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As you might expect, firearms are deeply woven into the fabric of Israel’s society. Given the fact that the country is still technically at war with a few of its neighbors and various terrorist organizations would like nothing better than to return to the good old days of the second intifada by turning suicide bombers loose within the country again, the need for individuals to defend themselves and their families shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, strict gun control and civilian disarmament would seem to be tantamount to suicide. “There’s no anti-gun lobby. It doesn’t exist here due to the very extensive and deep running militarisation of this society,” Rela Mazali disappointingly admits. But along with New Profile, an organization she helped found, Mazali advocates for disarming Israeli civilians and hired security companies. The only problem is . . .

She’s got a steep uphill climb ahead of her in convincing everyday Israelis that fewer armed civilians and security guards will be a good thing in their little patch of the Middle East.

…the Jewish majority basically see guns as very benign, and only there for their protection. Which in fact not only obliterates the problematic of small arms proliferation and its dangers but also obliterates what security means for different genders, and for different groups and different parts of society.

Do we have any volunteers out there willing to take a crack at parsing that?

Because guns at home are not by any means there for women’s protection. They endanger women disproportionately.

Sounds like she’s a regular New York Times reader. As in, World Ends Tomorrow, Women and Minorities Hit Hardest. That’s right, Mazali seems likes to use the language of critical theory to make her case with Israelis that somehow guns are oppressing women. Or something. While she may not be doing much to convince Israelis to give up their guns, she’s probably well on her way to nailing down a tenured spot in the Women’s Studies faculty at the higher education institution of her choosing.

But for a dedicated unilateral disarmer, it’s kind of a bummer when your target audience sees guns not a threat, but as a benign tool that helps to ensure their security. Somehow, she’s going to have to figure out how to change those hearts and minds. Maybe a call to the Attorney General will be helpful.

Guns are gendered. They have different meanings and different implications for the different genders. And this needs to be taken account of in any society that is even purporting to provide security for its citizens.

I’ve been trying to figure out what gender my gun is ever since I read that. I even peeked under the slide. Still can’t tell, though. It might be oppressing me and I don’t even know it.

But give Rela some credit. Her sophisticated arguments seem to be making some headway with Amit Yaakov, head of Israel’s Firearms Licensing Department who avers that the current firearms laws may need to be updated for the new realities of modern life.

“We’re also checking to see if all places that are guarded now need to be. In the past because of the intifada and other issues yes, they did, but perhaps now many don’t.”

Would-be suicide bombers will surely be overjoyed to hear the news. Evidently half a decade of success in protecting themselves from terrorists means they’re no longer out there. Perhaps Mr. Yaakov would like to take his family out for some pizza at the first restaurant he decides won’t need protection any longer.

It seems unlikely that Ms. Mazali and her intrepid friends will have much luck convincing Israelis to give up their guns any time soon. Living with a virtual gun to your head tends to focus the mind on the threat at hand. The threats to the country’s existence are persistent and very real. And all the pseudo intellectual arguments to the contrary, Israelis aren’t likely to forget that any time soon.

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  1. Because I’ve never met a woman who could shoot a firearm… Ms. Malazi is clearly a sexist 😛

    A gun is an inanimate object, a women can use one to defend herself just as well as a man can, and sometimes better! I’ve met some women who can SHOOT!

    • Don’t ask me to cite my source, I read this in a book in High School, but according to Future Farmers of America among the junior classes girls tend to be more naturaly apt for precision shooting.

  2. It will be very difficult for her to disarm a country whose people have almost all served in the military. Next thing we will hear is they are trying to ban long guns in Switzerland.

      • There are anti gun folks everywhere, even in the staunchest bastions of pro gunnery.
        The movement to regulate long guns in Switzerland was started in the mostly French Cantons in the west, big surprise, but the attempt was defeated by the majority who like the idea of having an entire country of trained snipers at your disposal. From Michael Williamson: There is a story, possibly apocryphal but awesome nonetheless, that a ranking German (possibly the Kaiser) was visiting and watching the Swiss military on their summer maneuvers. He asked the Swiss commander, “How big a force do you command?”

        The Swiss general confidently replied, “I can mobilize one million men in twenty-four hours.”

        The German asked, “What would happen if I marched five million men in here tomorrow?”

        The Swiss replied, “Each of my men will fire five shots and go home.”

