STANFORD, CA - A Bay Area man and former Israeli soldier is telling his own story about the attacks in Israel. He says he was in Israel when Hamas attacked on October 7 and talked about his experience at Stanford University tonight.
Dozens of people, including students and other supporters, gathered to listen as he talked about the things he saw and how he survived that day.
"For security reasons, we cannot name him, and we can’t show his face," said one of the event organizers.
A man living in the Bay Area says he was in Israel with his family on October 7th as Hamas launched a surprise attack at a music festival. He’s a former Israeli soldier and says he was asked to engage with Hamas as a civilian to help as many people as he could, like disrupting a kidnapping.
"Seeing it live, being there, stopping it. We brought both of the kids out. Through the WhatsApp, we tried to figure out who could take them," he said.
He says his lifelong friend was killed while trying to save another family. He showed pictures of the death and destruction he witnessed, but says there are also things he says he’ll never forget.
"We saw a girl in between the cars, and we thought that she was hiding. It was very, very, obvious that when we came close, she shot in her back, and she was roughly six years old," he said.
The event was organized by the L’Chayim Club, who say tension has been thick between them and other Stanford students who support the Palestinian cause.
"Sometimes when we ask them, they say ‘why won’t we condemn ourselves?’ It’s sort of disheartening to hear that from somebody that’s another Stanford student that is at this prestigious university," said Kevin Feigelis, a member of the L’Chayim Club.
The former Israeli soldier also took questions from the audience. This woman says she works for Stanford and at times feels unsafe on campus, and described how she felt about what she heard.
"He almost ended up the same way. He sacrificed by going there. He also made the exact same sacrifice. He just got lucky," said Tam, a Stanford employee and dual Israeli American citizen.
The L'Chayim Club says they too want to see an end to the fighting in Gaza, and they'd like to see the remaining hostages released.