People4Peace Launched after 10/7, Combats Disinformation & Antisemitism

Mar 22, 2024 | Read Now, Voices

Peter Samuelson, Founder of People4Peace, leads a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit as a voice to educate and enlighten audiences worldwide about the Middle East, particularly regarding Israel’s challenges and the threat of Antisemitism to Jews around the globe.

I had seen the signs. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists waving their colors and banners down the road from me across the freeway overpass. Rising tides of anti-Israel actions on college campuses. Antisemitic tropes thrown around casually and without truth. Then October 7 happened. It seemed like we were all cast back into the 1940s when Jews were last subject to mass slaughter.

I quickly convened professionals from law, media, education, the sciences, government relations, psychology and communications to unite and form People4Peace to help tell the stories of real people in the wake of the horrific Hamas attacks on civilians. Our coalition went public using traditional media, digital channels and social platforms to emphasize Hamas’ much stated goal — the genocide of the Jewish people — on the one hand and the values that have guided American foreign policy since World War II on the other.

Our website is stocked daily with verified news articles, trending stories, hostage information, humanitarian spotlights, videos, talking-points, and more, to counter the diatribe of lies and misinformation spread virally. We feature real and honest voices who are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Palestinian, Israeli and Western. Truth, not lies. And we quote Hamas’ words when it makes genocidal statements, vowing to repeat its terrorism while hiding behind and under innocent children.

Since 10/7, some of us have seen the shocking video footage of the murders by thousands of Hamas terrorists from Gaza who invaded Israel and brutally killed over 1,200 people. We have seen Hamas bodycam footage of infants killed in their beds, women raped and their bodies desecrated, civilians — including the elderly and the disabled — tortured and maimed. Two Hundred Twenty victims from more than 40 countries abducted to Gaza as hostages by butchers following the written battle commands of Hamas.

When 85-year-old Israeli hostage Yocheved Lifshitz was released she described her experience as “hell.” Even as Hamas continues to hold nearly 100 hostages, younger Americans especially seem to have forgotten that Israel has a right to exist and the obligation to defend itself against terror. Likewise, they also don’t seem to understand that Hamas has time and again rejected peace with Israel, instead using Palestinian civilians as human shields, which is a war crime. When and why was critical thinking discarded?

Until it is eliminated, Hamas continues to remain the greatest threat to Palestinian self-determination and the Palestinian right to live in dignity and peaceful coexistence with its neighbor.

Israel cannot negotiate with the murderers of its children. At the same time, American youth have shown growing dissatisfaction with Israel and are confused by historical events, as reported in a December 2023 Economist/YouGov poll showing 50% of 18-29 demographic either believes the Holocaust is a myth (20%) or are unsure (30%). A growing segment of this age group also thinks that 10/7 was a hoax or false flag operation, giving credence to the unprecedented mis- and dis-information online.

In the coming weeks People4Peace will be releasing important information to identify exactly why young people under 30 are responding as they are.

Our study will be used to develop key messages to correct misinformation and then deploy partners with access to that demographic to distribute messages to counter the rhetoric.

In order to address Israel’s “messaging problem” to counter anti-Zionism and antisemitism, better understand why young people are vulnerable to misinformation, and produce well-crafted, well-tested messages to persuade today’s younger generations, we have employed a research team that has many decades of experience in public messaging, psychology, and the study of the unconscious mind.

Our experts are using empirical data to understand how messaging connects with targeted audiences and we believe we are the only organization that has identified the specifics to study and report these findings. We will create and deliver even more powerful and effective messaging.

Many of us realize Hamas presents a clear and present danger to the U.S., Israel, and the world. Our study will inform the next generation so that they can recognize the truth, and finally believe it.

Media executive, philanthropist, producer of 27 motion pictures, some award winning. Father of 4.

View this Op-Ed by Peter Samuelson, Founder of People4Peace