  3. When did “Never Again!” become “it couldn’t happen again”? The belief that any Jew would voluntarily disarm truly boggles the mind.

  4. “…the Jewish majority basically see guns as very benign, and only there for their protection.”

    That’s because THEY ARE YOU NITWIT!

    So her proposition is what exactly? To take a group of people who recognize guns for what they are (tools) and somehow convince them that they are something else(evil animate objects that oppress women of they’re own volition)?

    • Seriously. Using a bore cleaning rod just got alot creepier.

      And now all those gun store barrel length discussions make a lot more sense.

  5. I was thinking that maybe she was a recent inhabitant of Isreal, coming from somewhere else, but apparently she is a native. The Huffington Post describes her as “an author, independent scholar, and feminist peace activist from Israel”. I read a little more about her and her writings, and she comes across as a ultra utopian liberal that believes if we all hold hands and sing friendly songs, the world will magically become peacefull and filled with love and harmony. In my opinion, Isreal is not a perfect place, but their government is much more tolerant than any of their nieghbors when it comes to religion, politics and freedom. She doesn’t realize that her freedom to speak out as she does is because of the very guns she hates. And in my experience, there is no way to argue with her, as she is firmly convinced right down to her soul that she is right and the rest of the world just can’t see what she believes is so obvious. I wish I could understand the psychology of what creates folks like her.

    • “an author, independent scholar, and feminist peace activist from Israel”

      If there weren’t realists doing the dirty work such as putting themselves between this fool and death then she wouldn’t be alive or able to live in Israel. It’s a similar situation that we have here in America with hard-working realists paying their taxes with opportunistic idiots like her preaching some nonsense at a university and being paid a salary with money stolen from practical taxpayers.

  6. I went to the range this weekend with my wife, reading the statement above about women that can’t shoot is Horse Pucky. My wife out shoots me on a regular basis. At 25 meter she consistently hits a 6 inch target. I on the other hand seem to always pull one or two. She also has a tighter rifle shot group at 100 meters. I would like to see the statistics of women versus men in shooting.

  7. “There’s no anti-gun lobby. It doesn’t exist here due to the very extensive and deep running militarisation of this society… the Jewish majority basically see guns as very benign, and only there for their protection”

    According to this 1999 CNN article

    Paradoxically, Israel has incredibly strict gun control laws. Try to buy a handgun, and you’ll face perhaps a 3-month waiting period, police, medical and psychological checks and hard-to-win approval from the Interior Ministry. Prospective gun owners must also pass a gun competence test. A record of substance abuse or domestic violence means automatic disqualification… There is also disdain for the U.S. creed of gun ownership. “It is not a human right. It is not one of the inalienable rights that I should have a gun capable of defending myself,” says Rabbi David Hartman… In Israel, it is the security services — the police and the army — who are charged with public defense and who carry the vast majority of guns. The Jewish state seems to have found a workable compromise between strict gun control and a demonstrable need for the security of its citizens.

    • Gun laws in Israel have nothing to do with self-protection. Handguns are permitted after a detailed background check and personal evaluation. They are permitted to enable defense of the state. At age 70 the permit is revoked. Citizens who carry do so in order that terrorist attacks may be stopped more quickly. Carry in Israel is a farm-team or retirement version of serving in the IDF.

  8. Way to make stuff up to turn this into a gender argument. It has absolutely nothing to do with gendor or race, which is usually the case when someone cries oppresion.

  9. “…the Jewish majority basically see guns as very benign, and only there for their protection. Which in fact not only obliterates the problematic of small arms proliferation and its dangers but also obliterates what security means for different genders, and for different groups and different parts of society.

    Do we have any volunteers out there willing to take a crack at parsing that?”

    I wouldn’t dare. It reminds me of listening to art pundits in college talk about abstract painting: lots of fifty cent words and very little sense. There was even a “Instant Art Critique Generator” on the internet you could use to create the impenetrable babble that passes for cogent thought.

