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Jerusalem synagogue attack (courtesy

“In the coming hours, I will ease restrictions on carrying weapons,”Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced today on public radio. Aharonovitch indicated the liberalization would only apply to licensed gun carriers, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers. The change does NOT mean that anyone with a gun can carry a gun, or that the State will make it easier for Israeli citizens to get a gun license. As TTAG has reported, the Jewish State has been moving in the opposite direction, towards civilian disarmament, for years. If that blows your mind check out the Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel’s reaction to today’s synagogue slaughter [via]. . .

Following the attack, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel, said that Jews in Israel should not pray in a synagogue unless there is an armed guard. Yosef called on the government to help in funding the extra security.

“In every other public place security guards are stationed; there is no reason synagogues should remain defenseless,” Yosef said, according to the NRG news website.

The slaughter of four unarmed rabbis in Jerusalem may trigger something a sea change in terms of Israelis looking to exercise their natural and practical right to keep and bear arms. We shall see. [h/t AP, Pascal]

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  1. The gun-guys mythology of Israel being a haven for individual self-defense always confuses me. Is it time to talk about doing something about hatchet violence, yet?

    • And grind on the time worn myth of the indomitable Israeli Amazon warrior gal. And the Russian WWII chic sniper/pilot ace/misc commie propaganda story.

    • They ran in the “more guns is better” direction initially, but any state given time to think about its own dominance of the people eventually falls back into the trap of believing it can manage violence exclusively through its own agents. So they dumped a pile of money into fancy weapons and neglected the rights of their populace.
      The more Israel backpedaled, the more of an edge the terrorists have gained. Eventually they’ll end up back where they started and the cycle will repeat.

  2. No, no, no.

    They need to huddle in piles and wait for the government sanctioned guys with the guns to show up.

    If you’re quick and get to the bottom of the huddle you might live long enough to be dragged out from under the corpses of your friends and family to huddle another day.

    At least that’s how we here in the greatest nation on earth are taught to do it.

    Piss, vomit, scream and cower. For the children!

    • They need to huddle in piles and wait for the government sanctioned guys with the guns to show up.

      Yep, that worked so well for them back in Poland.

      Never Again my ass.

  3. Hopefully they will continue to reduce restrictions. Sadly the lefties in the government are rank file in the civilian disarmament.

  4. While I agree that an armed security guard would have probably prevent this horrible tragedy, or at least reduced the death toll. However, it does no good to ease restrictions on armed security guards if locations like the Synagogue don’t have one on staff.

    Let the people carry to protect themselves.

    Most of the other incidents in the past few weeks were resolved by armed intervention. They would have been resolved even quicker if the citizens had been their own armed intervention.

  5. At least their Government is not tone def when the Israeli people are killed. It has been PROVEN armed “civilians” stop terror attacks in Israel.

  6. Wait, is what the Rabbi said pretty much what Wayne LaPierre was castigated for saying, post Sandy Hook? Armed guard in every church? OK, tasteless snark. So shoot me. I dont get no respect…

    Actually I am shocked the synagogue was not already paying for protection.
    Active self delusion takes lives Rabbi. Even ultra-orthodox ones.

    Any Israeli readers can update me? What is the actual status today on armed self protection in Israeli shuls?

  7. In Israel, socialism tends to trump Zionism. Otherwise, the right to self-defense there would be near inviolate.

        • That’s the right answer. Why is it that non-Jews expect all Jews to think alike when non-Jews have no such expectation of themselves?

          There’s an old saying: For every two Jews there are three opinions.

        • Because they have the most experience with oppression and discrimination thru the millennia, along with the traditions of historical scholarship that should preserve those experiences?

          If Jews are condemned to repeat history, there’s no hope for anyone else :p

        • American Jews vote Democrat 3 to 1. Just like the blacks who vote Dem 9 to 1 (98 to 2 if Obama’s running), I’ll concede they’re not 100% homogenous in statist views down to the last single one, if you’ll accept the implied asterisk and not demand specific acknowledgement and shout outs to the two or three Jews out there who might vote conservative or run a pro-gun website. Deal?

        • According to the following two articles –

          about Asian voters in the US:

          (a) “Asian-American support for strict gun control in the U.S. is at 80 percent, much higher than the U.S. average of 50 percent”, and

          (b) “As a whole, the Asian-American community cited national security (42%), jobs (41%), gun control (40%) and health care (40%) as their most important election issues.”

          The real problem is that white working class men may be the only reliably pro-gun group left in the US. The good news is that the Democrats did very poorly with this group on November 4 and noticed it. The bad news is that instead of backing off on gun control, they are trying to figure out the best way to buy their vote.

          That still doesn’t make me like Bloomberg any more than I already do, but in terms of votes, the Jews are only a small part of the problem when it comes to gun control. The anti-gun vote problem is a lot bigger than that.

    • Zionism was originally largely a socialist, secular ideology. And those Jews that formed the first settlements, back in late 19th century, and into 20th? They were socialists, and armed to the teeth.

    • Intersting question.

      American Jews are identifying themselves as non-religious at something like 60%, according to one very interesting recent survey I’ll try to find later, if TTAG posts on it, in re: gun issues. Not to go too far OT, but check this for more jewish thinking in US on guns:

      US jewish politics is tame compared to Israel. And American Jews dont have as much influence in Israel than they would like, IMHO. There are probably far more US jews who believe in the secular Cult known as Progressivism, than are Conservative, or Orthodox, imho, but I also recall a stat in that study from exit polls, I think showing a 20% shift in votes to Republicans in last mid term election. Thats a BIG swing, imho, and more proof of the sea change underway, felt but not reported by the StateRunMedia™. But the study also noted American Jews are only about 2% of the US population, so dont break out the Manischevitz just yet.

