My Dear Old Dad once told me that he wished that he had a couple of truck loads of these when he was in Korea during the “Police”* Action there. (Its better known as The Korean War to most of us) Grumpy
* Old Harry Truman declared it a Police Action as it was more politically correct term than saying we are going to war on Mainland Asia.
UPDATE: Vote YES on the Bylaw proposal.
The Bylaws require a vote of the membership to create a new officer position, and this is one that needs to happen. — Jeff
Four candidates dedicated to reforming the troubled NRA will be on the ballot for election to the NRA Board this year.
The four reform candidates are Judge Phil Journey, Rocky Marshall, Dennis Fusaro, and me, Jeff Knox.
We are encouraging people to vote for only these four and no one else.
Bullet voting for just the four reform candidates gives your votes more weight and increases the odds of us winning seats.
Ballots are supposed to be in the March issue of NRA magazines for those members eligible to vote.
Only NRA Life Members, and those Annual Members who have been members for at least 5 consecutive years, without interruption, are eligible to vote and will receive ballots.
Each year, the NRA sends out around 2.5 million ballots, but only about 5% of those are ever returned, meaning that almost 2 million ballots are never returned. Finding and activating those un-voted ballots this year could be the key to getting the reform candidates elected, so please talk with your NRA member friends and encourage them to vote for the four reform candidates.
No one knows what will happen with the trial now going on in New York. It’s almost certain that the NRA will lose, and LaPierre and former Treasurer Woody Phillips will be ordered to pay some restitution, but there’s just no telling what the judge will decide regarding the NRA itself. He could just order them to clean up their act and sin no more – which would leave the same people in charge who allowed this mess in the first place – or he could go so far as to dissolve the current board, throw out the current election, and order a new election. He could also appoint a Special Master or overseer to take charge of reorganizing the NRA. He has a lot of leeway and we can only guess at what he might do, and try to position ourselves to be able to participate in the resurrection of the Association.
There’s also a good chance that the NRA will appeal any decision that goes against them, resulting in more delays and more NRA member money poured into the pockets of lawyers.
For the time being, our focus must be on getting our four reform candidates elected.
Please look for the ballot in the March issue of your NRA magazine, which should be delivered in late February. As soon as you receive your ballot, please mark Jeff Knox, Phil Journey, Rocky Marshall, and Dennis Fusaro, sign the back of the envelope, and mail it. Then reach out to all of your NRA friends, members of your gun club, and in any online forums you participate in, and encourage everyone to do the same.
The story I’m about to tell is one that many progressive Jews can relate to. In some ways, it’s a prototypical arc of a diaspora Jew who has always advocated for nuance. This week, something broke in us. We watched history repeat itself. Not just on the global scale, with the wanton massacre of our people, the savage mass murders and dismemberments of entire families and communities. But for many, my family included, history is repeating itself on a personal level as well.
In March 2003, I turned 13 and celebrated my bar mitzvah in Walnut Creek, California. By Jewish tradition, I became a man. But the ceremony felt redundant; I had already grown up. Only one year earlier, my older cousin, Daniel Pearl, an investigative journalist for TheWall Street Journal,was kidnapped and beheaded by Islamist jihadis while on assignment in Pakistan.
His killers, like the Hamas killers of last weekend, proudly released a video documenting Danny’s murder. Among Danny’s last words were, “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.” At first, I was in shock—how had my own cousin become a player in such a large international nightmare? Why did people get murdered simply for being who they are? In this case, for being Jewish?
Danny’s parents did not call for revenge. Instead they set up The Daniel Pearl Foundation that offers fellowships, sponsors cross-cultural music events (Danny was a gifted musician), and brings people together to improve the world. Even after what my family had been through, their work encouraged me to be idealistic and believe that the Jewish people could make peace with our neighbors. I became a fierce advocate for peace.
When I immigrated to Israel at the age of 18 and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, I was still driven by ideals. I thought I could promote more goodwill with our Palestinian neighbors. Serving in a combat unit based on the Gaza border, I witnessed the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held for five years by Hamas, when his freedom was exchanged for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. One for 1,000. Despite my many criticisms of the Israeli government, I recognized then how much Israel valued the life of every soldier.
On my rare free weekend, I spent my time at Kibbutz Be’eri. Because I was a “lone soldier”—that is, an immigrant without much close family in Israel—I was given a host family. They treated me like a son, including teasing me relentlessly for choosing to come to Israel and serve, whereas most Israelis have no choice. They were politically left, just like me. Despite rockets often raining down on them, they believed in peace, just like me. This week, when the terrorists came, ideals didn’t make a difference.
I watched the news in horror as terrorists massacred over 100 people at Kibbutz Be’eri. Women. Children. I frantically messaged my host family and heard nothing back. Like my cousin Danny years ago, my family was being held hostage. The good news: unlike Danny, my host family at Kibbutz Be’eri was saved. They are physically okay. But how can they really be okay, after watching their friends and neighbors being slaughtered?
There was a time when these types of events couldn’t shake my ideals. I used to argue relentlessly for a two-state solution. I fought bitterly with Israeli friends about the decency of the Palestinian people. Even though radical Islamists had murdered my cousin, even though civilians had been blown up in buses daily during the Second Intifada, I refused to give in to nihilism.
In 2012, I returned to the States to study film at University of Southern California, and published a book about my military service that criticized the Israeli government. This didn’t win me many friends, but I continued to advocate for nuance regardless. I proudly supported Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+, and feminist causes. I called myself a progressive Jew.
But over the years, I noticed a disturbing trend: With all the atrocities in the world, why did my social justice warrior friends hate Israel so disproportionately? Why did it feel like intersectionality excluded Jews? Why did the left—who supposedly stood up for human rights—put child-murdering Hamas terrorists on a pedestal?
At first, I thought it must be miseducation.
“Ah, they think Palestinians are the indigenous people. I’ll show that Jewish history, and the archaeology to prove it, dates back millennia.”
“Ah, they think we’re white colonizers. I’ll show how many Jews are people of color, including those who are Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ethiopian.”
“Ah, they’ll get it once I show them that there are fifty Muslim countries, and only one Jewish state.”
But my friends weren’t interested in correcting their misunderstandings.
I agreed that the settlements were unlawful, that Gaza was a humanitarian crisis, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyuahu was a dictator. I assumed—if I cared enough, if I mourned for the Palestinian dead, if I put nuance above all else—our neighbors and their allies would give us the same decency.
How wrong I was. This past week, as over 1,300 Jews were slaughtered, the most murderous attack on Jews since the Holocaust, I saw the true face of Palestinians and their allies. All around the world, they celebrate. They gloat. They mock our tears. They do not protest against Hamas. They embrace pure evil.
And so, to the terrorists I now say:
When you killed my family, I forgave you. When you killed my people, I forgave you. But when you killed my idealism, I had no forgiveness left.
To non-Jewish friends who have reached out, thank you. It is simply the human thing to do. To friends who dare justify what has happened, you are not friends. You are nothing but Nazi supporters dressed up in leftist intellectual language. To the Palestinians: you have lost all moral authority to claim victimhood. I will never advocate for you again. To my family, friends in Israel, and Jews around the world hurting right now, I love you. Stay safe.
In Berlin, where I live today with my German-Ukrainian Jewish wife, Germans love to say “Never Again.” Right now, Never Again is happening again in real time, livestreamed for the whole world to see. I find myself looking up my military number in case the IDF reserves call for me. Unlike our enemy, I feel no joy at the prospect of going to war. But if our people’s existence is at stake, I will do what I must. I will be the world’s favorite villain: the Jew who has the audacity to defend his people.