    • I agree with what you wrote. The issue that I have is; if a nation’s governing body states in doctrine “In order to maintain a free state” (Which is in probably in the constitution of every country in the world) they are in essence stating their justification for processing arms. Be it a handgun, a battleship or a nuclear bomb.By that procession they will be able to be secure from attack. The thing that I find incongruous is that the same government does not recognize that same thing for its’ people. That is except with certain criteria. That is an issue I have. What makes an ex cop or soldier need a firearm more than I do? For that matter the Israeli government grants permits to those who deal in diamonds or large amounts of cash. So the government is putting greater value on property than my safety? Ms Mazali uses an argument that is not only emotional, but sexist and for that matter a philosophy of cowardice! Firearms are tools created in a machine age. They are not I’m imbued with some sort of power making the processor violent. You may counter by saying that their primary design as a tool is violent. That ignores the aspect that although the firearm can cause death and injury it is actually used more often as a deterrent where no physical harm comes to anybody. She also ignores the ability of the tool to serve good such as providing an equalizer for the sexes, the elderly and the infirm. If she really made the statement about women and their inability to use a firearm then she is truly uneducated. I will cite just one example, Lyudmila Pavlichenko considered the greatest sniper ever, male or female. A firearm does not sexually discriminate. In the hands of a female it could cause the same terror and intimidation that Mazali claims is happening to women.but my friends, you already know this!

  10. Given Israel’s situation, no sane person there should ever disarm. I guess it goes to prove that no matter how much danger lurks around the corner, there will always be illogical, brain-dead antis.

  11. “I’ve been trying to figure out what gender my gun is ever since I read that”.
    —- Just look to see if your gun has black or a pink handles. Most guns have a black or dark colored handles therefore they are male guns. The disproportionate numbers of male guns are oppressive to the minority of pink girl guns. Females are therefore oppressed by civilians owning guns. One solution is of course to require all gun handles be a neural gray color or to require males to own pink guns.

    Israeli feminists are Marxist Supremacists and have done tremendous damage to Israeli society (at the national, community, and family level) the past twenty plus years. One reaction to that trend is that Hasidic Judaism ( called in the western media the Ultra Orthodox) are gaining so many former reform or non-religious Jews fed up with modern society’s bs values and attitudes. It has its unrealistic sex-based perception and values too. I know Hasidic Rabbis and women who believe that (unlike men) women don’t need to be self-reflective on their behavior, study, or pray since females are superior in some weird moral-spiritual rationalization.

    George, good piece. Thanks for writing it. My understanding is that Israel actually has very restrictive gun laws and that contrary to popular western belief most Israeli citizens can’t legally own guns. Rela’s comments are a typical representation of feminist logic, claims, and well insanity. It is intellectually amusing (when it doesn’t infringe on our rights) to observe how the loonie feminists are able to manipulate men — for female special privilege rights/laws/programs — who are ideologically extreme in their behavior such as the politically progressive man-ginas and then the ‘white knight to the rescue’ ultra religious male puppets.

    • Wait… Guns are gendered?

      I guess I need to get myself a pair, one male, one female, so they can have baby guns that I can use… and think… no paperwork for the babies.

  12. “There is also disdain for the U.S. creed of gun ownership. “It is not a human right. It is not one of the inalienable rights that I should have a gun capable of defending myself,” says Rabbi David Hartman…’

    Most people that I’ve known who proudly call themselves ‘rabbi’ have rabbit brains. Many Jews suffer an ingrained form of a cultural victim-hood complex from centuries of oppression by others who owned weapons. Many victims choose to hate the weapons that hurt them associating guns with their enemies rather than embrace them as a tool of freedom.

    You want to eat and avoid hunger? Then plant a garden using a shovel and other tools to cultivate the earth. You want to be safe from violence? Then own and learn to use a weapon.

  13. She has got to be kidding me. I’ve been to the places in Israel where weapons are not holstered or slung behind the shoulder. I have friends in Israel that carry more ammo on their person while going to the store than I do going to the range. My friends travel by armored bus. Half the reason I read news concerning Israel is because I’m afraid a rocket will hit a friend of mine who while she hikes in the dessert, that someone will plant a bomb outside of a friend’s yeshiva, or a murder will stalk the halls of a former teacher. Ammo is expensive, private gun ownership is expensive, and carrying often makes you a target but only slightly more of a target than everyone else. But it is worth it 100%.
    A lof of people don’t understand that most attacks on Israelis from the 50’s to the 80’s were shootings. But bombs replaces bullets because the malevolent morons carrying out these attacks were getting killed before they could kill many people. But these shootings still occur. To try and disarm the citizenry of Israel puts millions in danger. This would endanger more than those those living in the territories or in targeted areas, but EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN, regardless of race, religion, or political ideology. Jews have always been targeted and we have been disarmed by our enemies. Anyone who tries to disarm Jews again is an enemy to the Jewish Nation.

