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

Undeniable truths

Two months ago, on Route 6, under the relentless Middle Eastern sun with the hot asphalt beneath my feet, my car, a long-time companion, chose the worst possible moment on my way to Ben Gurion Airport to break down. As I gazed at the steaming engine, reflections on the repercussions of this situation flooded my mind, and an undeniable truth emerged in that moment of unease.

Faced with the need to replace my damaged vehicle, I encountered a moral dilemma that transcended my existence. The choice was clear: opting for an ecological solution by giving up the car’s comfort in favor of public transportation would help reduce global warming. However, in reality, I chose the more convenient and comfortable option, letting my ecological conscience dissolve on Route 6.

This situation prompted me to reflect on how undeniable truths, even when recognized, can challenge our willingness to make sacrifices. At these crossroads of existence, our convictions are tested by harsh reality. We find ourselves in a dilemma, weighing absolute certainty against personal hesitations, undeniable truths against intimate desires.

Perhaps it was Camus who inspired these thoughts, or maybe it was my interpretation of his ideas. I share these reflections now because, since October 7th, a specific truth has been tormenting me.

That day, upon hearing of the Hamas attacks in southern Israel, I was overcome with an unprecedented rage. Always a defender of humanism and peaceful coexistence, I was consumed by a primitive desire for vengeance. I was so irrational that I could almost be compared to Ben Gvir. This extreme comparison served as a wake-up call, making me ponder the complexity of our emotions.

Reflecting on more than 80 days of conflict with Hamas, I began to understand the common Palestinian in Gaza. I’m not referring to the terrorists but to the doctors, lawyers, teachers, painters, and construction workers, often invisible in Tel Aviv. Just one day of terror and despair was enough to awaken in me an irrational feeling, a generalized hatred. How would it be different for Palestinians, who have lived under the weight of our actions for decades?

I do not intend to equate the outbreaks of violence. What happened on October 7th was undoubtedly an atrocity. Therefore, I ask you to refrain from judging my conscience, as I have already done so for everyone. Returning to the previous thought, it’s clear that the situation in Gaza, while not our direct responsibility, is complex. The aid provided over the years should have been used to build a better society, but reality shows this did not happen. And perhaps, for convenience, we ended up letting Hamas take control in Gaza. Isn’t that true?

Watching the videos of the effects of the war against Hamas in Gaza, it’s hard to envision a positive future in the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians. The deaths and suffering will likely fuel hatred in the next generation of Gaza. If it were me, I would feel the same.

This reality brings me back to my choice of buying a new car. I justified the purchase with the inefficiency of the Israeli public transport, but these reasons don’t change the fact that I’m contributing to the planet’s destruction. Similarly, the actions in Gaza, despite their justifications, carry lasting consequences.

These reflections require honesty and courage to confront unpleasant realities, both in personal life and in international politics. Our choices today significantly impact the present, the future, and the perception of the next generations.

I now arrive at some questions that call for sincere answers. The undeniable truths of the “us against the world” discourse and the reality of antisemitism do not address the central problem. We are in a region where we are not alone, and denying our connection with the Palestinians has proven ineffective. Therefore, wouldn’t it be wiser to seek solutions before the next outbreak of violence? Recognizing our interdependence and seeking dialogue to ease tensions could be the key to lasting peace. This path not only reflects a commitment to long-term stability but is also a necessary step to break the cycles of violence and distrust. It’s a challenge that requires courage, honesty, and a genuine willingness to understand and respect the complexities of all parties involved. These reflections, though challenging, are essential for a future where peaceful coexistence is more than a distant ideal but a tangible reality.

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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