The Israeli government screened video footage of the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocities for entertainment industry leaders in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Amid heavy security and with clashing protests outside, around 200 people watched the film at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance on the city’s Westside.
Titled “Bearing Witness to the October 7th Massacre,” the graphic film with a running time of over 40 minutes was put together by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office and features video taken by the terrorists as they brutally murdered 1,400 mostly civilian victims in communities across the northwestern Negev.
Threats against the museum preceded the event after the location was leaked, necessitating the presence of an FBI advance team in the days leading up to the screening, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
LAPD forces were stationed inside and around the museum on Pico Boulevard and a police helicopter was deployed overhead.
Pro-Israel and anti-Israel protests took place on either side of Pico Boulevard. A violent confrontation that broke out between opposing demonstrators was quickly broken up by law enforcement.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, was among those who spoke before the screening, saying that he flew in from New York because of the film’s importance.
“It will change the way you view the Middle East and the way you view the war in Gaza,” The Hollywood Reporter quoted Erdan as saying.
“Hamas, just like the Nazis and ISIS, views Jews as insects to be exterminated,” he continued, adding that the IDF’s Gaza operation is “only about ensuring that such atrocities never happen again.”
Erdan closed with a warning: “Hamas must be eradicated. This is the only way to prevent another massacre. … If Israel doesn’t eradicate this evil, mark my words: the West is next.”
Previous screenings of the film have taken place at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Knesset in Jerusalem for Israeli and foreign press.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit denied on Thursday that a leaked version of the film was circulating online.
“The film is screened in a limited manner to decision-makers, media and influencers in Israel and the world, subject to strict conditions and accompanied by an IDF representative or an authorized person on its behalf,” the army said.
“The participants in the screening undertake to comply with the viewing conditions and sign a document in which they undertake not to photograph or distribute any part of the film. We ask the public to refrain from spreading false rumors and from forwarding and opening links that claim to contain the film.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly considering releasing the film to the general public, but the idea is facing pushback from a group of mental health professionals in Israel.