Matthew Kalman
Jerusalem-based foreign correspondent, author, filmaker

NRA drags Israel into Sandy Hook firing line

What connection is there between Israel, the NRA, gun control in the United States and the Sandy Hook tragedy? Quite a lot, apparently, but only if you have a tenuous grasp on reality.

The latest genius to drag Israel into the Sandy Hook firing line was none other than NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. The gun lobby’s indefatigable chief lobbyist told Meet the Press on Sunday “Israel had a whole lot of school shootings, until they did one thing. They said we’re going to stop it and they put armed security in every school and they have not had a problem since then.”

Nice line, but it isn’t true.

School shootings in Israel are rare, and you’ll be hard-pressed to recall any that were not terror-related. The decision to post armed guards outside Israeli schools had nothing to do with crazy psychos opening fire on random bypassers and innocent children, it was just one part of a co-ordinated anti-terror security strategy.

LaPierre wants to post armed guards at American schools so that more people can carry guns, but Israel has the opposite policy. Since the early 1990s, Israel has exercised more gun control, not less.

“The background to guarding Israeli educational institutions is the security situation,” says the Israeli Ministry of Public Security which has a history of Israel’s increasingly strict gun-control laws on its website.

Only soldiers, police and those with security-related jobs are legally permitted to carry guns. Licenses must be renewed regularly and cannot be issued to people with a history of mental problems or a criminal background.

As Yaakov Amit, head of the firearms licensing department of the Public Security Ministry says“In a country where hundreds of thousands of people carry firearms, it is essential to manage the training, licensing and authorization of those who wish to be armed.”

LaPierre is in good company when it comes to linking Israel to the Sandy Hook tragedy. Michael Harris of Veterans Today was hailed as a hero by Iran’s Press TV when he told them “the terrorist attack in Connecticut” was an example of “Israeli revenge” against President Obama.

He said Sandy Hook was “an Israeli signature attack, one that butchers children.”

Harris also said Israel was also behind Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 young people at a summer camp in Norway in 2011. 


About the Author
Matthew Kalman is the Executive Producer for Times of Israel Presents. He reports for international media from Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza and all points in between. His books 'The Murder of Yasser Arafat' and 'Psychobibi' are published by DeltaFourth