Videos on responses to lies and misinformation against Israel – from Shabbat 13-14 October

October 23, 2023
On Oct. 10, a StandWithUs pro-Israel rally in Westwood drew supporters of Israel of all ages.
Photo by Ryan Torok

Dear Friends,


We are going through one of the most horrific times in Jewish history since the Shoah.


Horrific, for two reasons. First, we are horrified by the atrocities committed on and after Shemini Atzeret October 7th. The heartless massacres in the criminal abductions continue to haunt us.


We also horrified by the vociferous support of the atrocities in our country, principally on college campuses. As one commentator said – “close your checkbooks.” I would add that we should consider disenrolling our children from schools where there exists a critical mass of faculty and students who can hold large demonstrations showing their support of terrorist atrocities.  (Would those schools tolerate the Ku Klux Klan demonstrating support of atrocities? I think not.)


If we are not going to pull our students out, then we must train our students to stand up and stand with Israel.


On that note, we at Ohr HaTorah will do our part in fighting the disinformation and misinformation that is plaguing in our country. You will find here links to two talks I gave, one on Friday night and went about morning. We will be posting the Q and A to those two sessions ASAP.









In addition, based the questions and feedback we received, I will make a series of short videos addressing particular questions.


I want to repeat here one piece of guidance I offered in my Shabbat thought last week:


We ought not argue with a person who does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. That is a belief, and we typically cannot talk someone out of a basic belief. Either someone believes that Israel has a right to exist, or does not, or is not sure.


If a person does believe in Israel’s right to exist, or even if they are not sure, then your conversation with them can make a difference.


Here is one issue. Israel is being accused of war crimes. You can see a description of “war crimes” as defined by the U.N. here:




Please note the following


Paragraphs 2.A.4:  Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. 


Israel uses very careful intelligence and only attacks targets out of military necessity.

2.b.9:  Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives


Hamas used mosques and schools to launch rockets and house military units. Such usage by Hamas makes those places legitimate military objectives.



Paragraph 2.b.23:  Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations.


Hamas utilizes the presence of civilians to make areas immune from military operations. This is a war crime.



After you read up on war crimes, ask whether launching rockets and other explosives into Israel civilian areas (since 2005, especially 2007) are war crimes. Clearly, they are. Ask why the U.N. has never declared them war crimes.


Especially ask a person whether the terrorist atrocities committed on October 7 and 8 (and continues) are war crimes? Emphatically, they are.


Ask why the U.N. has not formally declared them as such. Ask what they think about demonstrations and petitions supporting or ignoring clear war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Hamas.


And what they think about Israel being accused of war crimes, when by the U.N.’s own definition, Israel is not committing war crimes.


Only ask questions. Don’t argue.


We will offer more guidance in the fight against disinformation in the weeks to come


Rabbi Finley



Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.