds us that there are evolved people in the world dedicated to something greater than themselves. Benjamin Netanyahu, indeed, is not one of them.

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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