Lt. Col. (res.) Avital Leibovich, the Director of the American Jewish Committee Israel, spoke to Arutz Sheva - Israel National News about the

"We're seeing the fact that October 7th has been forgotten, more or less. Exactly the reason why Israel chose to go to war is not so much in the mindsets of officials. Therefore, I felt the need to remind [them] why Israel found itself on October 7th launching a war with Hamas in Gaza," Leibovich said.

She said that this involves "talking about the huge number of hostages, and also the fact that Israel is actually fighting, as we are speaking, on six different fronts."

"This is something that in Israel we live 24/7. We all have kids that go to the army. We are ourselves serving in the army. But to an outsider - they usually deal with their immediate environment. That's why it was so important for me to go and speak out and explain and remind everyone," she said.

When asked about public opinion in the US, Leibovich stated, "I'm not sure that the level of knowledge is that vast so people can really take positions. They're hearing a lot of noises because the media in the US and other countries globally is not focusing 24 hours on Israel. So they're hearing a bunch of information, a lot of ideas. They're not really sure what is the actual reality."

"So I come prepared with facts, and I give numbers, I share information. I share the details, the facts, hoping that they would understand," she said, adding that sometimes she receives difficult questions.

"For example, about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which is a legitimate question to ask, of course. But then. when I present the numbers - for example, more than 20 bakeries are operating on a daily basis in Gaza - people open their eyes like it's the first time they heard about it," she said. "So when you have the data, you can confront these issues, you can give out information. And moreover, you can maybe influence the opinion of those decision-makers."

Leibovich explained why in addition to the data, telling the human story of what Israelis are going through is so important. "We're not living in the military world, at the end of the day. Israel has been in survival mode for most of its life and we are defending our borders. But most of the world is not in this mode, and therefore, the number of rockets will not persuade interlocutors to understand your threats."

"But personal stories of your own family, like I choose to share" can be persuasive. "Three of my kids, all of them lost people in the Gaza war who they knew. My daughter had a friend who was murdered in the Nova festival. My son had a friend who was killed in the army in Gaza, and my youngest one as well. So on that emotional basis, as a parent to another, this is something that people could relate to."

Addressing the antisemitism crisis facing the American Jewish community, Leibovich said, "I think there are tools to give the people to handle the situation on the ground. We actually started a program called 'Lft,' 'Leaders for Tomorrow,' and this applies to seniors and juniors in high schools, Jews, before they go to colleges and universities. Basically, we are giving them tools and training them, and teaching them about Israel and Judaism so they will be empowered when they enter college,"

"On the issue of antisemitism, we are offering training and workshops all across the US for companies, for municipalities, just to make there that the colleagues we are working with understand what is the meaning of antisemitism. Because sometimes, there is also a layer of ignorance. People are not sure when they are saying, 'Well, you know, I'm sure the Jews control the media.' Not always do they understand this is an antisemitic statement. So we are there to teach and enlighten them.

Leibovich noted that the American Jewish Committee's representatives in the US have said that "these are very challenging times, maybe the most challenging times they've ever faced."

"The lack of security, personal security, is something that comes across the board. People are afraid to wear symbols of Judaism. One of my messages was, 'Always keep your head high and be proud of being a Jew," she said. "I don't think we should ever stop being proud of being Jewish."

She also noted the recent AJC survey of antisemitism in France which showed that 25% of Jews in France have experienced an act of antisemitism since October 7 and 44% refrain from wearing items that would identify them as Jewish in public.

"This is also of concern, it shows you the kind of threat that they are feeling in their everyday lives," she said.