For a whole bunch of reasons, some personal, some having to do with my regard for his musicianship, I have refrained until now joining my GVP friends in condemning NRA Board Member Ted Nugent’s gun rants. I figured that it’s not as if he says anything that really deserves to be discussed, frankly, I usually feel that he should simply be ignored. But this time he’s crossed a line which, given the fact that I’m Jewish-American by origin although certainly far away from being of practicing belief, requires me to respond. And I’m referring of course to his Facebook posting containing pictures of 12 Jewish politicians, GVP influencers and other activists who he labels as ‘punks’ because “they would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.” And just to make sure that nobody missed the point, Ted followed this up several hours later with another post consisting of a photo of Jews being herded forward by a Nazi soldier, the caption reading: “Soulless sheep to the slaughter. Not me.”
Now before I go forward, let me make one thing very clear. Nobody’s ever accused Nugent of being a rocket scientist and you don’t have to score very high on an IQ test to strum a guitar. The fact that what he says is often dumb, dumber and dumbest has proven to be a clever way to keep his name in lights considering that he hasn’t released a hit record in more than twenty years. And frankly, many of the comments he makes about minorities and liberals aren’t that much different in tone and results from what his good buddy Donald Trump says every time he wants a boost in his polls.
But what drew me to Ted’s post was the fact that the only way a viewer would know that all of the individuals pictured were Jewish was because each face was adorned by an Israeli flag. Now Ted might actually believe that this flag is some kind of universal Jewish symbol or logo but it’s not. The flag design has only been in existence since 1897 when it was flown at a Zionist conference in Basel, and was then adopted as the official State of Israel flag in 1948.
So what is Ted really telling us by placing this flag on the faces of Mike Bloomberg, Dianne Feinstein, Alan Dershowitz, et. al? Is he also saying something about the link between these American Jews and Israel? Because if so, without intending it I’m sure, he has raised a very interesting issue as regards American liberalism, gun control and support for Israel that deserves to be understood. The fact is that the same ‘anti-gun’ Senators pictured in Nugent’s Facebook rant (Blumenthal, Boxer, Feinstein, Lautenberg, Levin) have all supported domestic regulation of guns, but they have also been legislative leaders in insuring that Israel receives more than $3 billion in military aid each year, which now totals more than $70 billion since the monies started flowing in 1949. In fact, no other country in the world has received this much military assistance from the Pentagon, and for all the hue and cry over Iran’s alleged attempt to build a nuclear arsenal, the next time you visit Israel, don’t try to book a tour of Dimona, which happens to be where Israel builds its nuclear bombs.
Why are folks like Feinstein and Boxer so supportive of arming the Israel Defense Forces and, at the same time, just as willing to support gun-control legislation at home? Because the truth is that Israel really does need arms to protect itself from its enemies, but Americans who follow Nugent’s advice to arm themselves aren’t protecting the rest of us from anyone at all. And the good news is that a majority of Americans support Israel and a majority of Americans also support sensible gun controls. Which are both ideas much too obvious for an idiot like Ted to understand.