    The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war. – PM Bibi Netanyahu

    • “A lof of people don’t understand that most attacks on Israelis from the 50′s to the 80′s were shootings.”
      A lot of people don’t understand that the worst attack on Israelis is from the 40’s, and was committed by Israelis, the King David Hotel Bombing.

      “Jews have always been targeted…”
      Oh noes, you must be special, because it isnt like every other group hasnt been targeted before. Cry me a river. Its just like the holocaust, the jews love to say it was about them, ignoring the millions of non-jews who were slaughtered.

      “The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war. ”
      Wow you and Netanyahu are naive. The only reason Israel exists is because the Brits/UN gave it to the jews. The only reason why Israel continues to exist today, is because it is a puppet state of the US. You could disarm every Israeli, and it would still exist along as long as Netanyahu remains our bitch.

      • You’re right. The bombing of the British headquarters of the King David hotel was a retaliation for Operation Agatha in which arms were seized. The British waived a big stick and the Irgun waived a smaller stick of dynamite.

        What do you want me to a cry you a river about. I state this not as a cry for pity but rather pointing out why I particularly believe in arming myself. Am I special because of it? No. Am I aware? Yea. If you can’t acknowledge that some people want to kill other people with ethnic or social hate as the main driving force, you are not aware of situations that will probably endanger your own life.

        The Brits or UN didn’t need to give Eretz Yisroel to Bnei Yisroel to create Medinat Yisroel. The British were getting pretty sick of ant-British attacks and many Britons were not pleased that 100,000 British soldiers were needed to maintain their holds in Palestine. And the UN? Remember the UN is a group that prime pursuit is to use diplomacy rather than military operations in settling disputes between countries. They didn’t give anything. It wasn’t like the UN wrapped up some dessert in a pretty bow and said “Oh hey guys, got you a little something for your birthday.” In fact, when the UN developed its first fighting force (UNEF), Ben-Gurion refused UNEF from establishing any bases of operations on Israeli soil.
        Time and time again, Israel has refused direct American involvement in any military operations. There has been high levels of mutually beneficial trade and training operations, but an active US soldier has never been given orders to fight under and Israeli flag. America has continually given military aide, including one installment of 22,000 tons of weapons, vehicles, and munitions in 1973 in order to counter the resupply of Arab countries by the Soviets. This also was a little bit of an apology for continuously supplying arms and giving financial support to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan.
        Israel does like to reciprocate though. Israel has provided docks for American warships, has filled various support roles for US Mid-East Military operations, counter-terrorist training, advances in military technologies, and storage for military equipment since the 90’s.

        How does the red pill taste?

        • “I state this not as a cry for pity…”
          Yes you do, otherwise you wouldnt by crying about how the jews have been targeted throughout history, while ignoring that every other possible group of people have been as well.

          “If you can’t acknowledge that some people want to kill other people with ethnic or social hate as the main driving force”
          I did when I mentioned the Irgun attacks. Isnt it ironic that the IDF has a service medal for Irgun members, yet they claim to be aganst terrorism.

          “They [United Nations] didn’t give anything.”
          They did in UN resolution 181 (II).

          “Time and time again, Israel has refused direct American involvement in any military operations.”
          Which is why Israel recently requested the US provide inflight refueling aircraft, so they can bomb Iran.

          “Israel does like to reciprocate though”
          As demonstrated so well when they attacked the USS Liberty.

        • Did I deny that others have been targeted? No. I think most people should be armed, especially those who are in targeted minority groups. At one point did I ignore others. Did I say disarm the So-and-so people of the Whatchamacallit clan? Did advocate confiscation or arms of arms. At what point did you read anything I wrote as “Forget about everything else.”

          Resolution 181. I don’t think you understand what a UN GA resolution really is. These resolution are non-binding unless of course a binding cause that is particular to anyone party is included. The only binding clauses of this resolution were that the British had to leave Palestine and Trans-Jordan, a decision that military commanders had already decided was the best option.
          And if one holds that this resolution created the state of Israel, than it would have also created the state of Palestine. The PLO even came out to say that this resolution created their state. Now tell me, is Palestine a country?

          Like I said before, the US and Israel have served in auxiliary roles for one another. Would a mid-air refueling constitute American soldiers fighting as Israelis? I don’t think so. Most military advisors don’t think so.

