Matt Futterman

How friends abroad can help: Show the pictures

Israelis are shielded from Hamas's images of their atrocities – but they are out there: Show the truth to the deniers

With this command, our founding father, Avraham Avinu, settled with his family establishing the Land of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Across the centuries their descendants prayed to follow their example with many realizing the dream and actually returning to the Land.

Thirty-seven years ago my wife, Chana and I returned with our two children to her native Israel, the land where we met and where our youngest child was born. The distance between Ashkelon, our home, and all our friends in North America in the pre-internet days made keeping in touch difficult.

But since October 7 we have been uplifted by the hundreds of emails, WhatsApps, Facebook messages, phone calls and Zoom calls from people we haven’t seen in decades. Seeing Ashkelon get pounded on the evening news has reminded old friends that this is where we live, where we raised our children and, as in the past, is a favorite target for Hamas missiles.

Although we appreciate everyone’s concern and good wishes I wasn’t sure before now how to answer the one question so many asked: “How can we help!?”

Other than coming in person and placing their lives in danger or contributing to an effective organization caring for the displaced or for our soldiers – they want to know what else they can do.

After days and days of pondering I have an answer: Get in the faces of the Hamas enablers where you live with the truth. And stress that the Palestinians are not the enemy – Hamas is. We need you to flood the enablers with graphic proof of the inhuman savagery of Hamas.

Here in Israel, we are prevented from seeing the absolutely horrific photos of what happened to our friends and relatives, our children and elderly – our neighbors. This is what the spokesperson for the IDF did this week. Journalists from abroad were shown a 37-minute film documenting the truth about Hamas and the phony claims of being a humanitarian resistance movement. Those reporters will never be the same.

But many of you have already seen these photos. You know the truth. And despite the truth being out there we continue to be challenged by thousands of Hamas supporters marching in every major city calling for support for the “resistance”.

The Hamas enablers have undertaken a mission to hide the truth. While posing as progressives dedicated to preventing a humanitarian crisis they proudly tear down photos of the children held captive by Hamas in Gaza – many of whom were orphaned by the evil Hamas soldiers before being forced across the border.

We also have to tread the minefield created by individuals in positions of power and influence: including university presidents, New York Times reporters and the head of the so-called United Nations.

So what can you do if you live outside of Israel? In the name of truth, we need you to document all the lies underlying the Hamas narrative until we persuade the enablers and their ignorant followers to reject the false narrative. Getting to the truth has always been challenging, and lies, as the old saying goes, get halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

We need our friends overseas – especially the Jews of the Diaspora – in addition to everything already being done for us – to wage a war against the fake news – the false narrative of the Hamas terrorists.

We need you to flood and inundate the university heads and newspaper publishers with the photos we are not allowed to see in Israel. Eventually some will begin to understand that they have bought into a narrative of lies. If they don’t internalize the Torah‘s teaching to distance oneself from lies, perhaps another of Churchill’s statements will resonate: “Truth is incontrovertible, ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.”

In the folktale of the Golem of Prague, the creature is brought to life when the 3-letter word “emet” (truth) is inscribed on his forehead. But he ceases to live when the first letter (“aleph”) is removed – when truth is compromised – leaving the word for death: “met”.

The consequences of not getting in the faces of the Hamas facilitators with the truth will compromise the true narrative and will inevitably lead an overwhelming unimaginable abundance of death in the Land of our ancestors.

About the Author
Matt Futterman has retired as a full time sabba to Ashkelon (the target for thousands of Hamas launched missiles) where he was rabbi of the Masorti (Conservative) congregation Kehillat Netzach Israel for nearly two decades. During that time he also served two terms as chair of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, was Dean of Students at Achva College and taught at the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies.
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