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Hananya Naftali. Source: Twitter.

Israel’s media influencer, Hananya Naftali, to speak in Overland Park Saturday

Israel’s official social media influencer will speak in Overland Park this Saturday. Hananya Naftali works for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has amassed a following of more than 2 million people as he fights rampant antisemitism and advocates for hostages online.

“I’m here in America to be a voice for the voiceless hostages in Gaza and make sure their cry is heard. We must do everything to bring them home. Standing with Israel is not political, it’s biblical,” he posted recently to Facebook, explaining why he’s in the U.S.

Naftali will speak on Saturday, March 2 at 7 pm on his final stop of his US speaking tour before returning to Israel. The event is co-sponsored by Metro Voice and will take place at Or HaOlam Messianic Synagogue, 9898 W. 95th St., Overland Park, Kan. The presentation is free and open to the public. A love offering will be accepted.

Naftali will discuss the current situation in the Israel-Gaza conflict, now nearing its fifth month. He already has war experience, having served in the Israel Defense Forces during the Gaza War in 2014. Today he defends Israel in the international arena. Naftali has been working for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his social media team for the past five years, having amassed a following of more than two million across several digital platforms.

READ: Topeka’s only synagogue vandalized

“We stand in solidarity with Israel, a sovereign country repeatedly attacked by the terrorist group Hamas,” explains Shmuel Wolkenfeld, rabbi and leader of Or HaOlam. “During the October 7 attack, more than 1,200 Israelis were murdered, which is the highest daily death toll of Jews since the Holocaust. While thousands of voices are calling for death to Israel, Or HaOlam states ‘Am Israel Khi’ which means ‘The people of Israel live.’ We stand to speak life, support, love and prayers to Israel and Jews worldwide. Hosting Hananya Naftali reflects this stance.”

Antisemitism isn’t just anti-Israel. Incidents have increased worldwide, including in Kansas and Missouri, according to Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which includes as its mission “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people.” The organization’s H.E.A.T. Map (Hate, Extremism, Antisemitism, Terrorism) shows antisemitic incidents in 2022 in Kansas totaled 54 and, in Missouri, 197. Compared to 2021 the numbers of incidents in Kansas increased from 36 and, in Missouri, alarmingly doubled from 98. Each year, white supremist propaganda has led the seven types of incidents tracked by ADL.

Just this week, the only synagogue in Topeka was vandalized.

Or HaOlam Messianic Synagogue is a congregation of Jews and Gentiles and regularly hosts international speakers. The congregation encourages anyone interested in what is happening in Israel to attend and hear behind-the-scenes details of the war.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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