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Why Israel Has No Newtowns

It’s the Jewish state’s gun culture, not its laws, that prevents mass shootings like the one in Connecticut

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Israeli girls wear automatic rifles as they dance together during the celebrations for Independence Day in Jerusalem on April 19, 2010. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

When the ground beneath the argument about the availability of guns became shaky, some pundits pivoted to the issue of ammunition, which Israelis, with some exceptions, are allowed to legally purchase in limited quantities, usually no more than 50 rounds per year. Even if we disregard the relative ease of obtaining more bullets—the army is always a handy source, as are shooting ranges, which sell as many bullets as one wants and rarely check at the door to see how many rounds each customer actually fired and how many were squirreled away—talk of limiting ammunition remains unconvincing. Dylan Klebold, for example, committed most of his Columbine massacre using a TEC-9 handgun, which he fired a total of 55 times. Nearly any Israeli citizen could have fired the same number of bullets without breaking any law, and some—from the homicidal Baruch Goldstein to Eden Natan-Zada, a soldier who shot up a bus full of Israeli Arabs—did.

How, then, to explain Israel’s relatively low rate of gun-related deaths? For Lior Nedivi, an independent firearms examiner in Jerusalem and the co-author of a comprehensive report comparing Israel’s gun laws and culture to that of the United States, the answer lies far from the law books. “An armed society,” Nedivi wrote, quoting the science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, “is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” It may be a bit odd to think of Israeli society as polite, but when it comes to guns it is, and for just the reason articulated by Heinlein: When everyone has a gun, guns are no longer seen as talismans by weak, frightened, and unstable men seeking a sense of self-validation, but as killing machines that are to be handled with the utmost caution and care.

***

If the United States, itself awash with weapons, wishes to benefit from Israel’s experience, it must make sure it learns the right lessons. The first and most universal one is that ever more stringent gun control is bad policy: As is the case with drugs, as was the case with liquor during Prohibition, the strict banning of anything does little but push the market underground into the hands of criminals and thugs. Rather than spend fortunes and ruin lives in a futile attempt to eradicate every last trigger in America, we would do well to follow Israel’s example and educate gun owners about their rights and responsibilities, so as to foster a culture of sensible and mindful gun ownership.

This is possible even in a society that doesn’t send each and every one of its sons and daughters to the army. One of my earliest memories involves waving a toy gun around, playfully pointing it at my father; I was 5 or 6 years old, and thought the whole thing great fun. My father, however, was unamused. Sternly, he looked at me and told me I should never point a gun at anything I didn’t truly intend to kill.

The lesson stuck. Later in life, he took me shooting, drilling into me the fundamentals of gun safety from a very young age. He was hardly alone in taking such an attitude. Go to any shooting range in Israel, as a soldier or a civilian, and the instructor is likely to talk about responsibility even before he or she begin to cover the basics of shooting. Those of us who are passionate about firearms should pursue the same path. I was dismayed to observe the National Rifle Association, an organization to which I belong, remain silent in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre; any organization that takes gun ownership seriously should dedicate itself not only to rights but to duties as well and provide its members with the resources to teach themselves and their children the same lessons my father taught me. The NRA should have been the first to vehemently condemn the shooting. Then they should have used the plethora of platforms at their disposal—including three magazines and a robust presence on social media—to assert the values that unite the many of us who are responsible and mature gun owners and who spend just as much time thinking about a gun’s tremendous potential for destruction as they do thinking about its muzzle velocity.

Finally, there’s one more crucial, and tragically ignored, point to consider. In the aftermath of Friday’s shooting, a mother named Liza Long wrote a powerful essay in which she recounted the difficulties of raising her mentally ill son. A brilliant child, he is nonetheless prone to occasional fits of rage and violence. When she looked at the shooter this past Friday, Long felt a chilling sense of recognition.

“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother,” she wrote. “I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

Amen to that. In Israel, still a somewhat socialist country, mental health services are ready available, for free, to anyone. And because so many young Israelis undergo traumatic experiences in the course of their military service, a whole host of nonprofit organizations are on hand to provide counseling and treatment. We must do the same. Rather than pretend that it was the objects in their hands rather than the afflictions in their minds that led Lanza and Holmes and Cho and the others to perpetrate their monstrosities, we should offer help to those young men and their families. We have no more compassionate route, and no greater hope for peace.

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julis123 says:

Vet sloppy article. First of all the IDF weapons are automatic not semi-automatic. Second bullets-you don’t get free bullets at the pistol range you buy a box of 50 bullets and that’s all you get, there aren’t bullets lying around. Also, the bullets used in the army can’t be used in nearly all pistols. Also where do you get your figures of 400,000 from? The approval process is also very strict in Israel. Your physician must fill out a lengthy form and if you didn’t serve in the army for psychological reasons(profile 21) forget about getting a gun.Finally, the main difference between the USA and Israel (besides the stricter gun laws) is that Israeli society is much less violent that American. There’s lots of yelling and honking of horns but physical violence is rare.

This is a biased article which misses one huge point. It is about TRAINING and EXPECTATIONS. Liel Liebovitz’ father inculcated the correct attitude at an early age. Guns are not about fun, they are the most serious thing a human can have and own. When a society speaks of gun control (which is entirely rational), it must also consider training and education. The same kind of care which is taken with teaching people how to drive ought to be exercised when it comes to guns. As did Mr. Leibovitz, I received my training at an early age. Most Americans just go out and get a gun or an arsenal. Better, stricter laws will impact that, and education is the key. On top of that, limit the amount of ammo anyone can purchase in a certain period of time, and impose strict penalties if those threshholds are exceeded – just like drunken driving. Take the drunks off the road, and the number of accidents and fatalities goes down. It is just simple math.

pkbrandon says:

Good points, but you’re leaving out a more basic one.
Israel has about one fortieth of the population of the United States. On this basis, you’d expect things that happen every year in the U.S. to happen every forty years in Israel. That by itself accounts for the difference in the number of shootings.

Eric Weiss’ logic contains some serious disconnects. He rightly emphasizes training, but then talks about “stricter laws: that will impact that. How? He talks about limiting the purchase of ammunition, then seems to equate that with “the simple math” of fewer drunks equals fewer drunk driving deaths. Limiting ammunition purchases is like limiting gasoline purchases. I’m in favor of denying ammunition to a crazy person, just as I am in favor of denying gasoline to a drunk driver. I;m not sure how best to do it, but the only meaningful solution is to educate the population about guns instead of hysterically pretending that they are intrinsically evil, and identifying potential crackpots and restricting their behavior. Take the drunks off the road, not the cars or the gas.

When Israelis with guns want to engage in senseless acts of violence, there are always Palestinians in the West Bank to shoot.

Very interesting. I didn’t realize things were so stringent in Israel. On the flip side, I didn’t think they were lax either. I figured there was a happy middle ground, especially with the military service requirement. We’ve built a culture of fear in America and we could stand to take a lesson from Israel.

Very interesting. I didn’t realize things were so stringent in Israel. On the flip side, I didn’t think they were lax either. I figured there was a happy middle ground, especially with the military service requirement. We’ve built a culture of fear in America and we could stand to take a lesson from Israel.

Need I say how stupid that remark is? Apart from Baruch Goldstein, no Israelis have goner on a rampage killing Palestinians. Whereas the number of Palestinians who have carried one kind of terrorist attack or another is very high. I’m fed up with people who live according to their own fantasies.

Need I say how stupid that remark is? Apart from Baruch Goldstein, no Israelis have goner on a rampage killing Palestinians. Whereas the number of Palestinians who have carried one kind of terrorist attack or another is very high. I’m fed up with people who live according to their own fantasies.

J Nolder says:

Please share with me your opinion as to why America is so violent (as I agree) but want to hear your opinion on why you think Americans are so violent?

I’m referencing the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

If you look at homicides by firearm and compare the US and Israel, you’ll see that the rate in the US is just under 3 per 100,000 and just under 1 per 100,00 in Israel. Where the US sticks out is suicides by gun which are 8 times the rate in Israel.

If anything this reinforces the notion that we need to provide better mental health care in this country.

No offense, pkbrandon, but your comment shows a basic lack of understanding of the mathematical constructs underlying statistics. Israel’s population is large enough to make RELATIVE comparisons with other, larger populations. This is the same principle that allows us to extrapolate conclusions about, say, election results or social issue trends without literally talking to every single citizen, but to only a few hundred to a few thousand representative citizens.

No offense, pkbrandon, but your comment shows a basic lack of understanding of the mathematical constructs underlying statistics. Israel’s population is large enough to make RELATIVE comparisons with other, larger populations. This is the same principle that allows us to extrapolate conclusions about, say, election results or social issue trends without literally talking to every single citizen, but to only a few hundred to a few thousand representative citizens.

Don’t feed the troll.

Don’t feed the troll.

“Israeli society is much less violent that American” [citation needed]

“Israeli society is much less violent that American” [citation needed]

Interesting article, but I think the other issue is that Israel is under existential threat constantly whereas the U.S. isn’t. May also be a factor

Interesting article, but I think the other issue is that Israel is under existential threat constantly whereas the U.S. isn’t. May also be a factor

federbender says:

Nowhere has the author indicated whether in Israel–as in Switzerland, where every able-bodied man has a gun–the guns are registered and easy to trace?

federbender says:

Unless I’m mistaken, Lanza’s mother had a whole arsenal and trained her boy how to use the guns. So, as the NRA points out, an armed citizen is his own best defense–just like Lanza’s mother, right?

pkbrandon says:

Mr. Levy–
I was making a relative rate comparison; this is a standard practice in inferential statistics.
As to my understanding of statistics, my PhD training in Experimental Psychology included both maths and statistics on a graduate level — a bit more than an undergrad degree in psychology.

lenny46 says:

That last remark was wrong, in the sense that it is hard to tell when some people are drunk. You have to know how to limit yourself, and angry people lose that ability. I am a Life Member of the NRA and certainly am sick about Sandy Hook. This kid was dysfunctional and they all knew it. His fellow classmates labeled him as “socially lacking.” He was described as a Goth. If that does not show you that he was not in his real mind, I don’t know what will. These socially awkward kids need special attention. They feel disenfranchised. That is where you need to put up a net to catch and help them. We would do more for a sick animal than we do for people.

Never heard of settler or IDF violence against Palestinians?

How does gun safety address – in any way – what happened in Newtown? Talk about simple minds.

PhillipNagle says:

Israel has an armed population. The Newtown shootings ended as soon as the first guns arrived. In Israel, the first guns are already there.

Heard lots. Actual proof? Not so much.

Settler rampages? Massacres? The IDF? I’m from Northern Ireland, and I know exactly what happens when terrorists are on the loose. IDF massacres? IDF slaughter? Start with the Palestinian violence before you go anywhere near the IDF and the lives it saves.

xi557xi says:

Hahahaha. Speaking of own fantasies. Tzrifin Underground; Brit HaKanaim; Gush Emunim Underground; Eden Natan-Zada; Yaakov Teitel; Jewish Resistance Movement; Menachen Begin; Irgun; Hilltop Youth + unknown pricetag murderers… the list goes on and on and on and on… care to update us on your burst fantasy bubbles?

xi557xi says:

I’d prefer to start with Arab self-defense against Zionist ethnic cleansing, which began around WWI. After that we can get to the IDF. If you still care to.

xi557xi says:

Don’t feed the Zionist either.

savtaro says:

Wow! What an ingenuous and truly revolting article! When all of our sensitivities are lining up to support an urgent move towards increased gun control, enter Tablet with an NRA lobbying bit of abundant nausea. You owe your readers an apology.

Scott Tennis says:

If ever a people needed killing it’s those who feed the bloodlust of their totem deity, allah.

ginzy1 says:

I also might add that it is extremely difficult (if at all possible) in Israel to own more than one weapon. The gun license is specific to the particular pistol belonging to the licensee and its use by anyone else (except for a licensed instructor at a shooting range) is grounds for losing the license and the weapon.

Also those in the communities over the Green Line who carry M-16s and the like are members of the ready response squad who have IDF experience and training and are screened before they are accepted into the squad.

