Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Working to protect people and our shared planet.

Bearing Witness to Brutal October 7th and the Urgent Need for Truth

Nova Festival Survivor, Photograph by and courtesy of Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Nova Festival Survivor, a special educator names Tamar, shares the truth of the October 7 massacre, mayhem and hostage taking. Photo by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.

If you are reading this, you likely understand the pain and significance of what happened on October 7th, 2023. It was the most brutal day of hate and harm against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Yet, many still deny this truth.

It falls upon those of us who know the facts to bear witness to what happened when Hamas terrorists launched thousands of rockets toward Israel while thousands of Palestinian terrorists themselves crossed the border. Over 1,200 innocent people were killed by Hamas. Additionally, approximately 240 individuals, holding citizenships from 25 different countries, were taken to Gaza and held hostage by Hamas and other terrorist groups.

Many victims of Hamas were also tortured or raped.

Today, more than 270 days later, dozens of innocent people, including Americans and babies, are still held hostage in Gaza. Those who are alive must be brought home swiftly and safely. The bodies of those murdered must also be reunited with their families so they can find closure.

It is up to us to continue demanding the return of the hostages while ensuring that the world knows the truth.

In March 2024, my husband and I visited Southern Israel to witness the aftermath firsthand. Thanks to the Jewish Funders Network, we were able to speak directly with many survivors as well. It was heartbreaking to make this visit, but vital to bear witness.

Despite numerous groups documenting the events, lies persist. Therefore, I am sharing excerpts and photos from my Facebook posts, written when I met victims and saw the devastation. Months later, it remains crucial for people to recognize what happened to so many innocent individuals.

Many people saw and documented what we experienced, but it’s important to add another layer to show the truth. Thus, here are some of my posts and photos from what I saw firsthand:

Memorial at Nova festival site includes photo of Erick Peretz and his daughter Ruth who had cerebral palsy. They were slaughtered by Hamas.

March 19, 2024
A killing field. This is where the Nova music and peace festival took place. So many victims of Hamas.
#BringThemHomeNow #amyisraelchaiforever

When this massacre happened I was deeply saddened that #disability groups didn’t speak out. Indeed, the war now in Gaza is causing a lot more death and disability. I really hope and pray that the hostages will be freed & Hamas defeated soon. Everyone in the region (except Hamas/terrorists) needs a better future.
Jewish Funders Network #jfn2024 #BringThemHomeNow

Jennifer & Victor Mizrahi bear witness to the Oct. 7th massacre at the Nova Festival site in Israel.

BEARING WITNESS TO ATROCITIES. Today I personally went and saw where almost 1200 innocent people died when Hamas terrorists brutally raped, kidnapped, tortured and killed a massive number of innocent people.

At the #Nova music & peace festival alone, hundreds were murdered. Today I spoke with a #specialeducator, Tamar who shared with me and others her harrowing escape. I also prayed for those who were lost, including people with #disabilities.

This is the home where the Bibas babies lived. Photo by and courtesy of JLM.

The Bibas babies are still hostages in Gaza. This is their home. #BringThemHomeNow #niroz

Statues of the Bibas babies is outside their home. Photo by and courtesy of JLM.
One of the many, many homes destroyed by Hamas as they murdered, tortured and kidnapped innocent people.
Red text on the side of the house indicate that the IDF checked this house and found a murdered body. Many of the homes had these marks.

March 19, 2024
When you see a house with a red square, that means they found someone(s) inside who was killed. Every house was marked clear once the terrorist were gone. You can see the bullet holes in the wall. This kibbutz has around 200 homes. Terrorists went into all but 4 of them. One in four residents were killed or taken hostage. #NirOz. Catastrophe.

A woman inside this home in Ofakim saved lives by quick thinking and offering cookies to terrorists. Later she and her husband were rescued by their home was destroyed. Her husband later died from the stress.
A baby carriage in the ruins left behind by Hamas terrorists.
Survivor from Ofakim (center) tells how her family escaped on the roof when terrorists came to kill them.

March 21, 2024
BEARING WITNESS. Another true story, this time from Ofakim Israel. On Oct 7th, white pickup trucks filled with Hamas terrorists drove 28 kilometers to an Israeli town of 30,000 people with a goal of murdering innocent people. They killed many. However, in one home an older couple spoke to them in Arabic. Terrified, the wife, Rachel, offered them cookies and asked them to spare their lives. For some reason 5 terrorists stayed for hours while this Jewish peace activist tried to calm them. Meanwhile, somehow Rachel got word to others asking for help. Hours later a battle ensued. 5 terrorists died. The house — as you can see— was destroyed. Two weeks later the husband died from the stress.

Ofakim mural shows resistance and hope. Photo by and courtesy of JLM.

This neighborhood lost a lot of people. You can see a mural they just painted to celebrate the local heroes and their survival.
#BringThemHomeNow #AmYisraelChai Jewish Funders Network #JFN2024

Screenshot of my Facebook post about 120,000 Muslims praying in Jerusalem while we were there.
Screenshot from my Facebook post shows young IDF women praying and us offering our own prayers for a safe return of the hostages and peace.

Note all these very young women who have been called up to defend all Israelis from harm. They are so young, and they are seeing/facing/overcoming big challenges. #gratitude

About the Author
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi is the co-founder/director of the Mizrahi Family Charitable Fund (a DAF). She has worked directly with presidents, prime ministers, 48 governors, 85 Ambassadors, and leaders at all levels to successfully educate and advocate on key issues. In July, 2023 Mizrahi was appointed to serve as representative of philanthropy on the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. She has a certificate in Climate Change Policy, Economics and Politics from Harvard. Her work has won numerous awards and been profiled in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Inside Philanthropy, PBS NewsHour, Washington Post, Jerusalem Post, Jewish Sages of Today, and numerous other outlets. Mizrahi has published more than 300 articles on politics, public policy, disability issues, climate and innovations. The views in her columns are her own, and do not reflect those of any organization.
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