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Hamas' Nightmare of Terror Exposed in New NYC Play, Forced to Open Under Police Protection

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A journalist and filmmaker known for exploring tough issues through film, stage plays, books, and podcasts is on a mission to expose the true horrors of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack.

Listen to the latest episode of CBN News’ “Quick Start” podcast

Phelim McAleer’s new play, “October 7,” is underway in New York City.

It’s a stage show motivated by his quest to tell the real story behind the deadly attacks, the related hostage crisis, and Israel’s military response.

“We realized very quickly that journalists in the mainstream media — they want[ed] to talk about Oct. 8. They wanted to talk about Oct. 9,” McAleer said. “Nobody wanted to talk about Oct. 7. There was a story that wasn’t being told, and that’s what we specialize in: telling untold stories.”

The conservative journalist and filmmaker said people fail to understand there would be no Israeli response and no war in Gaza had Hamas not unleashed terror on Israel.

“We want to tell the truth,” McAleer said. “We wanted to bring the truth to people.” 

Watch him explain:

McAleer said he and his wife, Ann McElhinney, were so shocked by the Oct. 7 terror attack they, weeks later, went to Israel in November to personally collect stories from survivors and those impacted.

“We interviewed about 20 people,” McAleer said. “We have cut it down to 13 stories. … There’s stories of tragedy, there’s stories of heroism, there’s stories of people fighting back, there’s stories of survival, resilience.”

McAleer said he and McElhinney knew they wanted to translate these stories — relying word-for-word on the personal accounts — into a stage play.

He said the stage is the only venue he believes would have been appropriate to bring these stories to the forefront. McAleer said the play doesn’t include editorializing and has “no added characters, no added drama” — just the raw and true words of those with whom they spoke.

“[We want to] remind people that there was a day called Oct. 7, and [without it] there would be no war in Gaza … there’d be no need for a ceasefire,” he said. “There was a ceasefire on Oct. 6.”

October 7” opens May 13 at Actors Temple Theatre in New York City, with showings extending through June 16.

So far, McAleer said the reception has been deeply emotional and positive.

Not everyone is elated about the show, though. McAleer said he and his team are “getting a lot of blowback online,” forcing the show to beef up security.

In fact, audiences must enter through metal detectors similar to airport security.

“I think we’re the only play in New York that has opened under police protection,” he said. “I think we may be the only play in decades that has opened in New York under police protection.”

He continued, “It’s amazing that [this] kind of play needs police protection in New York in 2024.”

McAleer said he wants audiences to walk away understanding how normal people — people just like them — faced unimaginable and inconceivable horrors.

“I want people to realize that these were ordinary people thrust into the biggest nightmare that anyone on this planet could ever have to face,” he said.

Watch McAleer explain more here.

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.