I don’t own a gun but both of my sons and my son-in-law do.

hg

J’lem / Efrat

AlgorithmicAnalyst says:

The most effective method of reducing crime is strict enforcement of traffic safety laws, including DUI checkpoints, checking for weapons and warrants during traffic stops.

DNA databases are also useful, as is reducing “quality of life” crimes.

xi557xi says:

Totem deity? I guess you failed Anthropology. More importantly however, next time a mosque is bombed in the USA we’ll start with your IP address.

Do you get your talking points straight from Palestinian Islamic Jihad? The people who train Palestinian children to hate and kill? Or Hamas TV which does the same? After being raised on this virulent trash, well, we know what happens.

I notice people like you never have a word of criticism for this blatant child abuse.

http://saraya.ps/index.php?act=Show&id=21479

meqmac says:

Where to start? The Tzrifin Underground were a bunch of bigots who concentrated mainly on political targets and did not run amok killing Palestinians and were finally arrested and sent to jail; Brit HaKanaim were unpleasant too, but they killed only a small number of Jews, bombed some buildings, and were arrested, tried, and sent to jail (when did the PA or Hamas ever send one of their terrorists to jail?); the Gush Emunim Underground were also bigots, but apart from what they did in Hebron (not remotely like the 1929 Hebron massacre, but still obnoxious), they mainly planned to attack Islamic monuments but were arrested and sent to jail; Natan-Zada (bar Natan) was a Kahanist loner who killed and inflicted injuries on a busload of Israeli Arabs: he resembles all the lone gunmen, like the one at Newton, who burst out in the States and some other places from time to time; Yaakov Teitel was another lone gunman who committed numerous acts of violence, was originally declared mentally unstable, and is now awaiting trial for his murder of two Palestinians: think how many people like that you get in the States, then think about the Arab world; the Jewish Resistance Movement were out-and-out terrorists who acted against British interests from 1945-1946 – a very different situation to the one I was describing; Begin led the Irgun, but as a freedom fighter against the British: we have several figures like that in Ireland, and you’ll find hundreds of them round the world: again, it’s a very different situation, and you have no reason to bring him in; the Irgun falls under the same heading; as for the Hilltop Youth and those responsible for the pricetag attacks, these are far removed from mainstream Israeli society, have few links with the regular settler movement, and are condemned throughout Israel. Dragging these aberrant individuals and groups into this debate does not for one moment contradict the fact that there have never been large-scale massacres carried out against the Palestinians, nor does it even remotely balance out the actions of the Palestinians over the decades.

meqmac says:

See my longer response above. Yes, but it does not balance and does not add up to a condemnation of Israel, whereas Palestinian terrorism does add up to an ongoing culture of violence that is commemorated everywhere throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel is the size of New Jersey. It can be very much contained, America well we know the size of it. To compare America to Israel is unfair. If America was just New Jersey believe me their would be little to no violence.

Scott Tennis says:

No, my friend, the next time Jews or synagogues are targeted in the USA we’ll start with your IP address. Not only did I not fail Anthropology I hold several advanced degrees. The deity of the arab moslems is a thinly disguised version of their original Moon God dating from their pre-moslem and pagan eras. As given voice in the Koran by Mohammed only the blood of the non-believers is sufficient payment for any imagined transgressions against their Islam. As such they constitute a force for violence and evil on a scale which has been amply demonstrated since 9-11 and before.

Scott Tennis says:

I’d prefer to start with arab terror against Jews since they began arriving back to their homeland post WW1. In particular the Haifa refinery massacres and the massacres odf the Hebron Jewish community in 1929. In response to these and other instances of arab terror, the Jews began forming self-defense units. Anything else you require accurate information about?

normbnm says:

Well Mr. Leibovitz you got reaction to your article. I think this is the first time I have read every comment in response to a article. Had I not read the article just the comments I would have no firm idea what it was about. It seems that we are confused about whether G_D is loving and merciful or not. Perhaps it would better asked are religions loving and merciful or not. It seems to boil down to us, do we have faith in a Creator, a religion or the thing called Humanity. Humanity, especially the youth, have lost their ability to understand and fulfill their desires and this has lead to drugs, alcohol, suicide and mental illness in many people. Society see’s it happening but is unsure what to do about it. Purist of money, fame, possessions and glory now leaves us empty so we need to change society to one that shows the reward and satisfaction of helping others. We are inter connected and if we find the contentment received from doing good for all we can start to become what the Creator asked us to become.

Scott Tennis says:

Actually I passed Anthropology with an A. And also hold a masters degree. More importantly the next time a synagogue is bombed or defaced we’ll start with your IP address.

Dick Stanley says:

Very good article, but the semiautomatic part of it is garbled, which seems to be the norm in journalism these days. You’d think an NRA member could get it right! Those rifles Israeli soldiers carry everywhere, in shopping malls and on the street, are fully automatic via a selector switch, as are almost all military rifles these days of whatever country. They can be fired semiautomatic, of course, meaning one bullet every time the trigger is pulled, and a fresh one loaded automatically for the next trigger pull. The child murderer had a semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle as well as some semiautomatic pistols. Pistols sold today, Glocks, Sig Sauer, etc., all are semiautomatic. It takes a separate trigger pull to fire every round, while the next one is loaded automatically and ready for the next pull of the trigger. Only revolvers don’t reload automatically, and therefore are not semiautomatic by definition, but the “revolving” cylinder does turn to present the next round for firing.

Dick Stanley says:

Lanza’s mother seems to have been a special case, a piece of work in her own right, else she would not have allowed her “troubled” son anywhere near a gun.

Dick Stanley says:

Lanza’s mother seems to have been a special case, a piece of work in her own right, else she would not have allowed her “troubled” son anywhere near a gun.

xi557xi says:

Totem deity? hahaha. Um, no you did not pass.

xi557xi says:

Totem deity? hahaha. Um, no you did not pass.

xi557xi says:

A lot of assumptions. No facts. Begin again.

xi557xi says:

A lot of assumptions. No facts. Begin again.

xi557xi says:

“Their” homeland? I guess you failed history also.

xi557xi says:

“Their” homeland? I guess you failed history also.

Casey Taylor says:

Well done!

xi557xi says:

Nice to hear you hold some advanced degrees, but all they add up at the moment is ‘Argument from Authority.’ I never made any claims about people needing to be killed; you did.

The term ‘totem deity’, by the way, since it looks like you deleted that comment, does not apply to Allah since He — according to Islamic theology — is the supreme god and does not represent anything else. Moreover, representations of him are forbidden. So no, sorry. That’s just flat out wrong.

This article is very accurate.Why didn’t they consult with an Israeli before publishing? First, large sectors of the Israeli society do not serve in the army. Second, not every soldier carries a gun throughout his or her service. Do you really think that a 8-5 programmer, clerk or cook carry a gun with them ? Because they usually don’t. Unsurprisingly, sectors of workers that do carry guns, mainly guards in malls and other public areas , are characterized by higher murder rates.Where there are guns there is deadly violence, even in Israel.
The bottom line is that Israel just does not have a gun culture.You cannot even enter many public places with guns even if you legally own one.

xi557xi says:

Terrible and self-serving argument, meqmac, in numerous ways. It’s like arguing al-Qaeda-inspired gunmen and bombers are lone nuts and therefore not reflective of the goals of extreme Islamism. They are, and the bigots and gunmen I listed are reflective of the goals of extreme Zionism: the cleansing of Arabs from the lands of the Jews. You can distance yourself from them all you want, but remember there are many of you who revere Goldstein and make pilgrimage to his grave every year.

If you want to distance these people from mainstream Israeli society, you have to allow for distance from Arab and Islamic terrorists from their mainstream societies.

dongszkie says:

in the U.S. there’s just so many mentally derange people than in Israel. the Israelis are daily facing common enemy,common danger so their sense of camaraderie and sense of belonging is higher that mostly negate any desire to bent their frustration in life to the people and society they want to preserved.

Wow genius. I agree with almost the whole thing. Its education that’s needed not more Gun control.

Tablet, please pull this misleading and incompetently analyzed piece. The fact that there may be a cultural difference in attitudes towards gun usage in the U.S. and Israel does not mean that the difference in laws plays no role, indeed, it likely plays a large role. If you are going to argue that it is culture–and not Israel’s far stricter gun laws–that explains why there is less gun violence in Israel, then you have got do a whole lot more than make some argument based on personal anecdotes and the wrong statistics. It’s not enough to say that the author’s friends lie to obtain “pistols” in Israel under false pretenses. We need to know that it is actually the case that these gun laws are not meaningful in preventing the civilian population from obtaining banned weapons. Here, we need numbers, not anecdotes. All we get is one point that should lead the author to the opposite conclusion from the one he actually reaches. He concedes that it is harder to get assault weapons in Israel, at least outside the army, a point I will return to. It is these assault weapons that have been at the heart of most of the U.S. massacres. The aggregate statistics he cites, assuming they are accurate, tell us nothing about the composition of those weapons, how many are assault weapons that are at the heart of the U.S. debate? Most importantly, the author asks us to set aside, “for the sake of argument”, the very most crucial difference between the U.S. and Israel. He writes: “put aside the fact that nearly all Israelis
serve in the army, and that virtually all soldiers are armed with
semiautomatic weapons that they carry on their person at all times, even
when back home on vacation…” Put that aside, really? The ubiquitous presence of the Israeli Army in Israeli life offers a radically different personal security situation to that of most residents in the United States, who rarely, if ever, encounter armed soldiers in their malls, discos, public transportation, etc. That is a crucial point because of the very high degree of training and mental health screening one gets in the Israeli army that one does not obtain as a private citizen in the United States before purchasing a gun, at least under current law. The whole point is that the folks running around in Israel with assault weapons are trained, screened soldiers, not private citizens who walk into a Wal Mart to buy an assault weapon. It’s for this latter group that we need the ban here like the one that exists in Israel–no one is discussing banning assault weapons in the U.S. Army or the police. Israel does not have a problem with its soldiers using assault weapons a la Newtown or Aurora–and neither does the United States. The question is whether a ban on such assault weapons would reduce the chances of someone like the shooter in Newtown or Aurora from obtaining such a weapon. The flimsy evidence in this piece should not persuade anyone that laws don’t matter. But it will undoubtedly be cited by the gun lobby for exactly that purpose.

meqmac says:

You don’t get it, do you. I condemn Zionist extremists in the same way I condemn Muslim extremists or Irish nationalist extremists (I’m an Irish nationalist) or anyone else who takes to the gun to settle political or religious arguments. But I defend Israelis who have had to use weapons in order to defend their homes, their spouses, their children, and their communities. You should know that only a tiny minority of Jews in Israel support Goldstein or Kahana or Shapira or anyone else who advocates racism and violence. Mainstream Israel is far more anti-violence than any one part of the Islamic world (I’m an Islamicist by training). To use extreme examples to defame Israel as such is cheap and defamative. Why don’t you write about the 80% of Palestinians who, in a recent survey, agree that the only answer is jihad. What your motives may be I can only guess, but they aren’t healthy ones and they don’t have peace for an objective.

ednastvincent says:

This is indeed sloppy. The writer seems to have gleaned her facts from various online sources which should not be necessary for a senior writer for a Jewish publication. She should have ample access to direct sources to get her facts straight. Tablet should issue a correction immediately.

Yes, the gun culture is a huge difference between Israel and the United States and that gun culture — a culture that respects guns as a means of protection and does not consider them toys — produces entirely different LAWS that people are required to follow.

Israelis, who don’t ordinarily see regulations as something set in stone, are in no way flippant about their guns. Maybe the writer knows some Israelis who sneak around the gun regulations — this is not at all considered normative or appropriate behavior. Ammunition is not just sent through the mail, army issued weapons are not just lying around, guns do not wander freely off their army bases. Yes, you see a lot of guns in Israel. All of them have owners. All of those owners are held fully responsible for their weapons, BY LAW.

If Israelis behaved like American gun owners — openly talking about how they violate gun safety and amass their personal arsenals — they would considered a danger to society and treated as such. If we started by banning personal weapon ownership from anyone who we would not admit to our army, banning large amounts of ammunition, banning multiple firearms not needed for protection — it would be a huge improvement.

