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Israeli basketballer recounts the outbreak of war

Scripps News spoke with Sol Leshem, an Israeli professional basketball player who has watched the conflict unfold from just north of Tel Aviv.
Israeli basketballer recounts the outbreak of war
Posted at 5:39 PM, Oct 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-16 13:54:21-04

As the Israel-Hamas war draws the world's attention, those closest to the conflict want to make sure those looking on understand what's happening.

Scripps News spoke with Sol Leshem, an Israeli professional basketball player who has watched the conflict unfold from just north of Tel Aviv, and whose brother serves in the Israel Defense Force. He told us about what he's witnessed since Hamas attacked four days ago, and spoke about the need for support and understanding not just from Israel's allies, but from the rest of the world.

"To be honest we've been having a difficult time explaining what's going on here," Leshem told Scripps News. "We've been getting backlash as a country, as a whole. I play professional basketball overseas, and this time I've been getting backlashes of hatred and animosity that's spread, and laughter of the situation from people that I used to play basketball with. We really appreciate the help from the [United] States and the support from many different countries, but we've got to do a better job of explaining what's going on here, and making sure that people know that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and they don't represent the Palestinian people."

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"I know false information is being spread all over the news." Leshem said. "It's hard to understand what is actually going on if you've never been to Israel. If you've never been to this situation, if you don't actually understand what's going on, don't spread news, don't use social media as a weapon. Don't even share your thoughts, because you don't know what the hell is going on here, and hell is being brought upon us."


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