How Civilians Can Help Israel Defeat Hamas

SOUTHERN ISRAEL - JANUARY 03: Israeli soldiers fire mortar near the Gaza Strip on January 03, 2024 in Southern Israel. Prior to announcing the withdrawal of some troops from Gaza, Israel extended its ground offensive into densely populated neighbourhoods in the central part of the territory, forcing a fresh wave of displacement to the south. Meanwhile, its aerial campaign continued apace across the territory as it seeks to destroy Hamas following the militant group's Oct. 7 attack, which left 1,200 dead and scores of Israelis held hostage. In the ensuing war, more than 21,000 have been killed in Gaza, according to the territory's Hamas-run health ministry. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Soldiers Save Lives, an organization founded by young Israeli civilians in the days after the October 7 terrorist attack, should rouse Americans into action.

When Gidon Hazony went to bed on October 6, 2023, he was a calculus teacher at Hebrew University. His life took a radical turn on the Shabbat morning of October 7, when Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel. Clutching his packed lunch, he and a close friend sped from the safety of Katamon into an active war-zone to save his football teammate David Newman.

Gidon borrowed a car belonging to mutual friend Baruch Apisdorf, who had received foreboding texts from Newman earlier that day. “I hope you’re up north,” he’d texted Newman upon hearing of the attacks.

“Pray for me,” came the reply. David was not up north — he was hiding in a dumpster with 16 others at the site of the Nova Music Festival near Re-Im. “F***ing pray for me now,” read the last text Newman would ever send.

David was shot and killed at point blank range by a Hamas terrorist. Of the 16 people who hid with him that day, 13 met the same fate. David’s girlfriend Noam, one of three survivors, is still in the hospital recovering from extensive gunshot wounds.

All told, 364 people were slaughtered at the Nova Music Festival. 1,200 died in Israel and 240 hostages were dragged into Gaza by terrorists, civilians and sympathizers on the “worst day of savagery” for Jews since the Sho’ah. 132 men, women and children are still there, months later.

In the two days that followed, Israel executed the fastest military mobilization effort in its history, gathering 300,000 soldiers, one of whom was Hazony’s brother. As Gidon hugged him goodbye, he realized he wasn’t wearing a bullet-proof vest. While the army offered weapons, uniforms and some protective gear, soldiers were in dire need of a wide array of supplementary gear (sleeping bags, tactical helmets, ceramic vests and more).

To both Hazony and Apisdorf, one thing was clear: “Israel is going into a war we are not prepared for.”

WATCH: Gidon Hazony’s interview on “The Ben Shapiro Show”

48 hours after the attacks, the young men founded Soldiers Save Lives with three additional friends, naming Apisdorf as CEO and Hazony as President. Their slogan reads, “Soldiers Save Lives. Gear Saves Soldiers. L’ilui Nishmat: In memory of David Newman. Golani. Brother forever.”

The organization’s mission is simple, “We gather donations of light tactical gear in our US warehouse, ship them to Israel, and distribute them directly to units in need,” Hazony told Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock for Newsmax. The day after the organization was founded, their first flight took off from JFK carrying nine tons of humanitarian and tactical aid. Two days later, the day of David’s funeral, it landed at Ben Gurion airport.

In ten flights, with free cargo space courtesy of Israeli airline El Al, the organization has shipped 20 million dollars, or over 300,000 pounds, of tactical equipment to the front lines. In addition, they’ve raised nearly 3 million dollars in gifts (including a million dollars from small dollar donors), preparing for months of war to come.

Israel fights for its own sake. Israel must first win this war for its own sake. “We have to achieve total victory,” President Benjamin Netanyahu told Douglas Murray for TalkTV. “Hamas cannot be left standing, coming out of the ruins with a V sign, and saying we’ll do it again, and again, and again, which they’ve promised to do.”

Israel’s war is also a fight for the West — for all beneficiaries of biblical Hebraic values. “This is not merely a minor skirmish. This is part of a major confrontation between the moderate axis of Israel and the moderate Arab states against the terror-axis of Iran who’s the three H’s — Houthis, Hezbollah Hamas.”

With Soldiers Save Lives, Hazony and Apisdorf have created a way for the world to get off the bleachers and drive into the war-zone. To these 25-year-olds, who were teachers just 116 days ago, there is no one who cannot make a difference.

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Grace Bydalek is a writer, performer, and administrator based on the Upper West Side. She is the director of the Dissident Project. Instagram: @grace_daley

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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