Let’s take a real lesson from Israel here and start by following their laws. Maybe our gun culture will follow.

ednastvincent says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Israel. Murder rate in Israel is half the rate in the USA.

xi557xi says:

Or maybe it’s you who doesn’t get it. Do you define peace as the wholesale swallowing up of all of Palestine by the Zionists? Because if it were not for the intifadas that’s what would have happened by now. Your use of the term ‘violence’ is casual, not scholastic, inasmuch as it doesn’t include psychological, legal, and financial aspects. You can defend the Zionists all you want, and I will defend the Palestinians’ right to defend themselves. The difference pivots on who is the occupier, and that — if you really are an Islamicist — is predicate. But then again I’m talking to someone who declares himself an Irish nationalist, and should therefore know something about both violence and occupation.

ednastvincent says:

I disagree. I think Lanza’s mother was a pretty typical, law-abiding, American gun owner. And that is exactly our problem. For Americans, guns are something to be celebrated in their own right — something to give a troubled boy “focus” and “responsibility” and people build up their collections for fun and out of fear of Armageddon. For Israelis, guns are a tool that are meant to protect people’s lives. That’s it.

ednastvincent says:

I agree, but I’m not willing to put my own children in the line of fire just to support this woman’s “hobby”. I can’t control how she parents her children — by all accounts she was a devoted mother. Her son didn’t own those guns, he just had access to them, like most gun-owning families in America. If she was allowed to have one simple handgun at home for self-defense and if there was no ready access to high-capacity weapons and unlimited ammunition here, this would not have happened. I’m not willing to rely on other people’s poor judgment about weapons to protect my own children. We need laws like they have in Israel, now.

ednastvincent says:

These comments are all relevant to general discussion about violence in Israel, but the murder figures in Israel include violent settler attacks and exclude IDF violence just like our murder figures exclude the US Army’s actions. Our murder rate is still 2-3 times higher than Israel so the question is what is Israel doing that we might learn from? Trust me, the average Israeli takes out his aggression by yelling at everyone and through political arguments and on the roads. The average Israeli does not go out and harm random Palestinians. So while it’s a worthwhile discussion in its own right, it is not relevant to this particular comparison.

ednastvincent says:

Israel has all of the diversity of America in a country the size of New Jersey. It has immigrants, minorities, people who speak different languages. Canada is just as big as America and India and China both have more people. All three countries have lower violence. So, the clear conclusion is that we are doing something particularly wrong in America.

ednastvincent says:

Israel has fewer shootings *per capita* than America — we are comparing the number of murders per population, not the number of murders total. Israel has been around for over 60 years and it has never had a random mass shooting like the ones that have happened four times in Obama’s first term.

ednastvincent says:

The first guns are there in the hands of trained, armed guards, whose weapons are licensed and carefully controlled by the government. They are not in the hands of random citizens who like to walk around carrying guns and hoping they get a chance to shoot something. That would be an idiotic policy and Israelis are certainly not idiots about their guns.

Scott Tennis says:

No, I didn’t delete anything. I suspect some politically correct comments monitor thought it was too ‘insensitive’ to moslems. Pay attention, sonny. The moslem allah is a carryover from their pre-Islamic pagan worship when their chief deity was the Moon God. They gave him a makeover to fit in with the Judaism they used as their model, renamed him allah and kept many of the same rituals which were practised during their pagan period. Like circling the ka’aba and throwing stones which was practised when they worshipped the Moon God. Feel free to ask any questions.

ednastvincent says:

CT has no requirement for secure storage. America has no enforced laws about lending your guns to other people within your family. No state has a requirement for biometric controls — it’s personal choice. CT has no limits on magazine capacity. CT has no limits on the number of rounds of ammunition you can buy.

I don’t blame the shooter — I blame his mother. They were her guns and she failed to secure them from someone who clearly should not have had access to them. Because of her poor judgment, 20 children are dead.

Every gun owner should willingly and eagerly embrace gun safety but for those who don’t, they should be forced into responsible behavior as much as possible.

Scott Tennis says:

Of course ‘their’ homeland.Certainly not the ‘homeland’ of the vast majority of arabs living there whose fathers and grandfathers immigrated into the region from all over the arab and moslem world between both World Wars in search of jobs. Your ignorance is better suited for a site like Al jazeera where I’m sure your views are shared by similar idiots.

pkbrandon says:

Dear Ms. Millay:
I agree that Israel (like most of the rest of the developed world) has significantly fewer shootings than the United States does.
My point is that given the relative population size, one would expect random mass killings to be uncommon even if there weren’t cultural factors involved. Like most situations involving human behavior, more than one factor is involved.
And your comment about Obama is significant, although not necessarily in the way you think that it is.

xi557xi says:

Yawn. Still at it? Let’s go over this again. A totem is a physical representation (usually an animal) which serves as an emblem of the clan and the memory of its history. There was no pre-Islamic “Moon God” — apparently you have come under the influence of Robert Morey or some other non-scholar. But… even if there had been a pre-Islamic “Moon God”, Allah in no way shape or form is a totem for the simple fact that representations are forbidden. If you are going to make some loose argument about all deities, then you have to apply it also to Yhwh or the God of the Xtians. Bottom line, you don’t understand what a totem deity is, and you don’t know anything about the history of Islam. I’m not going to embarrass you by asking where you got these ideas.

xi557xi says:

Ok, so how is it that a people who were a tiny minority in Palestine between, say, 500 BC and 1920 AD (about a 2500 year gap) can suddenly decide the real estate belongs to them?

Regarding your rather puerile comment on Arabs being recent immigrants, that was debunked decades ago. No one — even Benny Morris himself! — takes that seriously anymore.

PhillipNagle says:

Coosidering how many young men and women I saw carrying assault weapons and sub machine guns, anyone who says guns are not wide spread is delusional. I would say a person wanting a very deadly weapon in Israel would have no trouble getting one. It is the fact that there are so many guns that protect the population. There are no gun free zones like Virginia Tech inviting a massacre.

pkbrandon says:

I agree with your basic points but….
Canada has about a tenth the population of the United States, which is more significant than land area. In fact, population density is a factor.
China has about the same land area as the United States, and about five times the population. There is definitely less violence there. Part of the difference is cultural; part is government. The Chinese have a large police presence, with much less civilian control — there are abuses that would not be tolerated here. A minor first had example: I was in China last month. We happened to be visiting Tienanmen Square the day before the party congress. The square was filled with marching police and troops. All of the locals had been ordered to stay more than three blocks away from the square (even the ones who lived closer to it had to stay at home). The only people in the square (aside from troops and police) were foreign tourists.
This could only happen here after a major riot; not as a pre-emptive act.
I won’t try to comment about India — there aren’t any really good numbers available.
Japan has some of the same tradeoffs as China — lack of public violence at the cost of police control and violence.

So, the question is: how can we reduce violence -without- becoming China or India?

Instead of Israel which is a ‘special case’, perhaps the US should look to the Australian example. Asustralia in many ways is very similar to the US and is the US’s oldest and closest friend and ally. We have similar law systems with Federal and State legistlatures, and, until a few years ago, a gun culture.
After an horrific massacre of 35 people, including many children, at an historical, tourist place named Port Arthur in the southern State of Tasmania, it took the Federal Government just 12 days to get together a coalition of opposing political parties and introduced very strict gun laws. All automatic and semi-automatic weapons were banned and handguns became severely restricted. The Federal government, under the then Prime Minister, John Howard (a true and acknowledged friend of the US) instituted a gun ‘buy-back’ programme and bought 100s of thousands of weapons from the public. These were then destroyed.
Since that time our gun homocide rate and the use of guns in crimes has massively dwindled (check out the Australian crime figures and homocide rates yourself, the information is freely available on the internet). We too had a powerful ‘gun lobby’ but the Federal government stood firm and said it is their duty to protect the citizens of this country and these weapons would be taken out of circulation whether the “Sporting Shooters Association” (our NRA) and their ilk liked it or not. They were just told to “get over it” and either hand in their guns voluntaily for a fair price or they would be conficated without recompense and the gun owners charged unde the new laws.
A gun ‘buy-back’ scheme would be a great way to stimulate the US economy and make all the citizenry more safe. We could even lend you the public servants who supervised the Australian scheme. Taking guns out of circulation actually works – just look at Astralia’s crime figures. Check out how the Australian government funded the weapons buy-back scheme. It’d be a good example for the US.
Lastly, there are some very eerie correlations between the the young man who carried out the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, Australia – Martin Bryant – and the young man who carried out your most recent massacre horror – both had similar mental disorders, both killed people close to them first, both came from wealthy, gun owning families, the methods of killing were vrtually identical both killers tracked their victims and used multiple shots from automatic weapons – the difference is that Lanza is dead, self inflicted, whereas Bryant was captured as he was attempting to kill himself and is now serving multiple life sentences in a maximum security prison

Scott Tennis says:

A ‘tiny’ minority between 500 BC and 1920 AD?I’ll leave that bit of idiocy where it belongs….in the mind of the idiot who dreamt it up. But thanx for the laugh. The record of arab and moslem immigration into the British mandate is well-documented by period dispatches from the British authorities and no less a person than Winston Churchill himself. The records also exist from the Ottoman period detailing the relocation of thousands of arabs and North Africans into the area. But in order to know this one would have to be educated on the subject and simply a blathering fool like yourself. I think I hear mommy calling for you to come and eat supper.

xi557xi says:

The statements stand. The population of Palestine was less than 10% Jewish before the Zionist colonizers arrived from Europe. You can refer to McCarthy’s “The Population of Palestine” and Martin Gilbert’s history of Israel if you would rather discuss than screech. But somehow, given how rude — and typically so — you’ve been, I doubt it very much.

Scott Tennis says:

By all means increase your yawning. The oxygen may wake you up. Now, here’s another lesson for you. A ‘totem ‘is a representation of any spiritual deity or personification which holds relevance for a group or clan. As the deity called ‘allah’ is the arab renaming and recasting of their pre-islamic pagan Moon God who was the main deity of all the arab tribes of arabia he is accurately described as their totemic deity by virtue of being worshipped by all the clans and tribes. Anything else you require an education on?

xi557xi says:

…Logic is really not your strong suit. The key word is ‘representation’. There is no representation of Allah, ergo, no totem. Hahahaha. This really is the most unbelievable conversation I’ve had in a long time.

How is the website of the Al-Quds Brigade — dripping with hate and anti-semitism — an “assumption”? It’s a fact staring you in the face. That is unless you have so much intellectual dishonesty as to not even click the link.

The only assumption I made, which is likely true, is that you’ve never had the nerve to criticize garbage like that. You’d be ostracized by your peers for even hinting at objective criticism. But prove me wrong. Point to a post by you that condemns this hateful crap. Go ahead…

xi557xi says:

Still lots of assumptions and emotion. How about you point me to a post by you that condemns Zionist land theft?

federbender says:

The facts are:
1.Having guns did not protect her.
2.If there were no guns in the house, this couldn’t have happened–unless he committed a massacre with a pair of scissors.

federbender says:

The facts are:
1.Having guns did not protect her.
2.If there were no guns in the house, this couldn’t have happened–unless he committed a massacre with a pair of scissors.

Here is how Israel is different from one who lived there for 13 years and obtained a gun permit there. In Israel, there are significant background checks. It is also very difficult to get a gun permit unless one has served honorably in the Israel Defense Forces. I went through one to get permission to have a 9mm pistol which I needed as a principal of a school. In Israel, all guns are registered. In Israel, there is no gun show loophole. In Israel, there is a prohibition on gun ownership for felons or the mentally ill. So, indeed. Let’s us emulate Israel and institute all of the above. Agreed?

Binyamin says:

Why did you “need” a 9mm pistol to work as the principal of a school in Israel? I’ve heard the school discipline can be quite strict over there, especially in the Orthodox schools, but the Glock 9 strikes this American as a bit extreme.

You accuse me of dealing in “assumptions and emotion”? Try reading your posts above. They’re not exactly paragons of dispassionate discourse. Fact is, you’ve assumed the worst about people and done nothing but hide from my questions when a simple condemnation of that anti-semitic material would have sufficed. As to “Zionist land theft,” I’m curious as to your objective definition of what that is. Kind of a loaded term, don’t you think? Me? I support a two-state solution with negotiated land swaps. How about you?

