Gidon Ariel and the Hamas War with Leah Whatley

Israel’s Emergency and Shabbat Celebrations
Gidon recounted his Shabbat and Simhat Torah celebrations, during which he was informed about a state of emergency in Israel due to a large-scale attack in the South. He described the reaction of the community’s emergency response team and the gravity of the situation.

Community Preparedness and Celebration Amidst Threats
Gidon shared his personal experiences during a tense period where there was an increased threat of conflict in Har Bracha, the community where he and his wife spent the weekend. He detailed how the emergency response team was prepared with additional ammunition and protective gear, and how those on break from the army were asked to return. Gidon also discussed how the community celebrated the holiday with joy, but had to pause celebrations due to an alarm. He emphasized the importance of maintaining contact with family and staying informed about potential threats, while also respecting the Sabbath traditions of not using phones or computers.

Terror Attacks on Music Festival, Army Base Discussed
Gidon and Leah discussed the terrorist attack on the Nova music festival in the Gaza envelope region where terrorists used automatic rifles and missiles, killing over a thousand people in one day. The violence was not confined to the festival, as many more were killed in their homes in the surrounding area. Gidon also mentioned attacks on Israeli army bases, resulting in the overrunning of several bases, the kidnapping of Israelis including children, injured individuals, and holocaust survivors. 

Israel’s War and Political Reforms
Gidon and Leah discussed ongoing matters in Israel, focusing particularly on the war that has been going on for six weeks. They touched on the aftermath of the conflict and the unity among Israelis during this time, with everyone waiting until the war ends to ask questions about how it started. The conversation then shifted to political reforms and divisions in Israel, with Leah drawing parallels to the political landscape in America. Gidon explained the difference between the US and Israel’s political systems, emphasizing that in Israel, everyone is currently focused on winning the war, putting aside political differences. The discussion ended with Leah seeking to understand these dynamics for an American audience.

Volunteerism and Unity in Israel and US Politics
Gidon shared his personal experience of volunteering to support the Israeli military during a recent conflict, highlighting the widespread volunteerism and unity within Israel, irrespective of religious beliefs. The conversation then shifted towards a discussion on what “winning” the war might look like.

Eradicating Hamas: Civilian Concerns and Electricity Discussions
Gidon clarified that the aim is to eradicate Hamas’s capability to orchestrate terror, implying a willingness to eliminate all those associated with the organization. Leah raised concerns about civilian casualties, arguing that Hamas intentionally places its weapons in civilian areas and uses innocent people as human shields. Leah and Gidon also discussed the situation in Gaza, focusing on the electricity supply. Leah brought up past protests against Hamas for allegedly misusing funds intended for electricity, which is partially supplied by Israel. Gidon clarified that Gaza also has its own electrical generators, fueled by Israel, but Leah pointed out that Hamas’s focus on war efforts against Israel led to neglect of infrastructure and people’s needs.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Anti-Semitism Discussion
Leah and Gidon discussed the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Leah expressing her deep understanding and concern about the issue. They highlighted the rise of anti-Semitism, particularly on social media, and the need to differentiate between the actions of Israel and Hamas. Leah emphasized that Israel’s core principles and values are not about killing people but about preserving life, while Hamas’s modus operandi is killing people. The conversation concluded with Leah asking Gidon to explain Iran’s involvement in the conflict and its use of proxies against Israel.

Iran’s Anti-Democratic and Terror-Supporting Role
Gidon and Leah discussed the situation with Iran and its proxies, with Gidon providing historical context about Iran’s Ayatollahs taking control about 50 years ago and turning the country into an anti-democratic and terror-supporting nation. He pointed out Iran’s leading role in antisemitism and its ambition to destroy the West. Gidon also mentioned the need for the United States to recognize Iran as an enemy. Leah raised concerns about the possibility of the United States releasing more funds to Iran, with Gidon explaining the various methods terrorists use to move money, including fake bank accounts and suitcases of cash. 

Root Source and Aliyah Journey Sharing
Gidon, who resides in Israel, shared about his Aliyah journey and his involvement with a website called Root Source. He encouraged viewers to engage with the site, which provides opportunities for Christians to deepen their connection with Israelis, Jews, and the Torah. Gidon also mentioned that Root Source was about to launch a campaign to support Israel, particularly its soldiers, communities in danger, and the families of the soldiers. Gidon also thanked Leah and her American supporters for their ongoing support for Israel.

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