          Oh and the USS Liberty. Right because the accidental bombing of a US vessel in international waters is an act of aggression against the US. And only the worst country in the world would then pay over$ 6.8 million dollars (approximately $45 million in todays money) to the families of the wounded and killed soldiers of the attack. Not to mention the damages paid for to the actual ship. Fortunately the men in tin foil hats on Youtube are able to inform us about how it was another evil conspiracy by the Zionist regime.

      • While I will agree there were more that were targeted in Nazi Germany than just the Jews, those Jews were targeted for extermination. Genocide. Were others? Yes, but not to the exact same extent.

        Israel is an independent nation. IF they were a puppet nation of the US of A, WHY do they insist on doing things their way instead of ours? Because they’re not the puppet nation you claim they are. Because they know the odds there are against them if they just lay down their arms. They KNOW their enemies would then march in, dissolve their State, and execute the lot of them.

        I feel sorry for you and your anti-Israel babble, Matt.

  14. Remarkable how many Palestinians probably agree with Ms. Mazali’s thoughts…as to the Israeli pistols, not as to their family AK. She ought to start with the missile lobbing bit first, perhaps spending some quality years in Gaza.

  15. Take my word for it, Israeli women kick serious ass. Most officers in their military are women as well as Israel having mixed men and women combat units. When I was in jerusalem, I felt no need to carry a gun as my friend Oshri of the golani brigade was walking next to me with a Tavor hanging from his shoulder. I would . sacrifice my right to carry if I could see U.S soldiers everywhere I walk

    • Cause you know US soldiers are upstanding people who would never fire blindly in to a crown of American citizens like they did at the Kent State massacre, or countless other times before hand. Yay for martial law!

      • You mean those citizens that fell under the Communist propaganda spell? Guess they should have known their actions would force a reaction.

        • Last I heard, we do have a 1st Amendment.
          Hey, I really disagreed with the methods and speeches of some of the Vietnam War Protesters, but when we fire on crowds because we do not like their speeches, then we have become Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.

        • Thank you Aharon for requesting me to cite some sources.

          Here’s an article about co-ed combat units on the Egyptian border:

          When I had the privalage to tour the officer school in israel, I was quoted this same 55% that this website suggests if you scroll down a bit

        • Will,

          You’re welcome. Thanks for the links.

          “Each year, 1,500 female combat soldiers are drafted into the IDF, a number which has remained consistent in recent years. ”
          — 1,500 is not a big or near equal number to the men in combat arms.

          “About half of the soldiers in officer courses are women. Over the last three years, an average Of 55% of all staff officers in the Officers Training Course were women. Over half – 53% – of the women who graduated the course became officers in combat support positions. Overall, an average of 3% of all combat officers was women”
          — That puts it a bit more into perspective. Staff and combat support are far from combat. A different world.

          What the media reports for good PR and what happens in reality can be two different things. How much action those women would see in a hot war against actual Arab combat soldiers is also questionable. It seems that in a small way, Israeli female soldiers are used in a front line security manner.

        • vet, that is rediculous! just because “they were under a communist spell” that meant it was okay that they got shot? utterly sad.

    • I can’t take your word for it since all the other sources I know indicate that Israeli combat units/teams are not sex-mixed or integrated. Women do not get sent into combat. They are there as an emergency backup. Perhaps some non-combat units (medical, admin, communications, are mixed). ‘Most’ officers in the Israeli Army are women? I have never heard that one. Please state a source if you have one available. It’s your choice to feel safe and not carry a weapon. Despite its large, experienced, and coordinated police-security-military system, violence occurs in Israel and unarmed people die. It is ironic that recognizing and practicing the human right to own and use guns in legitimate self-defense in America is closer to the ancient Jewish teachings about weapons use than the restricted gun laws practiced in modern Israel.

  16. Guns are gendered. They have different meanings and different implications for the different genders.

    That gets sort of difficult.
    I think the pistols are feminine gender. Pistole.
    I think an assault rifle is masculine. Sturmgewehr.
    Rifle might be nueter. Geshutzen.
    Shotguns are more of an Anglo~Saxon thing.
    I think mine might be male as I call them a good old boy.

  17. I once walked in on my mosin 91/30 holding my girlfriend down while my handguns stood by removing their grip panels. If I had got there 10 minutes later who knows what would have happened. I think it’s great that smart and sexy women like this are standing up to these opressive and sexist pieces of metal, wood, and plastic.


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