Binyamin says:

In the midst of this pascel of poo, the writer reveals the truth about the status of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens with these lines: Israel “send[s] each and every one of its sons and daughters to the army” and “nearly all Israelis serve in the army”.

You meant Jewish Israelis, didn’t you Liel? But after all, there is no need to state the obvious. Those Arabs are not really citizens anyway. That’s just the fiction we peddle to the goyim.

BTW, is there a single Arab citizen of Israel with a gun permit? Apartheid state? No way!

xi557xi says:

There is no point in sitting around accusing one another of being more emotional and presumptive than the other. Anyone who reads the posts will be able to sort that matter out. Beyond that trivia, right, I don’t usually make a habit of falling for red herring arguments designed to force me to make an acutely unsubtle position on something. You would have done better to simply and calmly ask me for my opinion on Wahhabism and Islamism and I would have told you I think they are intellectual cancer, and one of the poles in the axis of intellectual cancer in the Middle East — the other pole being Zionism.

As to Zionist land theft, if you have some other way to describe settlement construction on disputed territory, as well as the acquisition of much of the land now part of Israel, I’m listening.

xi557xi says:

1. It wasn’t “their” homeland. We already established that.
2. The Zionist colonization of Palestine begin before the First World War, but by then it was clear to the non-Jewish population that the Zionists were planning to create as homogeneous a state a possible. And look, they have nearly succeeded.

Right back at you.

xi557xi says:

1. It wasn’t “their” homeland. We already established that.
2. The Zionist colonization of Palestine begin before the First World War, but by then it was clear to the non-Jewish population that the Zionists were planning to create as homogeneous a state a possible. And look, they have nearly succeeded.

Right back at you.

Scott Tennis says:

Intelligence is not your strong point. As reflected in islamic theology and his representation in the Koran, allah IS the totem deity of Islam. A ‘representation’ does not have to be only a physical one but also an orally accepted deity.Got it?

xi557xi says:

Good grief. I hope someone besides me gets a laugh out of this.

I love your oriental imagination.

Marshall Jaffe says:

Might it be universal military service, which provides a legitimate outlet for aggression, that accounts for the near-absence of random gun violence in Israel?

xi557xi says:

You’re welcome, but I don’t particularly love your Zionist bigotry.

Miha Ahronovitz says:

Thank you Liei. You are among the reliable and powerful voices of reason in this pandemonium of hysteria looking for culprits in NRA and also in autism, or Zionism with equal ignorance and stupidity. The sexual predators who abduct children and keep them prisoners for years do not need a gun. It happened in Vienna and in California

ginzy1 says:

Please see my comment above where I mention how guns are licensed in Israel. Given that a given weapon is licensed to a given owner and that only one weapon per owner is permitted, by definition the guns are registered and traceable.

hg

Natan79 says:

Fuck you Binyamin. I would have loved to have Arab soldiers together with me in the Israeli army. And it’s my fault that they are favored? Go to hell bastard.

Natan79 says:

Maybe he needed it that because of the Arab terrorists you fund, Binyamin, might be coming to kill Jewish girls. They have done in the past.

ginzy1 says:

In case there are “visitors” with nefarious intentions. From Jeff Goldberg’s recent (and chillingly well timed) cover story in The Atlantic:

In 1997, a disturbed high-school student named Luke Woodham stabbed his mother and then shot and killed two people at Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi. He then began driving toward a nearby junior high to continue his shooting spree, but the assistant principal of the high school, Joel Myrick, aimed a pistol he kept in his truck at Woodham, causing him to veer off the road. Myrick then put his pistol to Woodham’s neck and disarmed him. On January 16, 2002, a disgruntled former student at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, had killed three people, including the school’s dean, when two students, both off-duty law-enforcement officers, retrieved their weapons and pointed them at the shooter, who ended his killing spree and surrendered. In December 2007, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle and two pistols entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and killed two teenage girls before a church member, Jeanne Assam—a former Minneapolis police officer and a volunteer church security guard—shot and wounded the gunman, who then killed himself.

See the full article, here:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/12/the-case-for-more-guns-and-more-gun-control/309161/

Natan79 says:

We’ll start with yours when an American or Israeli is murdered by your cousin on a break from fucking his goat.

Natan79 says:

He was at a university, not your madrassa. And he got a masters, not a donkey.

Natan79 says:

No arguments, plenty of laughs. Sure we’re laughing. At you.

Natan79 says:

By self-defense, you mean that your Palestinian homeboy Haj Amin al-Husseini was Hitler’s lapdog throughout WWII.

Natan79 says:

But you do love your donkey. Just as your cousin loves his goat he fucks before becoming your average Jew-killing Palestinian maniac.

Natan79 says:

So you like killing of Jews. Just what I thought.

Natan79 says:

Certainly no Hezbollah or Hamas operative like yourself, xi7557xi.

Natan79 says:

You deny my right to have a country and a people. Yes, I do consider you a deadly enemy. I’m really glad I served in the IDF and next time I go for reserve duty I’ll remember you, xi557xi.

Always remember xi557xi that you and people like yourself are the best motivator for proud Israeli and Zionist citizens. Reading you I understand that except for the IDF nothing stands between certain death at the hands of pure evil like yourself and Jews.

Congratulations xi557xi! Keep at it. I’ll show your posts in the IDF, so that we remember who we face.

Natan79 says:

Don’t feed the donkey you fuck.

Many crimes in Israel are committed with guns issued from security companies. A significant percentage of women murdered in Israel by their partners are shot with guns that were taken home from jobs as minimum-wage, poorly paid and low-status security guards. What does that say about Israel’s gun culture?

andrewsc says:

there is a simple recipe to emulate the israeli realty. Let mortal enemies take up positions within 15 miles of every american home. Why shoot each other, when there are millions who want you dead ?

Bigfoot Steve says:

Maybe they prefer that over the failed “throw your unarmed body at the attacker” technique employed by the Principal in NewTown.

Bigfoot Steve says:

In Israel, there is no gun show loophole.

There’s no gun show loophole in the U.S. either, despite dishonest liberal attempts to convince people otherwise.

Bigfoot Steve says:

It is these assault weapons that have been at the heart of most of the U.S. massacres.

In the biggest school massacre in the U.S., there wasn’t a single shot fired. And how many shots did Timothy McVeigh fire again? How about Ted Bundy?

not private citizens who walk into a Wal Mart to buy an assault weapon.
It’s for this latter group that we need the ban here like the one that
exists in Israel–no one is discussing banning assault weapons in the
U.S. Army or the police. Israel does not have a problem with its
soldiers using assault weapons a la Newtown or Aurora–and neither does
the United States.

The United States also doesn’t have a problem with people who buy “assault weapons” at Walmart using them a la Newtown or Aurora. In fact, Adam Lanza didn’t buy a gun anywhere.

By the way, maybe you should try Googling “Fort Hood Shooting” when you get a chance. Or F.E.A.R.

must say i am disappointed with this article.

1) Israel has a tiny population compared to USA, so such events would be rare (in comparison) even with all other circumstances being equal.
2) most soldiers do NOT carry weapons on or off base – just combat soldiers and they are well trained on the sanctity of weapon misuse – and under fear of very strict punishment for any weapon offences.
3) Israel is far and from a universal conscription country – growing number are exempt from service. and even fewer actually remain on reserve duty – these are romantic nonsense that have not been true for years already.
4) we have enough crazies, unfortunately a significant number of them american Jewish men who come her to feel like MAN! have easily identifiable political affiliations and often live in the territories. I fear the day they will act on large scale.
5) It is truly very difficult for a civilian to obtain a gun license.
6) American Gun Culture has reached epidemic proportions – just look at NG and discovery channels shows glorifying guns of all sorts and the people who use them and hoard them – vulgar to the bone and at time with texts touching on the psychotic.
7) in a culture such as that, the disturbed or truely evil, will channel their actions towards what is readily available in association and ideation – guns – killing – massacres.

Roy
J’elm

Bigfoot Steve says:

Was his mom armed as he shot her in the face as she lie sleeping? Perhaps you should consult a dictionary when you get a chance, because it’s clear you’re confused about the definition of “best”.

Bigfoot Steve says:

1. Who said guns are an absolute guarantee of protection?
2. Right, because the only two options in the whole world for killing people on a mass scale are either guns or scissors, lol. Since we’re now on board the crazy train, may as well blame it on the school too, because if there was no school, this couldn’t have happened.

federbender says:

Bigfoot–apparently irony is lost on you.
Just recently, a man in China attacked school children with a sword and injured about twenty. Sound similar? The difference: nobody died.

Alittlefurthernorth says:

Israel really isn’t a very good example for comparison with the U.S. in the first place. According to the Small Arms Survey 2007, civilian ownership of guns in Israel only amounts to about 7,3 firearms per 100 people, compared to 88,8 firearms per 100 people in the US. To say that difference is insignificant because you know a couple of people who cheated the system is, frankly, ridiculous.

That being said, gun culture is certainly relevant. France and Norway both have ca 31 firearms per 100 people (which, believe it or not, makes them two of the U.S.’s closest “competitors” in gun ownership rates), but fewer homicides by firearm relative to population than Israel. Both countries have strong hunting traditions, which (at least in the case of Norway) account for the high rates of gun ownership. Hunters, in my experience, tend to be responsible gun owners. People who claim they need an assault rifle to defend their homes, are typically neither responsible nor entirely sane.

Yawn.

Wholesale swallowing of all of Palestine by the Zionists? What about the Palestinians’ vow to destroy Isarael and push the Jews into the sea? When you use “occupier” as a code word, you give yourself away. Israel is a country. It was legimized as a country by the UN in 1948. Get used to it. Israel is there and is not going away. Do you advocate for the American occupiers to give Arizona, New Mexico and southern California back to the Mexicans? How about giving back the entire country to its rightful owners, the American Indians?

AriShavit says:

Yes there is.

Seriously disputing this? Check out Court Days in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. Anyone can buy a gun from any number of vendors with zero wait and no background check whatsoever.

Let me start with a comment of yours: ‘the wholesale swallowing up of all of Palestine by the Zionists’. When did that happen? When was it planned for? How come Israel handed Gaza back to the Palestinians? ‘All of Palestine’? And where was Palestine in the first place? There has never been a country called Palestine. Given that Israel has won all its wars, what was to stop them conquering all Arab territory, including Jordan, which was once part of the British mandate. In 1948, six Arab states invaded Israel and tried to wipe it out. For Israelis, it was a defensive war for survival. The same is true about 1967 and 1973, as you well know. The Arabs weren’t defending themselves, they were aggressors trying to destroy Israel and commit genocide (read the speeches and internal memos). The intifadas were not reactions to Israel, they were carefully planned attempts to achieve destruction of Israel by underhand means; they were never defensive, and the second was planned even before Camp David in order to knock the peace talks off the road. As for your last remark, are you not aware that Irish nationalists used the gun for a long time, then realized that this was getting nowhere. Therefore, they entered into government with thew Unionists, and Northertn Ireland entered an era of peace. That’s all we want the Palestinians to do, but they are so dug in to their no compromise position they seem to have no-one capable of making peace. ‘No peace, no negotiations, no recognition’. Anyone who is that intransigent must be prepared to suffer. Israel doesn’t make that suffering, the Palestinians make it for themselves. And could end it overnight if they wanted to. I certainly shed no tears for them. Not when over 80% of them still call for the destruction of Israel.

pkbrandon says:

Here’s a graph showing American mass shootings by year.
You’ll see that there was a dramatic rate change starting in about 1985.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/therachelmaddowshow/8281294521/sizes/l/in/photostream

Eliezer Ramon says:

First : some facts -
not all Israelis serve in the army, only Jews (compulsory) and some non-Jews (practically volunteering , but – together with Jews and under same conditions and regulations).