  8. A layered defense would be most effective. Armed civilians, civilian security, police and then military. It makes it harder for badguys to be successful that way. It’s too bad so many people don’t get this concept. Especially in Israel where your neighbors don’t like you.

  9. I’m here in Jerusalem right now. The synagogue attack happened about two miles from my hotel. While some people have proposed putting guards at synagogues, many are against it, at least here in Jerusalem.

    I’ve seen a lot of open carry this week. 🙂 Lots of M4s and SBR variants, riot guns, and grenade launchers. Right here in my hotel and on the streets. It was actually peaceful today after the attack, but two days ago after the body of a Palestinian was found hanged at work (Israel says suicide, Palestinians say murdered) the Palestinian men shut down the Temple Mount rioting and throwing rocks at the IDF and the Palestinian women were gathering chanting “This is Muslim land” and such in Arabic. It was a little unsettling. There was much armed activity in Jerusalem as well as a super-heavy presence down at Masada.

    After seeing various Israeli security (IDF, police, Arab militia or whatever it is called) I laugh when I hear people say that Americans who OC rifles have no situational awareness. These guys seem to define that.

    And no, Israel does not seem to want guns for the masses. It’s nuts here.

  10. You people fail to understand the problem with a 2nd Amendment-like law in Israel. Israel has no second amendment. We have what is called the Basic Laws. Nothing in the Basic Laws guarantees the right to carry a firearm. Now, the 200,000 people that do carry a firearm, must have been in the IDF and an Israeli citizen. Permits are given very rarely. The reason is that if every citizen was able to carry, then that means Arabs could carry. Yeah, I know, you’re thinking so what. Arabs carrying guns inside Israel is a problem, cause they don’t have a problem with suicide missions. Secondly, every time a Jew would use a gun in self-defense, the world would condemn Israel. Israel doesn’t need that. The rules of engagement are very strict for the IDF, even if fired upon. Imagine civilians ignoring these strict rules and causing international crisis. This would be something to avoid. On the other hand, dead Jews are also something to avoid. But for now Israel believes this is the cost of arming civilians and causing even more incitement.

  11. As a Jew who firmly believes in the 2nd amendment, (and moved from NY to FL) it always boggles my mind how many of my Jewish friends and relatives do not understand the need to have a gun in the house.

  12. Israel used to have dangerous neighbors. Then Israel left the front door open and let the neighbors walk in. What could go wrong?

      • Off the top of my head, I’d say “don’t institute and open-door policy with people who want to slaughter you” is one thing that went right with it. Being posted by Ralph, one of the most erudite and insightful commenters we have here, is another. His use of proper grammar and punctuation went off swimmingly, too.

  13. According to Yahoo news; ‘”In the coming hours, I will ease restrictions on carrying weapons,” he said in remarks broadcast on public radio, indicating it would apply to anyone with a licence to carry a gun, such as private security guards and off-duty army officers.’

    Note the quote stops before the explanation of who would be licensed to carry a gun.

    According to Wikipedia; ‘…Self-defense firearms may be carried in public, concealed or openly, together with ammunition, without needing any additional permits. Israel is notable for being a country with few places where firearms are off limits to licensed individuals (private premises, some government offices and institutions, courts).

    To obtain a gun license, an applicant must be a resident of Israel for at least three consecutive years, have no criminal record, be in good health, have no history of mental illness, pass a weapons-training course, and be over a certain age:…’ –

    Either the Wikipedia article is wrong or out of date, or the reporter is skewing the report to make it seem like civilian carry of firearms for self defense is severely restricted in Israel when it isn’t. I’d normally assume the journalist doesn’t know what he/she is talking about, but if the Wikipedia article is correct, were synagogs banned from carry, or just what rule is being relaxed in response to this attack?

  14. I’m wondering about this myself. I’ve always read they had relaxed gun laws, but I have an Israeli coworker who said I was dead wrong. Which fits the story above, but contradicts the Wikipedia article. We all know you get what you pay for with Wikipedia, but can someone clarify this?

  15. I waited on an Israeli a couple of years back. He was a former Army officer who had served his country with honor. I was totally astounded when he told me of all of the hoops he had to go through to own a personal pistol. The additional training he had to undergo and permits to get. A Glock would have to be imported and would cost close to $2,000.00. It would have to be locked in an approved storage container while the ammunition would stored in another locked area. It could not carried on the street.

    I thought that this is one country in the world where everyone should be armed and carrying constantly.

  16. BREAKING: Statist, firearms freedom infringing Israel continues to infringe firearms freedom, but does hand out more carve outs to certain special, favored citizens.

    This is news? Yawn.

  17. Following the attack, Rabbi Bloomberg the dictatorial chief rabbi of NYC, said that Jews should not pray in a synagogue unless there is a plastic gun free zone sign and an absence of large soft drinks.

  18. Of all the nations on Earth, Israel’s policies on private gun ownership confuse me the most. Not only do they have both violent crime and terrorists to worry about, there is the ongoing threat of actual invasion to remember. When you consider that service in the IDF is mandatory for most Israelis, you couldn’t find a populous that is more knowledgable about firearms operation and safety. Why do all governments seem to distrust their own people?

    • Because, according to Madison in the Federalist papers, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

      Unfortunately, most statist seem to embrace the former but ignore the latter.

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