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

Thoughts for the Next Elections

Since Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right coalition took power, Israel has experienced a succession of tragedies. We live surrounded by suffocating diplomatic isolation, with empty embassies from several countries, including Bolivia, Honduras, Turkey, Colombia, Chile, Jordan, Bahrain, and even my beloved Brazil, which has not sent a new ambassador. This isolation clearly reflects the deterioration of our international relations, a growing shadow that stifles our voice in the world. As of 2023, the value of Israeli exports to the countries that have recalled their ambassadors amounts to approximately USD 3.6 billion. This figure underscores the significant economic impact of these diplomatic actions amid the ongoing conflict.

The catastrophic failure to defend our land on October 7 resulted in the deaths of 1,200 Israelis, including civilians and soldiers, marking one of the greatest tragedies in our recent history. Among the soldiers, 501 have lost their lives in battle so far. Additionally, more than 3,000 soldiers have been injured in the war against Hamas, plunging millions to the psychological brink, immersed in constant fear and trauma. Adding to this nightmare, we have 120 kidnapped Israelis still held by Hamas, a knife at our throat that starkly shows our inability to keep our people safe. This inability to ensure our security revealed the incompetence of a government that should protect us but left us at the mercy of chaos.

In the economic field, the situation is equally bleak. Inflation has soared to 5.3%, raising living costs to unbearable levels. Food and energy prices have risen so much that many families can barely survive. The 2024 budget, which should have been a recovery tool, was misallocated. With a total of 582 billion shekels, 5% cuts were applied to essential ministries like science, transportation, environmental protection, and education. Education, which should be our pillar of the future, saw 3.7 billion shekels diverted to Haredi schools that refuse to teach basic subjects. Half of Israel’s children are receiving a third-world education, a harbinger of future disaster.

While vital sectors suffer, national security receives substantial budget increases, with an additional 2.275 billion shekels allocated to the police under Itamar Ben-Gvir’s management. Coalition funds, totaling 13.6 billion shekels, are distributed as political bargaining chips, further draining resources from critical areas.

The GDP growth forecast has been revised downward, with an expected drop of 16.2 billion shekels in state revenue, worsening the fiscal deficit. Our already alarming deficit could reach 3%, reflecting the uncertainty and economic instability caused by this government’s mismanagement, which has acted irresponsibly. The trade balance is skewed, with imports surpassing exports, increasing our economic fragility.

When the next elections come, it is crucial to remember all these facts. Making a mistake once is understandable, but persisting in the error is stupidity or bad character. If you voted for this coalition, congratulations (and the sarcasm here is inevitable), you helped build this disaster. There is still time to reconsider your values and vote with more discernment. Supporting this rot and incompetence is a clear sign that you are not in the right mind to vote.

I am not talking about right or left, nor peace and hope. I am presenting concrete facts that attest to our grave situation. I don’t care who you vote for, but if you vote for the continuation of what I described, then you are crazy or of bad character, or maybe both. Saramago said that the heroic aspect of a human being is not belonging to a herd. Think about that in the next election.

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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