Second , but being THE MAJOR FACTOR : Jewish culture .
And I leave elaborating on this to relevant psychologists/ethnologists/ethologists etc.

xi557xi says:

I don’t have a mosque. I’m not a Muslim. But your rage is duly noted.

xi557xi says:

Ouch, you sure do know how to make words sting, Natan.

xi557xi says:

You sound far too angry to be laughing, but OK, I believe you.

xi557xi says:

Natan, please go get some fresh air and then rejoin the discussion.

xi557xi says:

Nope, never said that. Don’t might what you think though.

xi557xi says:

Just an American. Never met anyone involved with either.

xi557xi says:

That’s fine if you want to do that. All I have done is offered a criticism to Israel’s legitimacy, and a rather standard one accepted by many thinking people. Your angry reactions only demonstrate that maybe I’m onto something.

xi557xi says:

Typical.

Yawn.

xi557xi says:

I’ll have to assume that noise represents your upper cognitive limits. Disengaging.

mikeman123 says:

Even if we are to suppose that your recounting of Israel gun control laws are perfectly accurate, it’s pretty clear that the laws are significantly stricter than in the United States, where over 40% of private gun dealings do not require any background checks whatsoever. So it’s difficult to argue culture is the reason when clearly there are significant differences in access to guns.

mikeman123 says:

Even if we are to suppose that your recounting of Israel gun control laws are perfectly accurate, it’s pretty clear that the laws are significantly stricter than in the United States, where over 40% of private gun dealings do not require any background checks whatsoever. So it’s difficult to argue culture is the reason when clearly there are significant differences in access to guns.

mikeman123 says:

Even if we are to suppose that your recounting of Israel gun control laws are perfectly accurate, it’s pretty clear that the laws are significantly stricter than in the United States, where over 40% of private gun dealings do not require any background checks whatsoever. So it’s difficult to argue culture is the reason when clearly there are significant differences in access to guns.

aeolus13 says:

Does the author really expect that the same people who think AmeriCorps is a socialist UN re-education plot will assent to the kind measures that would actually be required to create a responsible gun culture? Does he really think that the same people who can’t distinguish between a state-funded end-of-life consultation and ‘death panels’ will be onboard with the kind of healthcare measures that would actually be required to have an impact on mental health? I doubt it.

So the author’s argument is that Israel has strict gun control laws and also low levels of gun violence but the laws are fairly easy to get around, so it couldn’t be the laws that are making a difference? That’s specious reasoning. Just because laws are easy to get around doesn’t mean they don’t make a difference. Everybody knows that they’re pretty unlikely to get a ticket for speeding, but most people still stay within 5-10 miles of the speed limit. Everyone knows that it would be pretty easy to shoplift from a convenience store or walk out of a restaurant without paying, but most people don’t do that. Laws still serve a purpose and are effective even if they’re easily broken. In fact, the author gives no evidence that the gun control laws don’t make a difference, she just says the laws are easily broken. She doesn’t even say the laws are commonly broken, just easily broken.

Also: “talk of limiting ammunition remains unconvincing” Really? to who? Israelis are only allowed 50 bullets per person per year, but she says that doesn’t matter because one of the kids in Columbine 15 years ago used 55 bullets. How many did Adam Sanza use? More than 50. Talk about cherrypicking an example.

Also, all of Israel goes through compulsory professional gun training in the Army. So how are we supposed to emulate Israel’s gun culture exactly? Reinstitute the draft? Require a gun training class for anyone who buys a gun? I would whole heartedly support that, but I don’t think that’s what she’s supporting. So what then? Everyone should have a dad that tells them not to point toy guns at people when they’re 5 years old? I’m all for that too, but good luck enforcing that one. Israel does have a different gun culture than America, but I don’t understand how she proposes that we emulate it. Israel also has strict gun control (even if the laws are easily broken). Those would be easy to emulate. If she has some evidence that Israel’s gun control laws are not effective she should say so.

Jerome Garcia says:

this is by far the worst article I have ever read from Tablet. So off-base, misinformed,ignorant,insensitive,lobby-charged,assinine and offensive, that I am finished with Tablet after being an avid reader for the past year. Good riddens.

Binyamin says:

To Bigfoot and ginzy1: Being a Zionist means never having to actually use logic when defending Israel. The whole point of this article is that Israel IS NOT America.

Kaka DeVaka says:

Mr. Leibovitz, thank you for your articulate and thoughtful article. The problem indeed is with us, and not with guns, knives, bricks or big sticks.

Kaka DeVaka says:

I worked in Mexico for years. Guns are all virtually illegal. Since Calderon took office an estimated 50,000 have been killed by guns. I used to work in Juarez and 3,000 were killed there in 2010 alone. Somehow I don’t think the problem is the laws.

Kaka DeVaka says:

You are absolutely correct about the weapons, but again guns aren’t the problem. McVeigh used fertilizer in Oklahoma. The problem is us.

Kaka DeVaka says:

Or fertilizer, or common ingredients found under the sink. Never mind poisoning the food supply yada yada yada….

federbender says:

Massacre at a school with common ingredients found under the sink? OK, sounds reasonable.

Kaka DeVaka says:

Ok, now that’s funny…I don’t care who you are!

Kaka DeVaka says:

Natan79, you have some good things to say, but this sort of delivery doesn’t help your cause. Take it easy guy. Have a beer, kiss your best girl and forget about it…

Kaka DeVaka says:

I don’t agree with everything either, but the articles are thought provoking, and the discussion is always lively’ That’s precisely why I read it… Chow!

carl troppper says:

I agree wholeheartedly with the author of this article. The US is not running an adequate mental health system. If our laws for forced treatment (e.g. Kendra’s law in New York) had real teeth, then a tragedy like this might never have happened.We have allowed lawyers from the ACLU to prevent people who are not capable of realizing that they are sick from getting the treatment they need, and protecting the rest of us from harm. If we educated our children (and teachers) about mental illness, the symptoms would be recognized early on and treatment would be available early on. Instead we close down state hospitals and put our mentally ill in jails. Jails are much more expensive then hospitals, and are not the place for sick people. Mental illness is a disease of the brain. We chose to politicize it rather then treat it.

Kaka DeVaka says:

I take it you haven’t been to Jersey?

Kaka DeVaka says:

Do you actually think “a state-funded end-of-life consultation” sounds better than “death panels”?

Kaka DeVaka says:

That’ll teach em not have dinner on the table!

Kaka DeVaka says:

That’ll teach em not have dinner on the table!

aeolus13 says:

Do you actually understand that they’re two very different things?

Dick Stanley says:

Fair enough. But Lanza’s mother was hardly a typical law-abiding gun owner, if the usual media reports can be trusted (a big if, I know) since she was worried about the end-of-the-world. I own guns and I have no such fears.

Dick Stanley says:

Snort.

DoGooder1 says:

I disagree that, “the strict banning of anything does little but push the market underground into the hands of criminals and thugs.” The problem with that argument is that it’s basically saying there shouldn’t be a law against anything. That would lead to chaos. Some things should be banned like murder and owning a nuclear weapon.

Perhaps it’s because Israel is a socialist state. The author seems to choose “reasons” that make his argument and leave out other possible reasons. But, we are all what we have learned to be, we all react to external attitudes and conditions to become who we become. Perhaps socialism has a beneficial effect on the development of human beings.

Hebron 1994 – goldstein killed 29 Palestinians at prayer. A polite society with a very low murder rate if you exclude the killing of the indigenous population.

Natan79 says:

Nonsense. One can 1 gun per day. In Israel it is hard to have one at all.

Natan79 says:

Learn to read better. Leiibovitz’s article isn not a gun apology. Go to National Review for that.

Natan79 says:

If there was no town and no people, that wouldn’t happened either. Let’s follow your logic.

Natan79 says:

Do you take your gun when you go to the bathroom just in case your son might shoot you to death when you emerge? Just asking.

Natan79 says:

Bullshit. You’re one of those kleptocrats who’s worried about death panels but LOOOOVES the death panels of the insurance companies that deny coverage to sick people and looooooves many other assorted crooks from Wall Street.

Natan79 says:

I always thought you’re a fool. Where did I say you’re Muslim? I said you fuck donkeys and hate Jews. Frankly Muslims are usually smarter than yourself. Judging by the combination of stupidity, smugness and limitless Jew-hatred, you’re most likely to be a Brit.

Natan79 says:

You sure are onto something. Tell me exactly what country you are from, so that I may deny its right to exist and its people’s right to call themselves a people and have some rights. That way you’ll see for yourself how it feels to be denied basic rights. That in a world that has murdered Jews in every generation.

Natan79 says:

xi557xi supports jihad and killing Jews. Isn’t that clear?

Natan79 says:

You yawned quite a bit earlier, donkey boy. Now you don’t like it?!

Natan79 says:

You learnt history with the SS or Eric Hobsbawm.

Natan79 says:

Are you an American? No shit. How about you give back the land to the Indians and go fuck yourself back in Europe?

Natan79 says:

Sure you don’t, Nazi donkey.

rwight.wwa says:

Israel not violent? Check with the Palestinians. As far as firearms are concerned, at least I haven’t noticed any missles coming at us!

Natan79 says:

Maybe one day you’ll learn to speak in something else than clichés. “Not so much.” Yours are empty statements from an empty head.

xi557xi says:

Make you a deal. If all the European Jews who colonized Palestine go back where they came from, I’ll do the same.

xi557xi says:

The difference being that I continued the discussion. Rob, faced with things he couldn’t cope, decided to take the way out.

xi557xi says:

Nope.

Natan79 says:

It must be difficult for you to deal with Jews that are not in fear of you, eh? Fuck yourself bastard.

And you should know that you are an excellent motivator for serving in the IDF. As long as there are long-knives people like yourself, no Jew in the world is safe without an Israeli army and an independent Israel.

You are so vile and extreme that you end up being a first-rate motivator for a proudly Zionist Jew like myself. Unlike the Al-Qaeda member you are, xi557xi, I don’t hate my country. Go to hell.

xi557xi says:

You’re right, but it also wouldn’t hurt to blame the shooter, given what he wanted to do and succeeded in doing.

Natan79 says:

In Israel, people are TRAINED before they carry them, have a heavy responsibility and have only one gun. That is not at all the situation in US, where a yahoo can compensate for his small dick and large belly by getting 20 assault guns and a jeep.

Natan79 says:

Perhaps you are right.

xi557xi says:

Nope. Not a member of al Qaeda. Not a bastard, technically speaking. And I do love my country. And I’m not going to hell. Nice talking to you.

Natan79 says:

One shouldn’t blame the mother. She more than received her harvest. But the real criminal is the son. And if there really is an accessory to murder, that is the National Rifle Association.

xi557xi says:

In trying to justify Israel’s existence by invoking two wrongs making a right, you are revealing something very desperate and terrible about Israel, or at least your understanding of it: namely, that you are well aware the land was stolen, and continues to be stolen, settlement by settlement. If Southern California was an Apartheid state like Israel, I probably would lobby to give it ‘back’ (though to whom I’m not sure, since no one is asking.)

Saying ‘get used to it’ isn’t going to work for me, and it’s not going to work for the international community. The tide is turning.

xi557xi says:

1. Never said it [wholesale swallowing] did happen, but that’s what a lot of Zionists would like to see happen, and that’s what the plan was for the Jewish State. The European Zionists did not colonize the land with the intention of sharing it, only tolerating a few non-Jews. There was no grassroots movement among Palestinian Jews to form a Jewish state. It all came from abroad.

2. The ‘return’ of Gaza to the Palestinians was purely tactical.

3. If there was never a land called Palestine (a facile remark), there was never an Israel either.

4. What stopped them from conquering all the Arab Mandate land? Great question. You’ll have to tell me. I’m sure there are many Zionist megalomaniacs who are disappointed they never ethnically cleansed these areas and pretended they were Jewish all along, as they have done in Palestine.

5. The wars in Palestine became matters of self-defense for Israel. Initially, the conflicts were wars of self-defense for the Arabs, who finally gained some strength. In the end, they are still wars of self-defense for the Palestinians, who otherwise would not exist. They were not ‘aggressors trying to commit genocide’ – that’s Israel Founding Myth #3.

6. That’s not all England wanted and that’s not all Israel wants. European Zionists, again, did not go to Palestine with the intention of sharing the real estate. Read Ben Gurion’s letters if you are confused about this. They went there to create a homogeneous Jewish state, and now they are screeching because the population who has been defending itself against said ethnic cleansing for 75+ years is gaining strength. By peace you mean peace on Israel’s terms, which means grabbing as much land as possible. Admit that, at least.

