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

Tu Bishvat in Israel

I’m terrible with plants. Everything I try to cultivate withers under the weight of my ineptitude leaves falling as if lamenting the gardener’s choice. This failure to nurture life makes me think of another gardener, one who holds a position of immense power and responsibility: Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right government in Israel.

Netanyahu, with his hands tainted by questionable decisions, resembles a gardener who doesn’t understand the delicate balance of nature. His government, through actions and policies, seems more like someone who chooses poison as their primary tool instead of caring for the garden with love and respect.

This poison, in the form of government actions, is used without proper moderation or understanding of the consequences. In his pursuit of security and dominance, Netanyahu fails to realize that he is damaging the very roots that sustain the nation. His government fails to recognize that diversity is the proper nourishment of a healthy society.

Netanyahu’s approach is that of a dangerous monoculture, where only one idea, one worldview, can flourish. Just as in agriculture, where monoculture makes the soil fragile and susceptible to diseases, the ideological monoculture promoted by his government makes society vulnerable to intolerance and extremism.

In his hands, methods to deal with real threats like the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups, which aim to destroy Israel, are applied with reckless abandon. Netanyahu seems to forget that by indiscriminate poisoning; he risks destroying not only the targets of his anger but also the land and the people he vows to protect.

His actions, far from the careful work of an attentive gardener, seem more like someone who uproots weeds with such force that they end up tearing out the flowers, too. The result is a desolate garden where beauty and diversity no longer have space to exist.

Netanyahu’s policy, with its disdain for negotiation and dialogue, reflects a contempt for the nuances and complexities of human life. He appears to see the world in black and white, incapable of appreciating the vast array of colors that humanity has to offer.

This reckless gardener fails to realize that in trying to impose his limited view of the world, he is choking the potential of his people. He creates an environment where fear and suspicion grow faster than trust and understanding.

Under Netanyahu’s government, peace and coexistence seem like distant dreams, lost amidst a jungle of autocratic decisions and displays of force. With every step taken, with every decision made, the garden of humanity loses a bit more of its beauty and diversity.

Netanyahu and his government, with their inability and lack of vision, represent everything a true gardener should not be. They show a profound disconnect from the real needs of their people and the world.

In contrast to this sterile and destructive vision, Tu Bishvat emerges as a reminder of the importance of diversity, care, and nurturing. This festival of trees invites us to reflect on the kind of world we want to cultivate and the kind of gardener we desire to be.

On this day, as I ponder my ineptitude with plants, I can’t help but wish that leaders like Netanyahu also acknowledge their shortcomings. They understand that a gorgeous and healthy garden celebrates diversity, nurturing each plant and each person with equal care and respect.

Tu Bishvat teaches us that every tree, every human being, is valuable and deserves the chance to grow and flourish. It’s a reminder that even in politics, we should aspire to nurture and protect rather than cut and destroy.

At the end of this day, as I watch the stars shine in the night sky, I make a personal vow. A vow to try, every day, to be a better caretaker of my small garden, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. And here is where I realize something crucial: it is in our hands not to passively wait for an inept gardener to continue tending to our garden. We must seek someone who knows how to cultivate with quality, sensitivity, and humanism, someone who understands the importance of nurturing every aspect of life respecting and celebrating the rich diversity that surrounds us. It is time to choose a gardener who not only knows the plants but also comprehends and values the intrinsic beauty of human nature.”

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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