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

To live is to choose; not to choose is not to live

An Israeli soldier stands guard near wreaths placed on the graves of Israeli soldiers killed in the recent war with terror groups in Gaza, at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, October 14, 2023. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

In the midst of a world where echoes of a 21st-century pogrom still reverberate, we are confronted with the anguish and anger of losing innocent lives. The pain of the tragedy, exacerbated by the ruthlessness of Hamas, compels us to question the very core of humanity. In such moments, it’s almost instinctive to view the world in stark shades of black and white, good and evil. Yet, the words of Guga Chacra, a Brazilian journalist of Lebanese descent who cherishes his visits to Israel, remind us, “There is no such thing as a good people or a bad people.”

Hamas, in committing heinous acts, doesn’t only commit crimes against the Jews but also imprisons its own people, making them hostages to its ideology and actions. Millions of lives are ensnared in a web of fear and oppression. Contemplating this complexity, we realize that the malice of a few shouldn’t eclipse the humanity of the many who also suffer under the same oppressive force.

Israeli society, historically positioned as a beacon of light in the Middle East, is faced with the challenge of balancing self-preservation with a profound understanding of its unique position. Israel, in its aspiration to be a “light unto the nations,” must now, more than ever, find ways to illuminate the region’s darkest corners. It’s a Herculean task, demanding that, even in the depths of sorrow and grief, shared humanity isn’t lost from sight.

As we grapple with the raw wound of a contemporary massacre, we hold a moral imperative not to become blinded by hate. It must be acknowledged that in any conflict, there are lives on both sides yearning for peace, justice, and understanding. It’s in this collective quest for lasting peace where our true strength and purpose lie. Amidst the darkness, it’s the light of empathy, understanding, and resilience that must guide our path. The esteemed Jewish philosopher Martin Buber once stated, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” In our context, this quote serves as a reminder that the journey towards understanding and coexisting with the other is filled with unforeseen discoveries, urging us to be receptive to them and seek peace in every interaction and every diversion from our known path.

About the Author
Gil Mildar is a 60-year-old Brazilian who made Aliyah a few years ago. He holds a Law degree from the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos in Brazil and a postgraduate degree in Marketing from the Universidad de Belgrano in Argentina. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to work in Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and now Israel. For the past 30 years, his focus has been on marketing projects in Latin America.