By Arlene Bridges Samuels
“We are 12 days [now 20] into the war, and we still have not been able to bury all our dead. … We cannot tell families if their loved ones have been kidnapped or whether they are dead.”
In her solemn statement, Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the Southeastern United States spoke at one of many functions last week. Her grave manner and impassioned statements of truth about Hamas’s deadly attacks drew multiple standing ovations during a joint North Carolina-South Carolina forum of the National Federation of Republican Women. I experienced the privilege of interviewing her at my alma mater, Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which hosted the event.
During the interview, Sultan-Dadon reiterated that “The human mind cannot comprehend the brutality—wiping out entire families, the slaughter, and the beheading of babies.” She repeatedly underscored Israel’s determination “to be strong for one another” and their “duty as a sovereign country to eliminate the terror threat.”
The savage assaults, which began on the Shabbat morning of October 7, 2023, are incomprehensible. The slaughters, hostage kidnappings, and unspeakable rapes can only be understood as a demonic, Hitleresque blitz committed by bloodthirsty terrorists. The Consul General described the “profound pain” that shattered every Israeli beginning on that horrific day. Their lives have changed forever in this small nation—the only Jewish country in the world. The appalling numbers are increasing; the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has announced 224 abducted—some of them Americans and other foreign citizens—1,400 Israelis massacred, and over 5,240 wounded.
Some of the results of October 7 and since have meant the displacement of over 120,000 Israelis from their kibbutzim along the breached Israel border. I have often visited Kfar Aza, a once-beautiful community inhabited by wonderful Israeli civilians. Terrorists murdered one hundred residents there. Twenty Israeli communities in Israel’s north—where Hezbollah is embedded in Lebanon—have also been relocated due to critical safety precautions. Many of these refugees, who have no homes to return to, are currently housed in hotels. Those in somewhat less-dangerous locations are staying in homes and bomb shelters with other Israeli families.
My conversation with Consul General Sultan-Dadon covered a range of important topics. These must not only be understood but also memorized as talking points to oppose information warfare against Israel. Her factual assessments are critically important. I urge Christians to view them as lessons that will enable all of us to be educated advocates for Israel.
“Standing with Israel is not just about Israel,” she said. “It is standing alongside all the values that we hold dear: freedom, everything holy and sacred in stark opposition to death and destruction.” In a resolute voice, she declared, “If you are not standing with Israel you are standing for terror and hate.”
Confirming the Islamic Regime’s role, Consul General Sultan-Dadon stated, “Without a shadow of a doubt Iran funds, guides, provides weapons, and trains its proxies even far beyond our region. Iran is not only a threat for Israel, but also a threat to destabilizing the Middle East, and a threat to the free world. She concluded, “All the values that we hold dear [are] everything that they oppose.”
Last week, Hamas and most of the world circulated the lie that Israel bombed a Gaza hospital. Israel does not bomb hospitals. The Consul General spoke intensely about media and the fanatical demonstrators “instantly taking the word of a brutal terror organization” that had just committed atrocities instead of accepting the facts and evidence that Israel presented. “That is not acceptable and should be called out.” She recounts what really happened: “One out of five rockets that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launch at Israel to target civilians, misfires and falls in their own territory—harming their own civilians.”
Many sources have agreed with the Consul General’s facts, including the Associated Press—the largest media source in the world. She asserted, “Rather than take Hamas terrorists’ word for it, stand against it. Shame on all the networks for taking the word of terrorism over the word of Israel with the facts and evidence.”
She added that Israel makes every effort to minimize harm to civilians but “Hamas intentionally places their military assets in heavily populated areas—in mosques, hospitals, schools, and homes, using their own people as human shields.”
The Israeli Air Force’s policy is to drop leaflets into Gaza, make calls, and send text messages to warn them of impending attacks. In that vein, for days now Israel has informed civilians in northern Gaza to move to the south. The Consul General informed us that “not only is Hamas calling on civilians to stay put, but they are also actually setting up roadblocks to physically prevent them from evacuating.” She added that if civilians are killed, it offers a gold mine of propaganda that she described as “their distorted vision to accuse us as the perpetrator.”
One of the most heartbreaking facts that Consul General Sultan-Dadon shared is the following: “We are 12 days [now 20] into the war, and we still have not been able to bury all our dead. We cannot identify those who have been tortured or burnt, since for some all that remains are a few bones and fingernails. We cannot tell families if their loved ones have been kidnapped or whether they are dead.” Of Israel’s Holocaust survivors, she said, “Holocaust survivors who have already survived hell on earth are meeting hell in the form of Hamas.”
A two-minute video clip was shown at the end of the Consul General’s heart-wrenching remarks. But before it began, Mistress of Ceremonies Jennifer Stefano warned attendees and Live Stream viewers about the deeply disturbing footage, inviting them to exit if needed. In the brief clip from Hamas body cams and call recordings, we viewed and heard the agonizing screams, murderous gunshots, and frenzied Arabic shouts.
Afterward, the audience sat in stunned silence. Stefano, a well-known commentator, called for moments of silence then offered a quiet goodbye. She rightly reminded us that we must “bear witness” as the Consul General had said earlier: “We need for all our friends to stand strong and remain strong in speaking the truth. The voices of humanity must drown out voices that support terror and hate.” Consul General Sultan-Dadon emphasized that the war will be “prolonged” and that the “very, very difficult visuals of atrocities are important so that all of you can bear witness to what has happened.” That evening at Winthrop University our deeper understanding tied our hearts even more securely to the traumatized hearts of Israeli Jews.
Now, additional barbaric acts are becoming known. On the October 23 airing of The 700 Club, Gordon Robertson interviewed Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States. Oren bluntly described the lethal butchery: “Anything that could be done to the body was done except for cannibalism.” Also that same day, the IDF briefed 200 foreign journalists using raw, unedited footage of murder, decapitation, and torture. Major General Mickey Edelstein, who briefed reporters afterward, said, “We have evidence” of rape but “we cannot share it.” He declined to elaborate. The journalists were not allowed to record the screening, which took place at a closed Israeli military base. However, with all the propaganda darkening the world, is it too much to ask that these 200 journalists now responsibly report the facts about the Islamic Republic of Iran—that its goal is genocide through one of its proxies?
Not surprisingly, the Consul General’s inspiring words were met with a lengthy standing ovation. “While we are facing the most painful chapter in the modern state of Israel’s history,” she said, “I want to assure you that we are strong, we are proud, and we are not going anywhere!” Let all of us join her in unity and strength!
At the minimum, I am urging Christians everywhere to pass along the Israel Consulate’s daily update of facts, which will help us inform others to stand as an army of truth to oppose the lies. Here is the link to sign up for their excellent official digital resources to share anywhere possible: [Learn More].
Meditating on Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV, we welcome you to pray with our CBN Israel team:
“The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
- Pray for every member of the IDF for safety and victory anywhere they are defending their country by land, sea, air, and cyber security.
- Pray for thousands of expert civilians who are using intelligence platforms on computers to locate hostages in Gaza.
- Pray for staff and soldiers who face the trauma of collecting and examining remains to identify bodies.
- Pray for concerted efforts among Christians providing humanitarian aid.
- Pray for Christians to act massively by forwarding and talking about facts to oppose the Information War against Israel.
Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a volunteer on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene has attended Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit three times and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.