7. Israel Founding Myth #7: The Arabs make life miserable for themselves. It’s hard to even know where to begin dismantling this fatuous delusion.

8. I don’t know or care who you are, but if a group of foreigners decided to set up in your country and you saw the approach of a homogeneous state in the future that would not include you, tell me you wouldn’t fight and call for its destruction.

the Dier Yassin massacre of 129 Palis in 1948?

Baruch Goldstein whacking another 29 in the 70s?

yeah..right.

andrewp111 says:

This punk in Newtown went bezerk when he learned his mom was working through the courts to put him into a mental institution. It is kind of Ironic the attack took place in Newtown, because that is the site of the largest State Mental Hospital, which was shut down years ago by liberal de-institutionalization policies. Perhaps Israel has better nut control.

Israel has a centralized ID system and a single police force. I asked at a local firing range about doing a course and was told I would need police certification that I had no record as well as approval from a physician that I had no psychiatric issues. I wasn’t looking to buy a gun just to train in using one.
I would need to pass a gun use course in order to get a license to buy a gun.
Point is, in the USA you have no central citizenship registry and no single police force or medical system. It is much harder to control anything like that.

ataturkey says:

“if you exclude the killing of the indigenous population”

Jews are an indigenous population in Israel.

Further, perhaps just the word “ISRAEL” clouds your reading comprehension as it does your vocabulary. From the top of the second page the article states: “Nearly any Israeli citizen could have fired the
same number of bullets without breaking any law, and some—from the
homicidal Baruch Goldstein to Eden Natan-Zada, a soldier who shot up a bus full of Israeli Arabs—did.” On the first page the author also states ” If we disregard the glut of guns facilitated by the Israel Defense Forces”.

This article was about gun control and gun culture, within Israel proper, it explicitly excluded war scenarios and did, in fact, mention that there have been instances of mass shootings in Israel, but that they are far, far less common than in the United States.

But of course, you’re a lunatic; any mention of Israel makes you nuts and makes you want to talk about the indigenous blah blah blah. If there was an article about an Israeli medical breakthrough in the fight against cancer you’d probably feel the need to talk about apartheid or some other rubbish.

ataturkey says:

“BTW, is there a single Arab citizen of Israel with a gun permit? Apartheid state? No way!”

Actually, there are, and many Arabs, particularly the Druze, serve in combat units of the Israeli Army, where, yes, they carry and use assault rifles.

Fred Campbell says:

David’s loose use of the term “”assault rifle” discredits his thesis.

Americans do not own “assault rifles”. They own “semi-automatic rifles”. The gun that Lanza used was not an assault rifle. It was essentially indistinguishable from millions of hunting rifles owned in this country.

The use of this term by a knowledgeable writer is prime-face evidence of intent to deceive by use of defamatory language.

P.S.: My memories of Israel include the images of hundreds of “teen-agers, in uniform, wandering around the streets with fully-automatic “assault rifles” on their shoulders.

Fred Campbell says:

I have never met anyone who felt the need for an “assault rifle” to defend their home (and I have many gun-owning friends).
Many do, however, have semi-automatic pistols and rifles for recreation and protection. Note the none of these are “assault” weapons.
Intelligent communication demands the use of correct syntax and terminology.

Kfar Kassem.

Zionist invaders get their jollies from mass murdering Palis.

Two Gaza Rampages — since 2006.

Reducing the population of non-white Jews — http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/israel-news/report-claims-birth-control-forced-ethiopians

Of course, the Ethiopians have no more legitimate right to Palestine than any of the Zionist invader population.

Even though Rabin should have been hung after conviction in a Nuremberg style tribunal, I probably should include Yigal Amir.

And it’s worthwhile to point out that the roots of Jewish targeted assassination, terrorism, and mass murder extend into Soviet Russia and backwards into Czarist Russia.

It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain but modern Jews have no more connection to Greco-Roman Judeans than modern Christians.

Unfortunately villainous and vile racist, fanatic, bigoted, prejudiced Zionists have imposed a Gramscian hegemony on any mention of the facts and reality.

Tel Aviv Professor Paul Wexler has written two succinct and valuable texts on the topic of post-antiquity conversion to Judaism. (Of course, there was massive conversion to Judaism during antiquity as the Book of Esther and large Greek-speaking Judaic population attests.)

The Ashkenazic Jews: A Slavo-Turkic People In Search of a Jewish Identity

The Non-Jewish Origins of the Sephardic Jews

http://books.google.com/books?id=qrltAAAAMAAJ

http://books.google.com/books?id=XZwO2TX8EOcC

Settlers like to kill Palestinian girls because they become Palestinian mothers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-130282/Jewish-settlers-kill-Palestinian-girl.html

A week of slaughter of native non-Jews by the criminal genocidal Zionist invader population

http://www.imemc.org/article/63774

“It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain but modern Jews have no
more connection to Greco-Roman Judeans than modern Christians.”

Unfortunately, geneticists disagree with you. Or is science a Zionist conspiracy? There was indeed post-antiquity conversions to Judaism, and Ethiopian Jews in particular were likely converts. The large majority of Jews however are of middle eastern extraction.

Paul Wexler is a respected linguist — but (a) his views are in the minority and (b) he is not a geneticist. Further, even he did not doubt that there was commingling between Judaeans and converts. Palestinians themselves have different “bloodlines”, but I wouldn’t argue that those Palestinians who came to Palestine with Saladin from Iraq following the victory of the Crusaders (the Nusseibeh clan, I believe, is Iraqi in origin), are somehow not Palestinians, not indigenous, or not worthy of recognition.

ataturkey says:

Leave a

“It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain but modern Jews have no
more connection to Greco-Roman Judeans than modern Christians.”

Unfortunately, geneticists disagree with you. Or is science a Zionist
conspiracy? There was indeed post-antiquity conversions to Judaism, and
Ethiopian Jews in particular were likely converts. The large majority
of Jews however are of middle eastern extraction.

Paul Wexler is a respected linguist — but (a) his views are in the
minority and (b) he is not a geneticist. Further, even he did not doubt
that there was commingling between Judaeans and converts. Palestinians
themselves have different “bloodlines”, but I wouldn’t argue that those
Palestinians who came to Palestine with Saladin from Iraq following the
victory over the Crusaders (the Nusseibeh clan, I believe, is Iraqi in
origin), are somehow not Palestinians, not indigenous, or not worthy of
recognition. message…

Unfortunately for you, I have a good understanding of the genetics and statistical obfuscation on which Zioracial science is based.

Any study assuming a founder immigrant model is simply crap, for Jewish texts of ancient and medieval periods indicate that a metapopulation model is far closer to reality.

How does one know that a Zionist is lying? Just check whether he or she is breathing.

BTW, Axum was a Hellenistic center. It is quite possible that Ethiopian Judaic populations converted during the ancient population, but I consider them more likely to be Sabbatarians similar to those the we see in modern Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Russia and that were absorbed into the modern Jewish population.

Normando782 says:

The magazine capacity is the issue, not the gun. More important is the issue of availability of facilities to treat those individuals who are suffering from mental disorders which might make them prone to committing violent acts. Guns do act as a deterrance against those who would prey on vulnerable individuals and this is an important fact that needs to be considered.

ataturkey says:

“Being a Zionist means never having to actually use logic when defending Israel.”

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. You asked why a principal at an Israeli school would need a gun, you were given the response that it would be to protect himself/herself and the school from those with nefarious intentions. That is a logical answer. It may not be the best one — we could think of better solutions to this problem — but it is a reasonable answer. I suppose being anti-Israel means never thinking clearly or be even-handed about anything. The very mention of “Israel” drives you into hysterics.

BTW, the Book of Esther describes massive conversion to Judaism in ancient Mesopotamia. There were more Jews in antiquity in Mesopotamia than in the Roman Empire.

In fact there were more Greek-speaking Jews (almost entirely of convert origin) in the Roman Empire than Hebrew-Aramaic speaking Jews in Judea (many descended from forced converts of the Hasmonean period), and in addition there was throughout Palestine a large population of Greek-speaking Jews descended from Greek colonist proselytes.

It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain as it was to Roman historians like Dio Cassius that the vast majority of Jews in the world of antiquity had no ancestral connection to Palestine.

Thus even if modern Jews were descended from the Jews of antiquity (they aren’t) they would still not have any connection to Palestine beyond mythology.

Zionism like Zionist racial science is completely and utterly based on lies.

How does one know a Zionist is lying? Check whether he or she is breathing.

ataturkey says:

“8. I don’t know or care who you are, but if a group of foreigners
decided to set up in your country and you saw the approach of a
homogeneous state in the future that would not include you, tell me you
wouldn’t fight and call for its destruction.”

90 years ago, the Turks ethnically cleansed the Armenians and Pontic Greeks from Anatolia. Two people who had been residing there long before the Turkish Muslims invaded from central Asia. Today Turkey is 99% Muslim. Nothing Israel has done, even at its truly worse, can compare to what happened in Anatolia. Yet, while there may be no love between Turks, Greeks, and Armenians, no one is calling for the extermination of Turkey or for the Turks to go back to “where they came from”.

Would I fight and call for the destruction of a country, decades after its establishment, knowing that this will result in wholesale slaughter, when there exists a viable alternative — a peaceful compromise and acceptance of each side? No, I would not. I’m neither a fanatic nor warmonger, and its a shame if you are.

Fred,

Your argument that my use of the term “assault rifle” discredits my thesis applies with equal force to the author of the article, who–if you will read carefully–uses the same term. But you did not object to his use of it, only mine. I suppose you only find the term objectionable when it is used by people with whom you disagree.

You did not respond to the substantive arguments that I made about law, culture, weapons training, and mental health. Instead, you merely quibble with terminology.

Speaking of terminology, there is no such phrase as “prime face”; the term is “prima facie” and it refers to evidence that would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact.

David

Samir Halabi says:

A Marseilles Jewish family return home to find a strange car parked in their garage, they call the police, the Arabs return to retrieve their car only to find that it’s been towed away. They take revenge on the Jewish family, they break in and trash their home, they attack the family members and beat up the father, neighbours call the police and eventually they are carted away, not before they utter the words, we will finish the job Hitler started.

There are around 80,000 Jews in Marseilles and 250,000 Arabs. I now think that Jewish families should start owning firearms with licence to shoot to kill when those Jew-hating Arabs threaten their lives. French Jews should also think about owning very large (massive) military trained canines for protection against those Arab scum. I have two ‘Black Russian Terriers Russian Military Trained’ They both stand to their shoulders at around 80c/m and weigh around 70kg. I have walked in Paris Arab neighbourhoods wearing my Kippah with both my dogs, and believe me no frigging Arabs would even dare to abuse me verbally, let alone be stupid enough try to attack me.

This story about the Marseilles Jewish family seems to be a fabrication.

xi557xi says:

Only a tiny fraction of Central Asian Turks ever migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia. You can check the latest genetics literature for confirmation of this. That Turkey is now 96% Turkish has almost nothing to do with foreign colonization efforts, and almost everything to do with gradual language and cultural shift over the course of 500 years. The indigenous Anatolian peasants in the villages wanted to become more like the wealthy ruling class Turks in the cities. And, as you say, the extermination and deportation of Armenian and Assyrians, and population transfer of Greeks sealed the deal. Now, that complex demographic transition alone negates any meaningful comparison with the colonization efforts made by European Zionists in Palestine. However, to humor the argument — which I do appreciate — I would submit that since Armenia and Greece both have sovereign states of their own (and ones vastly smaller than Turkey), the absence of a call for wholesale destruction of Turkey is due to both having something of their own and tactical impossibility; not to mention the deep ethnic and economic ties that do in fact exist between these peoples. Plus, the Armenians know better than to call for the wholesale extermination of anyone, given what they went through themselves and continue to struggle for in terms of recognition. You could, alternately, ask some PKK intelligentsia what they see as justice. But bottom line, the Zionists are invaders from abroad (including other Middle Eastern countries), the Turks are not.

