Cowboy John Plocher arrived in Israel with his fellow cowboys to support Israel in wake of the war against Hamas. He came to the Israel National News – Arutz Sheva studio in Jerusalem, to talk about their decision to come during these challenging and difficult days in Israel.

“When the attack happened, our hearts broke for you guys, and it was it was hard to hear what happened," Plocher says. "So, we immediately knew we wanted to do whatever we could do to help and we started a fundraiser back home, and we started building sheds and donating all of the profits from the sheds to come out and help here."

Then Joshua Waller from the Hayovel organization contacted John and his friends. "We could really use you here on the ground," Waller told Plocher.

"It was an easy answer," Plocher explains. "We already knew we wanted to help.”

The Hayovel activities focus on the areas of Judea and Samaria, and the cowboys from Montana came to the community of Har Bracha in Samaria and began working.

John continues, “We’ve been doing a few things like putting in some security roads. Hayovel is working on Operation Itay, which is getting supplies to the communities around there, like bulletproof vests, thermal drones, stuff like that, humanitarian defense stuff for the communities. We've been building a warehouse to store all that and distribute it. We have been preparing for that. We are also helping out in the communities, because all the men are off working or they're off to war, now they got the draft.”

On the importance of providing help to Judea and Samaria, areas which are experiencing intense levels of alert, especially in light of the war in the south and the security warnings in the north, John says that “one of the owners of the pepper farm was called out and when he came back all of his plants and everything else was falling down. They had strung them back up, but they needed help harvesting everything, otherwise it was just going to waste. So, one of the days we were there just picking peppers. It seems something so simple, but wow.”

John says that “I've heard that there are 500,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, who are surrounded by two to three million Arabs, you know Palestinians, and most of them support Hamas or some other terrorist organization, which nobody wants to talk about. And all of the leaders there are saying that what happened on October 7th, ‘we want that to happen here too,’ and they're supporting it. They're saying ‘congratulations, good job.’ So right now, the IDF is cracking down really hard, but there's a very real concern there and they're lacking simple things, like flashlights, bulletproof vests, just stuff that they need for defense.”

John feels that when he and his friends arrived here, they experienced “a different feeling, because most of us are not used to being on camera or having publicity. We're just used to being out in the hills by ourselves, but it's humbling for myself. It's humbling that I can even have an impact on this large of a scale; that I can be walking down the streets here and somebody recognizes me. I think that what I want to say to the Jewish people is we support you, and Montana supports you.”

One of the other battlefields that Israel is fighting on these days is the battlefield of ‘hasbara,’ information of explaining and telling our story. John feels that “back in Montana, we have similar situations with all sorts of stuff, and we understand what you're going through here, because right now if you guys, if Israel was to lay down all their arms, Hamas would come in and kill everybody. Right now, if Hamas, if the Palestinians, were to lay down their arms, they would come to deal with the people that need to be dealt with. They would prosecute them by law and the civilians would live. There would be peace, you know. So you guys didn't choose this war. You actually see what's happening here on the ground and that you guys want peace and you care about life, and they don't care about life, they're just here to kill and it's evil.”

John wants to emphasize that “in Montana we support you guys and the majority of Montana and the real Americans support you guys. What you'll hear is things on the news like college campuses and these people that are rioting in the streets and chanting angrily at you and the people that throw the temper tantrums. That's where all the media is focused on, but that doesn't represent the true Americans and the true people from Montana. The people I know and the real people, we support you and we understand what you guys have to do going through this. We support that you're going in there after Hamas.”

On the comparison between Israelis and cowboys, John gives an analogy, saying that it’s a little different, but, he claims, it has similarities. “We have grizzly bears back in Montana and they're a big problem. Actually, when the original people came into Montana, they said it's a great land, it's awesome, it's amazing. It's got mountains and rivers and streams and creeks and wildlife. But the problem is the grizzly bears, because they're ferocious and they kill you and they come after you. So they got rid of them and now they want to start introducing them back in. They say there are places for grizzly bears, like Yellowstone, but they want them everywhere in the whole land and they're eating people's cattle, they're coming after humans. There are grizzly bear attacks all the time, where people get killed. And in Montana we’re saying, ‘let's stop this, let the grizzly bears have a place, but let them be in their place.’ But the same people get into trouble for saying that, that the grizzly bears deserve life too. It's like letting them be where they are, but let us do what we need to do to defend ourselves. People get into trouble for shooting grizzly bears, if they're not charging at them. So, if they turn away and you shoot the grizzly bear, you get into trouble, even if it would have circled around and killed you, because if it's not in the midst of attacking you, then you're in trouble."

He adds, "It's the same with you guys. It's Hamas; it's like maybe people support you right when the war happened, then you have a right to defend yourself, but now when you guys are going in to eradicate this, but they retreated. But they're going to come back. I mean it's stupid to think they're not and so we understand that you guys have to go in after them and eradicate them. Am Yisrael Chai.”