On anniversary of shooting, Jewish Federation tells NRA spokesman to step down

On anniversary of shooting, Jewish Federation tells NRA spokesman to step down

Joel Magalnick, Editor, The Jewish Sound

Eight years to the day after a man burst into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and shot six women, killing one, the Federation called for the resignation of the National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist in Washington State following controversial comments he made at a recent political rally.

As the HorsesAss.org website reported Monday, the NRA’s Brian Judy spoke at a rally in Silverdale on July 23, taking local billionaire Nick Hanauer to task for his support and contribution to Initiative 594, which seeks to require universal background checks on firearm purchases.

Referring to an article Hanauer wrote for Politico.com in which he notes how his family “got chased out of Germany by Hitler and ended up in Seattle,” Judy suggested that Jews who believe in gun safety are acting against their own interests.

“Any Jewish people I meet who are anti-gun, I think, ‘Are you serious? Did you not remember what happened?’” he said in a video clip posted by HorsesAss. “You come to this country and you support gun control? Why did you have to flee to this country in the first place? Hello! Is anybody home here?”

Keith Dvorchik, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation called the linking of gun violence prevention and the Holocaust, or the idea that had Jews possessed guns at that time might have stopped the genocide against them, “an insulting and extreme notion that does a disservice to everyone in our state” at a press conference held Tuesday.

“The Holocaust happened because of governmental policies. The Holocaust happened because of a culture of hate. The Holocaust happened because of a culture of intolerance,” Dvorchik said. “To think that if Jews only had guns they would have stopped it is inane, is idiotic, is simplistic, and simply wrong.”

He called on Judy to resign, saying the NRA should reject his “ignorant and unproductive dialogue.”

According to State Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D–36th), Judy’s comments “carry dark and ugly and sober undertones of anti-Semitism that are very troubling,” he said. The direct linkage to a modest gun safety initiative of the people of Washington State, signed by hundreds of thousands of people, and the financing by Mr. Hanauer and so many other contributors — the insinuation, the linkage, the undertone, is all directed at this core idea, this core concept, that Nazi-era Germany policies are directly linked to an initiative in 2014 in Washington State. That is preposterous.”

Cheryl Stumbo, one of the survivors of the 2006 shooting at the Federation who has since co-founded the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, also condemned Judy’s statements Monday.

“The offensive rhetoric from a senior lobbyist at the National Rifle Association is out of touch with what the vast majority of Washingtonians want: a reasonable, productive discussion of solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities,” she said in a statement. “Developing those solutions has been a major part of my life since the attack on my co-workers and me eight years ago.”

Kim Abel, president of the League of Women voters of Washington State, who also spoke at the Tuesday press conference, said she condemns Judy’s statements not only because they “perpetuate destructive falsehoods about the Jewish community,” but because “we have seen what can happen when heated rhetoric replaces thoughtful discussion.” Earlier this month, a bullet-riddled shooting-range target was found at the league’s Seattle-King County offices, with a second target found nearby.

“These incidents are being investigated as threats and are a reminder that each of us has a responsibility to create an environment that allows us discuss issues rather than one of intimidation and division,” Abel said.

Alan Gottlieb, president of the Second Amendment Foundation who is running the Initiative 591 campaign that would eliminate all background checks in Washington State, told KING-5 News Monday that Judy’s statements are factual. However, a study published by Prof. Bernard E. Harcourt of the University of Chicago School of Law in the Fordham Law Review in 2004 shows that when Hitler came to power, the Nazi party actually relaxed gun restrictions from what had been a complete ban on guns enacted in 1919. New laws passed in 1928 allowed ownership only through a strict permitting process. Gun laws in 1938 further removed restrictions on all but Germany’s Jewish population, which later was restricted from possession of any type of weapon. As Harcourt noted, “The Nazis were intent on killing Jewish persons and used the gun laws and regulations to further the genocide.”

The Federation may find that its call for the NRA to disavow any comparisons between gun control and the Holocaust falls on deaf ears: As Harcourt also wrote, the gun rights organization has made such comparisons for decades, dating at least as far back as 1968.