Incidentally, I don’t call for the wholesale destruction of Israel, nor do I relish the idea of a single life, Jewish or otherwise, taken away. But given Israel’s tenacious program to swallow the entirety of Palestine and make it as homogeneous as possible, I do think any means of resistance is justified. Thank you for your unusually civil discourse.

ataturkey says:

“Only a tiny fraction of Central Asian Turks ever migrated from Central
Asia to Anatolia. You can check the latest genetics literature for
confirmation of this.”

The rights of nations and peoples are not determined solely on blood or DNA. Whatever the genetics of Anatolia, the Turks, the Muslims, invaded land that was not theirs and without consent or invitation and imposed their government and religion upon the people, who, as you note, assimilated. The genocide of the other, remaining non-Muslim ethnic groups, as you put it “sealed the deal.” One could argue that this means Turkey is an illegitimate state.

“Now, that complex demographic transition alone negates any meaningful
comparison with the colonization efforts made by European Zionists in
Palestine.”

Indeed, the Zionists did not deal with the Palestinians in the same manner in which the Turks dealt with the Pontic Greeks or Armenians less than a century ago. There are no claims to Izmir or any other territory which was once home to thriving non-Muslim ethnic communities. Turkey’s existence is unquestioned. Perhaps the sad lesson is that genocide pays off?

“I would submit that since Armenia and Greece both have sovereign states
of their own (and ones vastly smaller than Turkey), the absence of a
call for wholesale destruction of Turkey is due to both having something
of their own and tactical impossibility”

As a supporter of an viable, independent Palestinian state, I would at least agree to that halfway.

“But given Israel’s tenacious program to swallow the entirety of
Palestine and make it as homogeneous as possible, I do think any means
of resistance is justified.”

If Israel has been trying to become as homogeneous as possible, it is doing a terrible job at it. Of course, we need to make a distinction between Israel proper and the post-1967 occupation. Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, in accordance with International Law, I will defend to the end. The occupation and settlements in the West Bank are however, not worth defending. Israel has a right to have its security concerns met, but the settlements and all that they bring with them do no such thing.

Further, international law certainly does not recognize “any means of resistance” as being justified. The targeting of children, unarmed, innocent civilians is a war crime. Also, while I might agree with you if the goal of various Palestinian movements were to have a viable independent Palestine state alongside Israel, as opposed to wiping out Israel. When groups like Hamas seek to annihilate a sovereign State and its people (physically and not only politically), it cannot be called resistance.

xi557xi says:

1. You brought up the Turkish Founding Myth of Central Asian migration; I was simply curtailing your comparison of Turkey with Israel by way of letting you know it has been debunked. While the Mongols do not seem to have been invited by anyone, you don’t know that the original Oguz Turks were not invited by various post-Byzantine factions as mercenaries to encroach upon and protect from one another. For all we know, the Oguz Turks may simple have risen through the ranks to become warlords and later legitimate sovereigns. In any case, the comparison to Israel is totally without merit, and the original migrations of Turks from Central Asia, no matter what size, has nothing to do with the legitimacy of Turkey as a sovereign state today. The issues surrounding that have more to do with private land poached from Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other minorities for the formation of a homogeneous state. And these arguments would be worth considering were any of the landowners alive today, but the Turkish state as the direct inheritor of the Ottoman state has no parallel to the state of Israel and anything that came before it. Although Turkey’s existence is not, however, “unquestioned,” the legal battle would be fruitless, especially since it does continue to this day with its ethnic cleansing policies; it simply denies their character. Israel, on the other hand, does continue, and we — you included — should recognize this. Genocide does “pay off” — especially when you deny it.

2. The Zionist colonists had no intention of sharing Palestine and the inhabitants of Palestine, including when it was 90%+ non-Jewish (First World War and prior) had no interest in a Zionist state there. How can you consider that to be legal? The Zionist land grabbing policy has been part of the constitution of the Jewish Agency of Palestine. I quote, “Land is to be acquired as Jewish property and … the title to the lands acquired is to be taken in the name of the Jewish National Fund to the end that the same shall be held as the inalienable property of the Jewish people.” Since there was almost no good land left when the initial Zionists arrived, this meant finding ways to extricate non-Jews from their land. These processes, taken altogether, equal ethnic cleansing. That they are doing a less than stellar job at finishing this job says more about the resistance to their efforts than about their dreams and intentions.

3. I’m not really interested in international law since Israel breaks this left and right with settlements. If that arm of the law is broken, then resistance to it can be broken. If some people are screaming for the destruction of Israel, plenty are also screaming for the total removal of Palestinians. Just check some of the posts on this site for proof of that. If you don’t know why it should be called resistance, I would suggest doing some more reading.

ataturkey says:

“you don’t know that the original Oguz Turks were not invited by various
post-Byzantine factions as mercenaries to encroach upon and protect from
one another. For all we know, the Oguz Turks may simple have risen
through the ranks to become warlords and later legitimate sovereigns.”

If you don’t care about international law, it is hard to make an argument as to what accounts for “legitimate sovereigns”. The vast majority of the inhabitants had no say in who would come in and rule them and establish their dominion, laws and religion.

“In any case, the comparison to Israel is totally without merit, and the
original migrations of Turks from Central Asia, no matter what size, has
nothing to do with the legitimacy of Turkey as a sovereign state today.”

Yes and no. The migrations of Turks from Central Asia is history, it has nothing to do with the legitimacy of Turkey as a sovereign state. It is a sovereign state, it is a member of the UN, it meets all the criteria of a state, and so, there is no one who does, or should, threaten its existence. Likewise, Israel is a member-state of the UN, its legitimacy and right to exist is recognized under international mandate, and was even reaffirmed, in the draft of the recent UNGA vote on Palestinian membership. Trying to re-litigate 1948 or 1917 is becoming as futile as trying to re-do 1922 or 1452 (fall of Constantinople).

1. “And these arguments would be worth considering were any of the
landowners alive today, but the Turkish state as the direct inheritor of
the Ottoman state has no parallel to the state of Israel and anything
that came before it.”

Fewer and fewer of the Palestinian refugees from 1948 are alive today also, its not too far off until they are all gone. And even then, land was often not owned by the Palestinian fellahin but by absentee landlords and Ottoman real estate documents, then inherited by the British, were and are awfully muddied. So even if the “right of return” were granted tomorrow, it could take generations just to sort through the legal claims.

Further, because Palestine was never its own sovereign state, and even under the Turks was not a single provincial unit, and, most lands were public (i.e. Ottoman), the League Mandate and the borders drawn are the successor, and after the League Mandate expired, we got Israel.

2. “The Zionist colonists had no intention of sharing Palestine with the
inhabitants of Palestine including when it was 90%+ non-Jewish (First
World War and prior), and they (the Arabs) had no interest in a Zionist
state there. How can you consider that to be legal?”

Again, let’s just for arguments sake, concede that for a moment. One is still left with the problem that today is not 1917 but 2012, almost 2013. Your same arguments one could apply to say Canada is illegal, the USA is illegal, Australia, etc.

As for Palestine, one gets confused exactly about what one is talking about. Palestine from river to sea was British drawn borders. Had the British considered “Palestine” to be just Jerusalem and its environs, Jews would be a majority, or near to it, would that change your analysis? The Arabs themselves were not in agreement as to what Palestine was. Many insisted it was part of Syria, and this had long historical support. From the way you describe it, one would think that there was a country called Palestine that was taken over by Jews from abroad. But there wasn’t a country called Palestine, nor were its borders ancient nor decided upon by the inhabitants. Sovereignty over the territory passed from the defunct Ottoman Empire to the League of Nations.

The Arabs of course had no intention of allowing any Jewish polity in the midst of an Arab sea, even if it were only a sliver of land around Tel Aviv. This isn’t unusual, the Arabs have reacted violently towards efforts at autonomy far less bold than proposed by the Zionists (e.g. Kurds, Assyrians, Berbers). Two perfectly legitimate nationalisms came to butt heads. It would be better if today, they let it go a bit, moved grudgingly toward compromise. I don’t have any faith that the current Israeli government is interested in that, but I also do not think Palestinian or Arab society in general has come to terms with the fact that they can’t get everything they want and that the middle east might have room for more than one ethnic group exercising political independence.

3. “I’m not really interested in international law since Israel breaks
this left and right with settlements. If that arm of the law is broken,
then whatever law you cite about resistance to it can be broken.”

I won’t defend the settlements, because they can’t be. It is Israel’s Achilles heal quite frankly. But your statement is like saying because you drive through a red light, I can too. Or, that because Fatah shuts down or intimidates its political opposition, it’s OK for Hamas to do likewise. Purposefully targeting innocent people is both immoral and illegal, there are no “but, but he’s doing it so I can too!” We’re back to a very brutal world if that’s our moral compass.

Jews love to kill or to abuse non-Jews that make legitimate criticism of vile Jewish behaviors: Rachel Corrie, Thomas Hurndall, and James Miller

Traditional Jewish attitudes towards Poles are vicious, aggressive, extractive and exploitative: http://www.glaukopis.pl/pdf/czytelnia/TraditionalJewishAttitudesTowardPoles_MarkPaul.pdf

There seems to be truth in the historic accusation that has been incorrectly called the blood libel: http://www.israelshamir.net/BLOODPASSOVER.pdf

I disagree with Bar Ilan Professor Ariel Toaff. In the above text he argues for the existence of an extremist cult that existed within (Ashkenazic) Judaism and that had a predilection to murder non-Jews for Passover.

It is more likely that Jewish participants in the highly lucrative alchemical and magical blood trade occasionally and almost certainly accidentally killed non-Jewish children being harvested for their blood.

Jewish ritual is perverted and violently anti-Jewish as indicated in Reckless Rites: Purim & the Legacy of Jewish Violence by Eliott S. Horowitz.

http://books.google.com/books/about/Reckless_Rites.html?id=_kBJF9ks-2sC

The standard Jewish Passover text is quite perverted and incites intense hatred against non-Jews.

In general Zionism and the State of Israel represent the worst of Jewish group psychopathology and anyone that supports their continued existence must be considered a complete pervert.

Racist supporters of Zionism and of the State of Israel should not be throwing stones at American society and culture.

In general Judaism at best must be considered the most ethically challenged of the Abrahamic religions.

The psychopathic attitudes of the perverted Zionist elite: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-celebrity-who-called-facebook-palestinian-children-suffer-quits-unicef

Obviously

1) until the Zionist leadership is in the docket before Nuremberg style tribunals,

2) until the Zionist invader population is removed,

3) until everything that the Zionists stole is returned to the native Palestinian population,

4) until Zionists are stripped of all assets, which will be used to compensate the victims of Zionists for the harm that Zionists have done,

all decent human beings have an ethical obligation to hate and to scorn Zionism, the State of Israel, and all Zionists without exception.

Alittlefurthernorth says:

I’m not sure I understand your point. Are you saying my terminology is incorrect because your friends don’t buy assault rifles? I agree that assault rifles are an extreme example, but they can in fact be legally purchased by civilians in the US. Even if I’d used another example, such as the semi-automatic AR-15 (which can be easily converted for full automatic fire), I believe my original point still stands. As for your criticism of my syntax, it would be helpful if you could be more specific.

mouskatel says:

Maalot? Merkaz Harav? Hello? Israelis civilians are the direct target of Palestinian terrorists. What an idiotic question.

mouskatel says:

Anti-Zionist echo-chamber masturbation at its finest.

Racist Zionists never permit the facts to interfere with their perverted worldview.

mouskatel says:

Actually it’s absolutely not like arguing that al Qaeda gunman are lone nuts because the major difference is that Israel prosecute Jewish criminals who shot Arabs. Arabs don’t prosecute Arab terrorists. Try again.

Fred Campbell says:

I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Ergo, I own guns, even though I do not exercise them. It is enough that they reside under my exclusive control. I am not prescient and do not know if and when I may be called to resist an intruder or a rogue government. Would that the Jews of Germany had resisted the edicts of 1936.

It is well established that the armed citizen is a peacekeeper. Witness the crime and violence rates in cities and states that “disarm” their citizenry by oppressive laws.

