In the face of rising antisemitism, Jews must be able to defend themselves

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Many Jews no longer feel safe in America. Since the Hamas massacre in Israel, Americans have seen a 388% increase in antisemitic acts of harassment, vandalism, and assault. Antisemites vandalized the building across from a media company headed by a prominent Jewish journalist with hateful graffiti. In a show of support for Hamas, it has become a trend across our country and the world for people to rip down posters of Israelis held hostage. As a result of the spike in antisemitism around the country, Jews are rightfully buying firearms and taking firearms classes.
The right to bear arms has never been more important for our nation’s Jewish community. I have always been a fierce defender of the Second Amendment because people must have the capacity to defend themselves when the government cannot. I have fought for our veterans to maintain the right to bear arms without being subject to arbitrary regulations, and this past March, I led 30 of my congressional colleagues in filing an amicus brief challenging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) pistol brace rule. Unfortunately, in their rush to enact overarching and ineffective gun control rules, Democrats have ignored the reality that police often cannot be there in time to protect citizens. At a time when Jews are facing widespread threats, the last thing we should be doing is making it more difficult for them to defend themselves.
Democrats continue to advocate for more gun control even when they know their policies will only disarm law-abiding citizens while allowing criminals to commit crimes with abandon. Left-wing lawmakers continue to push for a ban on “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines, a gift to criminals. In the current atmosphere of pervasive antisemitism, it is essential that we stand for Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
One immediate step our government can take to crush the threat to Jews in America is to call out the virulent antisemitism festering at home and abroad. Democrat leadership must condemn this age-old hatred that is spreading throughout the country. For the first time, more Democrats now sympathize with the Palestinians than the Israelis, demonstrating just how much Democrats have bought into the anti-Israel slander propagated by leftists. For far too long, Democrats have shielded antisemites within their own party, arguing that they are only anti-Israel, not antisemitic. However, anti-Zionism is the modern form of antisemitism, full stop. And if Democrat politicians cannot admit that reality after witnessing the pervasive genocidal calls to obliterate Israel by radical leftists, they are part of the problem. Hatred of Israel translates to hatred of Jews, and as a result, many Jews do not feel safe.
Forty-one of Jewish Americans say their status in the U.S. is less secure than it was a year ago. This is simply unacceptable. Jews must be able to do everything possible to defend themselves and their families. Safeguarding our Jewish community means protecting our Second Amendment rights.
(Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee in the U.S. Senate)

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