I was invited by the Israeli consulate in Toronto to join a small group of journalists for an exclusive screening of footage from the October 7 terrorist attack carried out by Hamas.
The 45-minute film, which compiled footage from the body cameras of Hamas terrorists, footage from first responders, and security footage from the homes of slain Israeli victims was the worst thing I have ever seen.
Journalists were not permitted to bring any recording devices or phones into the screening out of respect for the families of the victims but we were routinely encouraged to tell the public what we saw in as much detail as we could after the fact.
In our polarized world, this will only further drive mistrust and skepticism.
It is simply not enough in this era for the public to take the word of hand-picked journalists behind closed doors telling people what they saw because they aren’t permitted to see it for themselves.
All Israel would have to do to end any debate surrounding ownership of the moral high ground in this conflict is release the footage for the world to see.
The film begins with a group of Hamas terrorists on a road in southern Israel executing everyone who drives past them. Each execution is filmed and celebrated as the terrorists yell “Allahu Akbar!”
The film then shows a group of terrorists breaking into a kibbutz and searching each home for civilians to be killed or captured. What follows is the uncensored massacre of an entire kibbutz.
A father of two can then be seen on his own home security camera grabbing his two young sons and frantically searching for a way to get to their bunker in the backyard.
A Hamas terrorist spots the defenceless father entering the shelter with his sons, calmly walks up to the entrance, takes a pin out of a grenade, and throws it into the shelter.
The father absorbs the entire blast, sacrificing himself to save his two kids. The entire moment is captured on film.
The footage continues as Hamas terrorists enter the home and take food from the fridge of the man they just violently killed while the two sons watch on. Viewers will then see an inconsolable wife who returns to the Kibbutz with IDF soldiers to see the disfigured corpse of her husband.
That was just the first five minutes. Forty more minutes to go.
The film then shows a rabid horde of Hamas gunmen walking through a house covered in blood and filled with dead bodies.
It is in this segment that the medieval barbarity displayed by these terrorists enters territory that would churn the stomachs of even the most clinically psychopathic. A Hamas terrorist picks up a garden hoe and begins to repeatedly slash at the throat of a dead Israeli corpse. Each swing of the hoe is preceded by a chant of “Allahu Akbar” and followed by an audible celebration of the gathered crowd who are filming this for promotional material and, I presume, their own enjoyment.
The rest of the film, interspersed with the senseless killing, burning and torture of innocent civilians – which, by this point the viewer is already desensitized to – shows photos of the bodies of charred and disfigured children.
The viewer is able to tell that they’re looking at the charred and disfigured body of a child because one can make out the remains of pyjamas they were wearing before they were slaughtered.
It is precisely the sadistic joy that Hamas militants took in their actions that day which has left me so sickened and why I believe that if Israel has any hope of winning the PR war and changing the Western perception of their actions in Gaza, it must release the footage for the world to see.
In less than 24 hours after Hamas terrorists carried out this attack, street parties and impromptu Hamas rallies were underway in Mississauga, Ont.
In the U.K., people were dancing on street corners waving Palestine flags before Israeli citizens were able to count their dead.
Since October 7, pro-Palestine rallies have become a regular occurrence throughout Canada’s large cities. At these rallies – of which I have covered several – many in the crowd proudly proclaim that Hamas’ attack was “justified” and that Israel has no right to defend herself or her people.
Furthermore, these rallies regularly feature protesters waving Hamas flags.
These brazen displays that glorify Hamas terrorists and the massacre of innocent Jews are taking place because Israel is losing ground on social media and in newsrooms across the world.
Israel’s military response to the attack combined with its inability to effectively control the narrative surrounding its actions in Gaza has given a golden opportunity to those who harbour deep anti-Israel and antisemitic attitudes living in the West to shamelessly celebrate and honour Hamas as “freedom fighters” and a “resistance movement” against Israel.
Israel’s response by bombing Gaza in its pursuit of eradicating Hamas has resulted in the deaths of reportedly 10,000 Gazans according to Hamas figures. With Gaza’s dense population of over two million, 40% of which are reportedly under the age of 18, Israel’s actions have emboldened and galvanized large numbers of Muslims around the world and those who wish to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Out of respect to the families of the victims, the Israel government is only showing the footage to groups of hand-picked journalists and politicians in private screenings.
But, if Israel wants the world to see the true face of Hamas, the evidence must be shown to the world.
This, of course, will have its downsides.
For one, viewers of the film will be deeply traumatized by what they see, likely for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, the families of the victims will be retraumatized after seeing the brutal murder of their own family members all over social media.
But another consequence of the film being released to the public is that once someone sees the true reality of what happened that day, in all its gore and violence, one will never be able to see the so-called “freedom fighters” of Hamas as anything other than the fanatic, murderous dogs that they are.
The release of this film will completely obliterate any remaining pro-Hamas sentiment that exists among the political and journalistic class in Canada. It will send shockwaves throughout Canada and will have a profound and lasting impact on anyone who watches it.
Canadians will look on at the pro-Palestine displays with complete and utter shock once they see what actually happened to the 1,400 dead Israeli civilians on October 7th.
Nobody should be forced to watch the footage, but for Israel to pick and choose who can will only serve to further this mistrust of authority and of the media that we see in society.
Releasing the footage in its entirety is what Israel must do if they are to have any success in winning the long fight against Hamas and Islamic fundamentalism.