June 14, 2024
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Eylon Levy Addresses Jewish Center Group in Israel

Writer Judith Falk with Eylon Levy.

Israeli Government spokesman Eylon Levy is fighting the information war on behalf of Israel. Levy spoke to members of The Jewish Center while they were in Israel for a solidarity mission at the end of December, providing guidance on how Americans can help fight the information war and raise awareness of the hostages.

Speaking to the Upper West Side synagogue’s congregants at Kikar Hatufim in Tel Aviv, Levy explained that Hostage Square, now hallowed ground, is “the public center where the families of originally 250 hostages, now 129, have camped out to demand the immediate and unconditional release of their loved ones who are still trapped in the Hamas terror dungeons.

“It’s important to talk to you here, to remind us that this is one of the two main reasons we are fighting this war. We are fighting this war because on October 7 Hamas death squads burned, beheaded, tortured, mutilated, and raped 1,200 Israelis. And we are going to destroy the Hamas rapist regime so they can never hurt our people again. But we’re also fighting to bring back the hostages.”

Noting that time has already run out for those hostages who have been murdered and is ticking for those hostages still alive, Levy stated that it is vital to keep the hostages at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Do you have one minute a day? Levy told us of the efforts of Rachel Goldberg, mother of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, to encourage everyone to devote just one minute a day to call their elected officials, demanding the release of the hostages. Go to www.oneminaday.com to find the contact information of your local representatives, and to see the sample script provided.

Observing that many in our group were wearing “dog tags” inscribed with “Bring Them Home Now” and “Halev Sheli Shavui B’aza” (“My heart is trapped in Gaza”), Levy stated that we should also wear the dog tags when we return to New York. “When people ask you, ‘What is that?’ use that as an opportunity to tell them about the hostages, and to demand that their government do everything possible to put pressure on Hamas to let them out, and put pressure on the Red Cross to put pressure on Hamas to [allow it to] finally see the hostages.”

The Jewish Center group with Eylon Levy.

Aware that we often see hostage posters ripped down, Levy advised without hesitation to put them back up. “Do it in a safe way, but don’t be afraid to poke the bear. The bear is poked! We cannot afford to abandon the public space and the public square to those who are trying to erase us, who devalue Jewish lives, and have totally and thoroughly dehumanized Israelis and Jews. What [they] need to have done in order to tear down the poster of a vulnerable 2-year-old child who is held captive inside the Gaza strip [is dehumanization].”

As to the social media war and whether those with smaller social media accounts can effectively fight on this front, Levy noted: “There is no such thing as a ‘not-influencer.’ Everyone has incredible abilities. I keep coming back to this example, what I was doing before I was a government spokesman. I was not a spokesman for this government on October 7.”

Although we are outnumbered in the social media fight, Levy emphasized that we cannot afford to stay silent and “abandon the battlefield.” “At that point you’ve lost. You haven’t only not won, you’ve lost,” because some will assume that no one is willing to stand up for Israel. Using our voices is vital, because some may realize that “Israel absolutely has a case because there are good people standing up and speaking up for it.”

Concluding with a passionate message and encouraging us to impart this message to others, Levy stated: “We are fighting for humanity. And we don’t want the world’s sympathy. Israel exists because we’ve had enough of having the world’s sympathy. We want their respect. We demand their respect. And we demand their respect because we need them to understand that we are doing exactly what they would do if, God forbid, they were in our position.”

“[It] is our mission as a state, to go to the ends of the earth, to bring our people home to safety, and to bring their tormentors to justice. That is the basic raison d’etre of the State of Israel and the most basic commandment of the Jewish people as well, pidyon shvuyim, not standing idly by your brothers’ blood.”


Judith Falk is the creator of the Upper West Side Shtetl Facebook Group. You can follow her on instagram @upperwestsideshtetl. She is a lawyer by day and a former legal reporter.

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