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American survivor of Hamas attack on music fest returns to see anti-Israel protests in US: ‘I don’t feel safe’

Natalie Sanandaji, an American woman who escaped Hamas’ assault on an Israeli music festival on Oct. 7, recounted her harrowing experience to Fox News Digital and went on to say that although she’s back in the U.S. now, she does not feel safe seeing how easily “brainwashing” on social media is fueling antisemitism and anti-Israel demonstrations. 

Sanandaji, a 28-year-old Jewish New Yorker born to Israeli and Iranian parents, said that growing up, she never understood how people could allow the Holocaust to happen, until she narrowly escaped Hamas’ deadly assault firsthand and personally realized that some of her fellow festival attendees hadn’t made it out alive, and then saw the antisemitic messaging that followed. 

“A lot of people ask me if I feel safe now that I’m back in New York. I don’t,” Sanandaji said. “A lot of the things I’ve been hearing and seeing since getting back. A lot of the videos of the protests. These pro-Palestinian protests. Something I would like to say about that is, whatever side you’re on in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all the power to you. But this is not about Israel-Palestine. This is about Hamas, a terrorist organization who is just as complicit in the deaths of these innocent Palestinians as they are in the deaths of innocent Israelis.”

“People need to understand that this is not about Israel vs. Palestine,” she reiterated. “This is about a terrorist organization attacking the Jews and killing innocent people, killing innocent people at a music festival, killing innocent grandmas who survived the Holocaust, just to be killed by Hamas, burning babies alive.”

“I think that was the most I had cried since everything that had happened,” she said. “Being in that situation, you’re in a state of shock there. Everyone reacts to things differently. There were a lot of kids crying while we were being shot at. I was moreso in a state of shock. And a lot of the emotions really hit me as I was on that flight leaving. I was leaving a lot of family and friends behind. Especially one of the most emotional parts was leaving friends behind who were in the festival… who managed to survive that festival and then were re-enlisting in the army and risking their lives all over again to protect our country and to protect our people.”

“It made me feel all the more helpless. But since leaving and since having all these news stations reach out to me and ask me to share my story, I feel like that’s the most I can do to try to help bring awareness to what happened, and for people to hear it from someone who was actually there, who witnessed the horror,” she added. “To speak for all those who were kidnapped and killed and can’t speak for themselves.” 

Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to danielle.wallace@fox.com and on Twitter: @danimwallace. 


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