Warning: This article contains a graphic description of video footage taken on Oct. 7 in Israel.
The Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta has held two viewings of an hour-long video made from documentation of the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Israelis on Oct. 7. A third one has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 29.
“We have been screening this footage around the world to leaders and media so that you can all bear witness to the atrocities of Oct. 7,” said Anat Sultan-Dadon, consul general of Israel to the southeastern United States.
Sultan-Dadon asked that attendees share the message, “especially now as we are seeing people denying what occurred.”
Footage was taken from body cameras, cell phones, dash cameras, and CCTV. The beginning of the footage shows Hamas militants randomly shooting people in cars along the road, pulling bodies from cars, and shooting people who are already dead or dying.
As the footage became more graphic, the viewing room was silent except for a few sniffles, and the sound of tissues being pulled from the box on each table.
In a phone call from a young man to his parents in Gaza, a gleeful voice reports: “I killed 10 with my bare hands! I killed 10!” At a music festival, men with automatic weapons are screaming “Allah is great” as they shoot concertgoers.
At one point, the footage shows photograph after photograph of burned bodies and body parts.
Sultan-Dadon reminded the audience of about 50 people, “There are 138 deceased people in this video – less than 10% of those killed on Oct. 7.”
In the 40-plus days since Oct. 7, Israel still has hundreds of bodies left to identify. We cannot provide the dignity of being laid to rest, said Sultan-Dadon.
At the end of the video, a discussion with church leaders and elected officials in the room proved disbelief at how few people had seen the footage.
A man asked, “Do you have support from rabbis and the Jewish community?” Sultan-Dadon assured him that the audience was mostly leaders from outside of the Jewish communities.
Rabbi Larry Sernovitz responded, “Rabbis are mourning with their congregations and with their people. Some have seen it, but they’re in crisis management.”
“Pastors are weak, feckless, and afraid to stand,” said one church leader. “Pastors need to see this. They don’t see this issue as important, and we must stop the silence of the Christian community.”
“Seek out those who have our back, and thank them. We need allies,” Sandy Springs City Councilmember Andy Bauman said.
“Three thousand Hamas invaded 30 towns and killed more than 1,000 people,” Sultan-Dadon said. “This is the fight of everyone in the free world.”