I hope that our leaders will work to identify and deal with those who consider violence an outlet for their fears and hatreds. In retrospect, all of the mass killers left strong clues of their violent orientation. Would that we (collectively) had the intelligence and will to “disarm” them.

Of course it is. They have far fewer guns per-capita. It’s possible to murder people without using a gun, but a gun makes it easier to murder more people faster.

StuCozza says:

Some (definitely not all) Americans are violent because they CAN be violent, knowing they can likely get away with it. From the guy in York, PA who beat up the woman at McDooDoo’s over a cheeseburger (try doing that in Israel), to those who commit more heinous crimes, America shows these malefactors that violence is generally OK. We put up signs to show them target-rich environments, but we feel good about it. We don’t even refer to problems as problems anymore – they have been reduced to “issues”.

Somebody once opined that all cars should be nuclear powered… imagine somebody driving one of those in a reckless manner. ;)

StuCozza says:

But… but… but we all know those “assault weapons” are being bought en masse by those “people of Wal-Mart”. ;)

StuCozza says:

What is the best way to conquer a nation?

Refer back to 1933 for the answer.

It sounds like all of Israel’s gun control laws are intended to do only one thing-
Keep guns away from Palestinians and/or Arabs in general.

victor friedlander says:

The article ignores several important features of the licensing process, and apparently limits its observation on Israeli gun culture to that of the State of Israel and not to that of Jewish settlers in the occupied territories.

The most effective and distinctive feature of the fire-arms laws here in Israel is the necessity of registering each purchased weapon with the police – there is no such thing as a license to carry arms, only licenses for carrying a specific registered weapon. This means that the control by the state on weapons ownership is far more effective than that current for most if not all the states in the US. In addition the weapons owner must by law present himself and his weapon at a registered firing range where the weapon and its user-owner is recorded and examined, the former by the weapons master at the range, the latter by testing users competence with the weapon on the firing range. No less important is the requirements regarding the storage of privately owned weapons: in a lockable cabinet, locked in a device implanted in the wall of the cabinet.

Regarding Israeli gun culture. Within the confines of the green line most if not all weapons bearers are either soldiers – regulars and reservists – or “graduates” of military service. Military rules of engagement and weapons carrying are strict and maintained, thus most weapons carriers are not only knowledgeable of safe use of weapons but are habituated to these rules. Julis 123′s comments,”that Israeli society is much less violent that American. There’s lots of yelling and honking of horns but physical violence is rare.” is fairly accurate. Settler gun culture East of the Green Line is “Wild Western”. Pointing weapons at unarmed persons is far more common and firing of warning shots is not unusual. There have also been shooting incidents where settlers have wounded and in a few cases killed unarmed persons.

Can you say “Baruch Goldstein”?

Can you say “Baruch Goldstein”?

Rafael Breban says:

Yeah that is why Alexander the Great conquer all that land with a semiautomatic bushmaster. Human beings are evil, period. They will use any means necessary to harm and kill.

OY, “you cannot even enter many public places with guns”? Have you ever even been to Israel? There are guns openly carried EVERYWHERE. You see costomers standing in line at the bank openly carrying fully automatic assult rifles. You can’t get on a train or on a bus in Israel without seeing at least one passenger carrying assult rifles… usually a soldier on leave. I have personally carried guns openly in Israel for years. You sound like you have NEVER been to Israel.

Mike Pierce says:

This guy is clueless. Almost every citizen is armed and if and when someone poses a threat they are neutralized. Psycho or terrorist (tough distinction sometimes) the threat is taken out with minimal casualties because the good guys have weapons too!

Lookit. The author just really likes people having guns. Responsible people, yes, but guns, guns guns. Just check his earlier writing on the subject. I mean, really. By teh way, see here: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1306745–israel-rejects-nra-claim-that-jewish-state-proves-u-s-needs-more-guns

There are several cultural differences that come into play here. The Israelis have compulsory military service, and therefore, people are more connected to the common defense, taught to handle firearms and not unnecessarily burdened to have them at home and outside military service. Frankly, in the U.S., we have at present the most anti-gun proponents like Feinstein crafting “gun control” legislation. This by one who publicly stated she would take up all the guns if she “just had the votes”. Second, there is that pesky second amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gives ordinary citizens the right to have firearms. The main reason the 2nd exists is to address the possibility of the tyranny of government over the governed. This is the same America that used to hang people who stole a horse from someone, and most households had guns for hunting and shooting sports. As usual, these hoplophobics are fixated on the instrument of random and targeted violence, rather than say, protecting students in school better, and protecting people in public gathering venues. The some 20,000 gun laws in the U.S. have been largely ineffective, yet legislators are bent on adding more laws, when criminals and mentally defective individuals are not going to follow those laws. Take a look at the new paperback by John Lott on More Guns, Less Crime, it is a seminal, well-written and highly documented work on the relationships among guns, gun laws and crime. It is an eye-opener.

Neil Tarasoff says:

America is far less violent than most countries around the world based on our total population (310 million). People driving Automobiles kill far more people than people in the USA using guns. See what I attached on statistics: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html
Yes, there are some American cities that are more violent (Chicago, Detroit, etc) and that is because of Minorities (Black and Hispanic) and Gangs.
Hope this shed some light on the issue!

Nah it doesn’t discredit anything, you are just pushing semantic baloney. You can call a semi-automatic rifle an assault rifle my boy. In fact, I was issued one such item from the U.S. Army which gave a three round burst but was not fully automatic, yet somehow it was still an assault rifle. A sweet instrument … I miss thee. :)

One might consider the historical term “assault rifle” and the other term as it is used in US legalese “assault weapon”.

SoManyThings says:

Ahmedinejad? Is that you?

REV DR FELIX NWOSU says:

Good write up.disarm the armed he will cool down because he feels he has lost his strenght. but armed him again you will see he will ravaged the place.think about this.

FifthHorseman says:

Big Brother in Illinois
All the years President Obama has lived in Chicago there has been murders in his neighborhood. Ever year that number goes up and down mostly it involes a certin part of the comunity. The Black community to be. That could account for a least half the deaths in Chicago each year.
Each year most of the school children being killed happen in that one section.
For the last 30 or more years to get into a gang you needed to kill someone and the choice was to kill someone that was not going to be miss. A Black school child. Of the 500 deaths in Chicago that percentage of Black or Latino stays roughly the same.
The State of Illinois does not have a death sentence for that crime of killing someone.
To get a firearm in Illinois you need an ID card issue by the State Police and you can only get a gun from license gun dealers. The State Police do check who is buying forearms. Gun dealers send in list to the State Police on who is buying what.
If the person from Illinois goes to another State to buy guns he has to show his ID.
Any guns they buy are reported to Illinois State Police.
All US gun dealers yearly summit they reports to the US goverment ATF so that the government knows who buys guns. All gun manufactors also knows who buy their guns. A lot of paper work.
Our leader of the country either is not aware of this or rarther is not as wise as he claims.
In spite of guns on every street cornor and the thousands of deaths each year the US government knows a lot on who has what.
If the State Police needs help with man power it falls on the arm citizen to give them help.
The rtown that I live in can put a thousand armed citizen on the street in a hour. All trained by the local police department. All are armed with assualt weapons.
Ouch!

FifthHorseman says:

Having 100 million Arabs around seems to be a problem and if they decide to strike from all sides those who do not have guns are meat. I for one sleep knowing that my neighbors are armed. I would wonder if those who live in high crime countries that do not have citizens having firearms verses the Swiss who have very little crime feel that being at the mercy of the home invader is really what they want.
I wonder how many people in Israel has seen those video traning tape that Hamas gives to their children. The ones that show how to kill Jews?

There is a simple solution to this. The israeli society does not embrace the “Thug” lifestyle that causes most of these idiots to pull guns to prove they are cool. If we got all of our problem children out of the hood, and sent them to a deserted island with all of the guns, weed, and cocaine that they could handle. We could go to the island a week later, pick up all of the guns and it would be a deserted island again. The idiots would kill off each other trying to get the drugs! And the last one would be dumb enough to overdose!

And also because they have the most strict gun control laws. It is no coincidence that the states with the lowest crime and violence also have the least restrictive gun control laws.

An armed society is, indeed, a polite society.

Agreed. In my two visits to Israel I noticed many guns being carried, usually by teenage draftees. To me, it was comforting.

Your article would be more credible if you did not repeatedly use the bromide “assault weapon”. Assault weapons are guns capable of fully automatic fire. None of the guns we are discussing here are assault weapons. In fact, the .223 caliber is a) just barely legal for hunting and b) usually is used with FMJ (full metal jacket) bullets that are designed to wound, not kill.
Note that Lanza did not use the stolen AR-15 in his assault on the Newtown school, he did it with handguns. This fact that was carefully hidden from the public for about 4 weeks to support an anti-gun political agenda.

I stand corrected on the spelling…..

The other elements that you discuss are indeed, factors to be considered in the equation.
And, yes, I usually only respond to those who I feel are trying to deceive or dissemble. I recommend that you use the correct description of the weapons we are discussing here. May I suggest that, in the future, you use the term “small caliber semi-automatic rifle”.
“Assualt rfle” is clearly perjorative (and inaccurate) phrase.

What country do you live in? I associate with many gun owners/users and have never met one meeting your description.

A logical stretch too far.

Yes lets “emulate” ourselves from a nation that is violating 65 UN Resolutions and ethnically cleansing Palestinians with US tax paying dollars.

perhaps america should emulate the white phosphorous they use to neutralize the Palestinians.

TheOnlyCoop says:

Are you talknng about the guns that are smuggled into the country?

Anyone with any sense knows that left wing people are the reason teachers need to be armed, Every mass murder in history was perpetrated by socialist and communist or left wing governments like the NAZI or national socialist party (the most liberal party in Germany at that time).

MaPol says:

I take issue with the notion that America is less violent than most countries throughout the world. We have the highest rate of murder by handgun(s) in the developed world, because our society and culture, unlike most other countries in the world, have long revolved around and depended upon firearms. What we’re seeing here in the USA, in our poorest urban areas in the streets, in the homes and barroom brawls where people who know each other get into heated arguments and end up killing or permanently maiming each other because firearms were/are present.

We have Columbine, VA Tech and Sandy Hook shootings and other mass shootings like them, because our various lawmakers are too wimpy to stand up to the NRA’s bullying tactics and pass stronger, more affective gun laws.

When Norway had a similar mass-shooting spree occur, people called on their government to implement and enact stronger, more affective gun-control laws, instead of going out and arming themselves to the teeth, the way lots of people here in the United States do, in the event of such mass shootings.

MaPol says:

Israel and Switzerland are much, much smaller countries than the United States.

MaPol says:

If Israel doesn’t make peace with the Palestinians and their other Arab neighbors, however, they won’t survive.

MaPol says:

Bear in mind, however, that, although most Israeli Jews are required to serve in their military (the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox jews being exceptions.), there’s also a well-organized peace movement in Israel. The United States has not had a peace movement since the late 1960′s/early 1970′s, and even then, it wasn’t as well organized as Israel’s Peace Movement.

MaPol says:

I disagree, Fred Campbell. Our gun laws aren’t strong or affective enough. That’s why the United States has the highest rates of murder by firearms per capita in the developed world.

MaPol says:

Well said, federbender! Bravo!

MaPol says:

Lanza’s mother should not have allowed her troubled son access to firearms in the first place.

MaPol says:

People armed with scissors or knives or razors don’t go around committing mass murders, unlike people with guns.

Schilcote says:

I just want to pop in to back the notion that the U.S. mental health system is utter garbage. Patients come out of mental hospitals worse than they went in, and I’ve met a lot of professionals who would back that statement. Of all the therapists I’ve ever met, only two were at all competent, and a disturbingly large number of them prefer to hurt people instead of help them.

Locking you in a dark room, disconnected from everyone and everything you care about, surrounded by people who are either also depressed or violently insane, given 18 hours a day with nothing to do but ruminate on how shitty your situation is, and once a week given fifteen minutes to talk to some quack who doesn’t speak English certainly sounds like a great way to treat depression, doesn’t it?

I have read so many articles or reviews on the topic
of the blogger lovers except this paragraph is really a nice
piece of writing, keep it up.

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