Op-Ed: Jews, Hold on to Your Guns!
A few days ago, David Mamet, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, published a column for Newsweek defending gun ownership and calling President Obama’s weapons control proposals “Marxist”.
The column has a very Jewish title: “Gun laws and the Fools of Chelm”. It also indirectly explains why Israel is also known as “the pistol nation”.
For visitors, it’s the most enduring impression in Israel: guns are omnipresent, tucked inside belts, slung over soldiers’ backs, clutched chest-high at checkpoints. From cafes in Tel Aviv to “settlements” in Judea and Samaria, Jews carry guns. Guns are plentiful in the street, carried by “settlers”, soldiers, and security personnel, including the mandated guards in front of schools, restaurants and malls.
Israel as ‘the pistol nation’ literally obsesses the rest of the world. Where once Jews were mocked for being “cowards” and “parasites,” today they are condemned by the world for being “aggressors.” The very essence of the State of Israel is self-reliance and self-defense. The protection and safety of Jewish life is far more important than any other value that Jews may cherish.
Even Israeli humanistic preachers of “normality” and of being a “nation like all other nations” know that the Jewish oasis in the desert was made possible by the fact that Israel was “armed to the teeth,” as anti-Israel literary critic George Steiner once said. Even liberal Diaspora Jews, from London’s Golders Green to Toronto’s Forest Hill, can enjoy quiet nights because they know that every Israeli fence is guarded by armed Jews.
The first thing Adolf Hitler did, once in power, was to pass a restrictive gun control law which forced most of the people to give up their guns. We know how the story ended …Imagine if Germany or Poland’s Jews had been armed. Would rounding Jews up have been possible?
French Jews will soon commemorate the three children and rabbi slaughtered by a Muslim in Toulouse two years ago. Imagine if armed Jews would have patrolled that school. Would that brutal attack have been possible?
It is very clear that neither the police nor the army can provide adequate protection from sudden attacks perpetrated either by trained terrorists or individuals. Any attempt on the lives of Jews which results in killing or maiming will encourage repetition and will weaken deterrent power. That’s why when terror strikes, Israeli Jews run for pistols.
In 2000, there were just over 4,400 applications for gun licenses in Israel; in 2001, in the middle of the Intifada, there were nearly 7,800. Today in Israel over 10 per cent of Jewish adults have a permit to carry concealed handguns. A gun in one’s belt, especially during hiking trips, helps quell concerns of terrorist attack. Jewish self defense teams became indispensable as Arabs began infiltrating Jewish towns after the Intifada started.
To mobilize public opinion against the “settlements”, the Western press has undertaken to make them odious. It portrays them not only as “political provocations” but as “hotbeds of violence” and “breeders of violence”. It is easier to disarm the Jews, while according with the IDF, about 80,000 illegal weapons are believed to be in the hands of Palestinian Arab terrorists.
This is particularly true with Yitzhar, the most hated, headlined and demonized “settlement” in Samaria. It is surrounded by six Arab villages (Burin, Orif, Asira al-Qibliya, Inabus, Madma and Hawara). Violence is always around the corner, with the Palestinian Arabs who are trying to literally burn Yitzhar and lynch its residents and the Israelis who often respond to violence. Yitzhar and the other small communities keep terrorists from taking over the area and serve as buffer zones for the larger Israeli cities. But it seems that Israel’s only worry is to disharm Yitzhar’s Jews.
Barack Obama will soon come to Israel to energize again the abandonment of the Jews to a death trap and put them at the mercy of the Arabs. Obama will return to serve the “settlers” on a silver platter. The first sign of the imminent tragedy may well be the IDF conducting a large scale operation to confiscate weapons from the Jewish residents.
Yitzhak Imes’ weapons permit was rescinded in November 2009. A few weeks later, he was shot to death by terrorists. He was left defenseless when Jihadists struck, like a Jew in Warsaw.
As the need for firearms proves, no Western society lives in greater intimacy with death than Israel. During the Second Intifada, the most effective protection in the cafés and shopping malls, aside from IDF incursions into Palestinian cities, was a kind of spontaneous form of Jewish civil defense, the only thing that worked even when terrorists from Jenin and Nablus showed up at a café in Tel Aviv or a gas station in the settlement of Ariel – or at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva massacre in Jerusalem, where an IDF officer who was a former student, ran across the street and killed the terrorist whle another student shot him from the roof..
That’s also the Jewish revolution which the West and Obama can’t accept, the most admirable Israeli phenomenon: a people still able to defend itself against the forces of evil.
Otherwise, as Elyakim Haetzni wrote a few years ago and David Mamet recently explained, there is a “one way ticket for Chelm”.
Or worse, Chelmno.
Jews, hold on to your guns!