In the wake of the Holocaust, Jews all over the world announced: “Never again.” They were never going to allow the genocide of their people. They weren’t going to allow themselves to be herded into camps for systematic extermination. It’s part of why they fought to form their own nation, so that no government could ever do that to them again.
The problem is, Jews are still targeted for some inane reason. Anti-Semitism is still a thing, a fact made all the more apparent due to a number of recent attacks targeting people because they’re Jewish.
Now, though, it seems a large number of Jews are realizing that “never again” means being able to defend themselves.
Well, it seems a lot more listening.
Fear spawned by the Monsey machete attack has driven a surge in weapons training and self-defense courses among residents taught from birth to rely on prayer and charity for protection.
Although security measures were already on the rise in this large and diverse religious hamlet following synagogue attacks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Poway, California, an assault in their own neighborhood has changed their reality dramatically.
Advertisements for arms training and other means of protection began proliferating across social media immediately after the Hanukkah attack on a rabbi’s home.
“The level of fear is very high and unfortunately it’s not going to go away very quickly,” said Rivkie Feiner, a lifelong Monsey resident.
Feiner is going to a safety and empowerment meeting this weekend given by a nonprofit Jewish security organization.
That’s one of at least two training sessions planned in the community in the coming days.
That’s probably a good thing.
However, it’s also easy to blow this kind of thing off. After all, sure some are concerned, but that doesn’t mean it’s a thing with the Jewish community, now is it?
Well, I wouldn’t be so sure.
Gun permit applications surged nearly 1,000 percent in New York’s Jewish community since the December 28, 2019, attack on Hasidic Jews in a rabbi’s home.
The Washington Examiner reports that the surge is clear in Rockland County, the very county in which the rabbi’s home was attacked. The Rockland County Clerk’s office reported the “nearly 1,000 percent increase in gun permit applications in the week following the Dec. 28 attack.”
Erik Melanson, owner of Rockland County’s Precision Gunsmiths, said, “A lot of people are worried, especially the large Hasidic and Jewish community in Rockland County. I have had rabbis come in. Some of the rabbis already have concealed carry [permits].”
A thousand percent is nothing to sneeze at.
There’s nothing about this that doesn’t fill me with joy. However, there are also some political considerations that need to be discussed as well.
Many American Jews tend to side with Democrats for some reason. However, Democrats are anti-gun as well as anti-self-defense in general. They’re not fans of people protecting themselves, which it seems a growing number of Jews are doing, even in very liberal parts of the nation. In other words, this represents a potential point of division between Jewish Democrats and the rest of their party.
This could lead to two potential outcomes. One is that Jews begin migrating over to the Republican Party in greater numbers. After all, the GOP is typically the pro-gun party, which means they’re also pro-self-defense laws. They’re the party who wants Jewish citizens to have the means to defend themselves from machete-wielding maniacs.
On the other hand, it’s also possible that newly pro-gun Jews can start to pressure the Democrats back from the ledge on gun control. After all, even Democrats have to listen to their constituency eventually, and if that involves a growing number of pro-gun voices in their ranks, you’d think the Dems would eventually listen.
That’s by no means an exhaustive list of potential outcomes, of course, but those are two that I could easily see. Regardless, more Jews are wanting to defend themselves and that will invariably lead more toward being pro-gun in general. That’s a very good thing, not just for the Jewish community, but for everyone.
“Never again,” indeed.