Does Israel need friends like Wayne LaPierre?

December 25, 2012 - 11:07 AM by

The front page of the New York Daily News on Wayne LaPierre.

The front page of the New York Daily News on Wayne LaPierre.

We Israelis love it when people love us – when they look to us as the innovators and recognize that we’re often leading the way in so many fields. But in the case of the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre’s, whoah… not so fast.

The NRA’s executive vie president’s heartily endorsed Israel’s school safety measures, including placing armed guards in front of schools, during a Meet the Press interview. However, Israeli officials and security experts immediately distanced themselves from the praise.

“Israel had a whole lot of school shootings until they did one thing,” LaPierre said “They said, ‘We’re going to stop it,’ and they put armed security at every school, and they have not had a problem since then.”

That rather inaccurate, and simplistic view of Israel’s situation prompted a round of distancing comments, including one from the Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, who told The New York Daily News that the situation in Israel was “fundamentally different” from that in the United States.

“We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States. We had to deal with terrorism,” said Palmor.

“What removed the danger was not the armed guards but an overall anti-terror policy and anti-terror operations which brought street terrorism down to nearly zero over a number of years,” he said. “It would be better not to drag Israel into what is an internal American discussion,” he added.

That assessment was backed up by Reuven Berko, a retired Israeli Army colonel and senior police officer, who told the Daily News: “There is no comparison between maniacs with psychological problems opening fire at random to kill innocent people and trained terrorists trying to murder Israeli children.”

The fact is that despite its unwarranted reputation as a ‘wild West’ haven for free-rein guns, in recent years, restrictions on gun ownership in Israel have been tightened, not relaxed.: While most Israelis are trained to use guns for self-defense during their time in the IDF, the weapons cannot be purchased as recreational tools or for personal protection without going through an extraordinarily strict process of background checks – both medical and criminal – as well as a competence test, a three-month waiting period and Public Security Ministry approval.

So, while we certainly appreciate praise and being cited as a model to follow, in this case, LaPierre’s rather backhanded compliment is better off politely declined. On the other hand, we wouldn’t want to make him angry. No telling what an angry man with a gun could do.


One Comment on Does Israel need friends like Wayne LaPierre?

  1. Saar on Wed, Dec 26th 2012 6:41 PM
  2. I have decided his nom de guerre is from now on Wayne LeMoron. Since he does not know shit about anything.
    Israel currently has a security guard in every school, in every mall, in every restaurant, in some buses not to mention a very large police force that fails to do any normal duty like finding the guy that robbed your bicycle and only loves to fight “terror”, an internal services unit called the Shabak which infiltrates and conducts arrests and torture for information, a whole army with army intelligence units and not to mention 2 special forces units that play dress up, dressing up like arabs.

    all of the above, with air supremacy, drone strikes, racial profiling, etc. have stopped what little school shootings we had.
    I also need to add, that we conduct assassinations, we mark somebody, we get enough “evidence” and then we send in an arrest squad/death squad, ie if he resists a bit we shoot to kill him.

    If Wayne LeMoron wants all of that in America to fight “crazy” people. Who one day are “odd” and the next day turn violent. Then he truly must be the dumbest man in America.
    Well, he deserves that name. Wayne LeMoron.

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