Los Angeles Police were out in force Wednesday night, deployed to protect viewers at the screening of “Bearing Witness,” the 47-minute montage of graphic, largely uncensored footage showing a small percentage of the atrocities perpetrated by hordes of Hamas terrorists during their October 7 invasion of Israel.
It’s a good thing the police were out there: social media videos later showed the clashes between pro-Hamas protesters and pro-Israel counter protesters, some of which was violent. Police pepper-sprayed several of the rioters, according to the Daily Mail.
Some 200 people attended the screening, held at the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance, that was arranged by Israeli “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, acclaimed Hollywood director Guy Nattiv (“Golda”) and Gadot’s husband, real estate mogul Yaron Varsano.
The screening was held to coincide with the eve of the anniversary of the Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht to underline the existential threat from Hamas that Israel faces.
Those who attended the Los Angeles screening included Israeli-American CEO of Mattel, Ynon Kreiz, Gadot’s husband and a number of Hollywood producers and directors. Gadot herself did not attend, Rolling Stone reported.
As have all others who viewed the footage in Israel and in New York, attendees were required to surrender their phones and sign a non-disclosure agreement pledging not record anything they heard or saw.
Among others who spoke prior to the screening was IDF Lt. Colonel Amnon Sheffler, who noted the footage shows “less than 10 percent of the murders” committed on Oct. 7, and no rape, sexual assault or the murder of babies or children — but demonstrates the “barbarity of Hamas.”
The footage was graphic enough, however, to cause sobbing and gasps in the audience.
Earlier this month, psychologists were deployed and sedatives were handed out to Israeli lawmakers prior to a similar screening attending by about half the members of the Knesset; nevertheless, at least one Knesset member fainted and several others were forced to leave the viewing prior to its conclusion.
The National Council for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has asked Israel’s Health Ministry to issue an alert cautioning the public not to watch footage of the October 7 atrocities carried out by Hamas during its invasion from Gaza.
“We would like to make it clear that watching the video may harm the viewer and if it is leaked or used for widespread viewing it may be harmful to viewers, to the memory of the victims and many people in Israeli society and the Gaza area,” Council head Professor Eyal Fruchter wrote.