But the Federation’s Dvorchik issued a challenge to the NRA: “We now ask whether the National Rifle Association agrees with these views. If not, the senior leadership of the NRA must make that clear publicly, loudly and immediately. If they make no such statement and take no such action, then we can only assume that these ignorant, destructive falsehoods continue to be embraced.”

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Robert G. Silverman
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 23:48:01

    Brian Judy is right. There is a Jewish neurosis about guns, that if only we don’t defend ourselves, the bad guys won’t hate us.

    And I don’t hear any hatred in his statement. Exasperation, yes. But not hatred. I would have a beer with Brian Judy.

    Reply

    • Michael Tobias
      Aug 01, 2014 @ 06:12:25

      I would have even a bottle of wine with Brian Judy! Kosher wine, of course.

      Reply

  2. Michael Tobias
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 07:18:10

    A Dire Warning to American Jews

    by Rabbi Dovid Bendory, Rabbinic Director,
    Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.

    Rabbi BendoryHere in the United States, we Jews have the wonderful and unique freedom to own and use firearms in righteous self-defense. Many American Jews don’t know it, but America actually provides freer access to firearms ownership than Israel provides to its citizenry. By and large, an Israeli cannot own or carry a firearm unless he or she is now, or once was, a member of the Israeli military, and handguns are further restricted.
    How unique is our freedom as American Jews? Our brothers and sisters living in other nations (excepting Israel) have no meaningful recourse to firearms use in moral self-defense. The citizenries of Germany, England, France, Spain, Australia, Russia, and dozens of other countries live disarmed by government diktat. The history of our People’s disarmament and slaughter spans continents and centuries … see “Gateway to Tyranny”
    So why is it that some American Jews aggressively, even compulsively, refuse to arm themselves and learn the proper, safe, and strategic use of firearms? And why do so many Jews who have achieved political prominence – Chuck Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, and others – obsessively seek to force an unarmed victimhood mentality upon everyone else?
    My Gentile friends who own firearms are confounded and indignant with this state of affairs. I’ve heard it more than once, to paraphrase in words that are generally not so directly leveled: “What’s wrong with you people?! How can a Jew be against personal gun ownership? Is it some sort of insanity?!”
    And how can I answer them? These are not malevolent men and women spewing Jew-hatred. These are Righteous Gentiles (nearly all of them Christians) who on this issue show more practical concern for the Jewish people living around them than is displayed by those Jews themselves!
    And these well meaning Gentiles continue to ask: “Why do powerful Jews like George Soros, Senator Charles Schumer, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and an army of other Jewish anti-gun advocates do what they are doing?” – see “No Guns for Jews”

    Stand back for a moment and view this issue objectively. After all, how would you feel about what appears to be an entire ethnic group calling for your personal disarmament? Would you continue to respect that group? At what point might you actually begin to distrust or even hate them?
    Endorsement of “gun control” by Jews in positions of power fuels American anti-Semitism unlike any other issue.
    Ignore the supposed “causes” of anti-Semitism – an irrational hatred of Jews regardless of who we are or what we do. What can I say to a Gentile who mistrusts Jews on this specific issue of “gun control”?
    Jews – and always remember, we are a tiny minority – live safely in America under the beneficent protection of Righteous Gentiles. If that protection evaporates, and especially if Jews purposefully and willfully keep ourselves disarmed, we are in grave danger.
    There is only one way to live by the declaration “Never Again”: gun-hating Jews must repent of their naïve foolishness. We must encourage all Righteous Americans, Jew and Gentile alike, religious or not, to exercise their right to firearms ownership. And we must somberly embrace the resolve to use those arms in righteous defense should that horrific day ever come, G-d forbid.
    Shalom,

    signature
    Rabbi Dovid Bendory
    Rabbinic Director
    Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

    Reply

  3. Bill St. Clair
    Aug 01, 2014 @ 14:48:02

    German Jews enabled the Holocaust by refusing to fight back against their oppressors, with the notable exceptions of the Warsaw Ghetto and probably a few others, not as well known. Now, many American Jews are working hard to enable an American Holocaust by disarming the people here, just as the Germans did there. Fortunately, most Americans aren’t that stupid. Bravo, Brian Judy. I hope the NRA backs you up.

    Reply

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