Chris Cuomo was shaken after watching a 47-minute film released by the Israeli military documenting the savagery of Hamas terrorists.
On October 7, 2023, Hamas slaughtered 1,400 Israelis and foreigners in a surprise attack on civilians in southern Israel, taking at least 240 Jews and foreigners hostage.
Thursday was a very heavy day for me and some of my team members who went to the Israeli consulate to watch some of the footage and images collected from the Hamas massacre carried out on Oct. 7 in Israel.
The 47-minute film from the Israeli military compiles footage from that day, some of which can be found online. But a lot more than I expected was new to me, and I believe people need to see it.
I realized something that I had missed before that took me immediately and deeply into a past trauma: the exact feeling I had when I learned why 9/11 happened. Terrorists targeted the twin towers and Washington, D.C., to take out the great symbols that represent America.
The method was not madness — they were sane but just evil. The method was a message. Their unholy efforts triggered what America feared most: Terrorists robbing us of who and what we are about at home. And so, they got what they asked for — the wrath of a people united in common fear and concern that it is us or it is them. Existential.
We went after those who took credit where we could find them and used warplanes and drones and missiles and every kind of weapon and warrior we have to kill active enemies, those who hid, the complicit, the sympathetic and sometimes, even often at points, the innocent.
If there had been social media then, I don’t know how public opinion at home would have been different, but the fact that they hit us where it hurt is what mattered most.
I now know that is exactly the message Hamas sent, on purpose, at scale. I was not aware of that before. They did it methodically. You hear it in the voices, the commands, the ease and excitement of finding and mutilating victims. Being told, “Let them play with it.”
Merely murdering innocents was the least of it. They enjoyed mutilating and went back and celebrated in the streets with heads and bloody corpses as trophies. This was absolute genocide. That is a word that people are misapplying, and this is where it does apply.
Even more important to the terrorists apparently was what they left behind: Charred reminders of a Holocaust, the obvious desire to see as many Jews utterly destroyed as possible. There were dead women with bloody groins and twisted, disfigured legs that the Israel Defense Forces says are part of a pattern of rape and torture.
The 47 minutes show a small fraction of the dead, but it makes it very clear that Hamas wanted war. This was not the irrepressible angst of the desperate who want freedom, who want better, nor certainly want anything approximating peace. They wanted the Jews to know that they want them to burn — again.
I now understand better what is fueling Israel. This is not tit-for-tat. They are fueled by the deepest fears of genocide because those fears are real.
I am not trying to erase or in any way mitigate the massive death toll of civilians in Gaza or diminish the obvious need for the violence to stop. If anything, after seeing the video, there is an increased urgency to avoid what could still come because this could get much worse.
However, it is easy to say stop, but it is very hard to say how. Why?
Because seeing what the terror group in charge of Gaza did to the Jews and has promised to do again, how does Israel risk being vulnerable to those who do not honor agreements and have made it very clear they don’t want peace? They want to burn and kill the Jews.
On the suggestion to bomb less and use commandos: How does that not suggest to Israel that they have to do this in a way that Hamas can kill more of them and reduce their advantage? Stop bombing so aid gets in — will Hamas allow it in? They have a history of doing the opposite.
It is not about numbers. It is about Israel being shown its worst fears can be realized because they were.