Hundreds gather in New Rochelle to learn about war efforts from Israeli diplomat
In New Rochelle, Beth El Synagogue hosted a poignant evening where more than 200 attendees listened to Yuval Donio-Gideon, consul for Public Diplomacy at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.
Donio-Gideon provided a comprehensive overview of the ongoing crisis, attributing the suffering of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians to Hamas. He emphasized that this conflict is unlike any previous, stating, "Hard bitter war, but make no mistake, we will prevail. We will win this war...because light is stronger than darkness."
The consul also spoke of how Israeli officials believe Hamas is getting support - including finances and weapons from Iran, which he says makes Iran directly responsible for all Hamas has done. He also says the brutal tactics used are actions seen before. "On the bodies of some of the terrorists that we killed, we found guiding books of ISIS, guiding books of al-Qaeda. In that sense, Hamas is ISIS."
Donio-Gideon says he fears this will be a long conflict. While some have criticized Israel's military response, he says Israel is following international law and that the Israeli army is taking steps to try to minimize innocent casualties. He says it is Hamas who is using civilians as human shields. "We've been contacting Palestinians in the areas we plan to attack. We message them. We address them on social media. We drop pamphlets."
The consul said the support Israel has been receiving from nations all over the world - the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and the United States - has given great comfort to Israel and its people.
At the temple, the consul expressed gratitude for the global outpouring of support. He encouraged individuals to contribute by donating money, offering their skills, or engaging in business with Israel.