Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746
April 11, 2001
Redefining Hypocrisy and Chutzpah
Mission Statement of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles:
"The Jewish Federation seeks to mobilize and integrate financial, human and organizational resources within the Greater Los Angeles Jewish community to foster a sense of common Jewish purpose; to strengthen Jewish constituencies in order to enhance Jewish identity; to meet critical human needs in a Jewish context; and to intensify our bonds with our people worldwide."
-- ( http://www.jewishla.org/html/federation_people.htm#Mission)
Every year since 1951, on the Jewish lunar calendar date of the 27th of Nisan coinciding with the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
many Jews worldwide have memorialized the six million Jews among the total of 13 million victims murdered by Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich death machine. This day is called Yom HaShoah in Hebrew, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The typical format of these public assemblies has been to mourn the slaughter of European Jewry. Though the date was set to coincide with the anniversary of one of the greatest acts of heroism by civilian non-combatants in the last century, the focus of the annual event has been on those unfortunates who were herded like defenseless cattle onto train cars to their deaths in Nazi concentration camps. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising has been given the briefest of mentions, if any at all.
Together with officials of the Libertarian Party of California, many of them Jewish, I was asked to share in the effort to refocus this year's Holocaust Remembrance Day in the San Fernando Valley suburb of Los Angeles to celebrate the bravery and heroism of Jews who fought against all odds, using firearms and other makeshift weapons, to defend themselves from certain annihilation.
When asked by the chairman of the Libertarian Party of California (LPCA) to suggest a suitable location for the event, my first and only choice was the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, in a suburb of North Los Angeles.
My choice of that particular building wasn't inspired by its well manicured lawns or beautiful architecture.
The North Valley Jewish Community Center was where, on August 10th, 1999, Buford O. Furrow, an avowed white supremacist, fired between 60 and 70 rounds into a room filled with children attending day care activities, wounding three children, a teenage girl and a 68 year old woman before driving to nearby Chatsworth and murdering a Filipino postal letter carrier, Joseph Ileto, on a residential street (http://jpfo.org/alert19990811.htm -- "A Triumph for Gun Control in Los Angeles"). On March 26th, 2001, to avoid the death penalty, Furrow pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to two life terms in prison ( http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/2000/20010326/lo/344484_1.html "Furrow Sentenced To Life For Valley Shootings").
Furrow told federal investigators that he chose the community center because security was virtually non-existent. He had originally intended to shoot up the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance in West Los Angeles, court documents said, but decided against it after finding the facility well guarded. (Ibid) Fact: the only security in place at the Museum of Tolerance was video surveillance cameras. Not so much as an unarmed guard was employed there. The North Valley Jewish Community lacked even that precaution, futile as it would have been against a deranged and vicious assailant.
This last February 1st an open forum was advertised by the San Fernando Valley Council of the National Rifle Association to be held at the same North Valley Jewish Community Center, where a staff member of California state senator Jack Scott (D-Burbank) was to hear comments from the public on Scott's proposed legislation to require licensing of handgun owners in the state. It was to be the highlight of a meeting of the gun grabbing and very political Million Mom Marchers (http://jpfo.org/alert20010201.htm "Second Amendment Supporters Denied Entry to Million Mom March Meeting").
The Jewish Community Center, under the oversight of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, requires a Special Use liability insurance policy for any group wishing to use its meeting room. Through LPCA, this insurance was purchased and the meeting room at the community center was reserved for the evening of Thursday, April 19th with the rental fee paid. The community center's staff worker in charge of meeting room bookings, Ms. Elaine Wynstock, was fully informed by Mr. Juan Ros of LPCA of the nature of our event. "That sounds fine", said Ms. Wynstock when she accepted the rental check and proof of liability insurance. The check was deposited by the community center and the funds were withdrawn from LPCA's bank account.
There were several meetings (not to mention the multitude of e-mail exchanged) of LPCA volunteers, myself included, over lunches and dinners in local kosher restaurants. $1,150.00 was contributed by LP supporters for a half page ad to appear in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal to publicize our event. A computer graphics artist from the group worked long hours to design a flyer and ad copy. Speakers of note, myself the least among them, were to address the necessity of armed self defense in America today, with citations from the Torah and Talmud, even in the most daunting situations as did the shabbily equipped heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
And then, within three weeks of our first of its kind Holocaust Remembrance Day event with no time to alter plans or coordinate advertising, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles dropped a bomb. They were unilaterally reneging on a paid contract, as their "policy" is not to allow political groups to use their facilities. Obviously, someone in the Jewish Federation hierarchy decided that no crazy talk of armed self defense would take place in one of their buildings. No matter that even in the nearly two years since Buford Furrow shot the place up and wounded four people has that building hired a full or part time armed security guard for its normal day to day activities. In the collective thinking of the Jewish Federation, firearms and self defense are traif (non-kosher, like pig). End of discussion, as far as the Federation is concerned. Unless, of course, you are the Million Mom Marchers who hold their meetings there!
Chutzpah, or peerless audacity, was once jokingly defined as a child who murders his parents while they sleep and then throws himself on the court's mercy since he is an orphan. The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles has outdone that joke by light years. Only this isn't a joke.
The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles has a website (http://www.jewishla.org/), but not an e-mail address. (I'm twitching at my keyboard to offer a theory in print as to why, but I'll exercise self restraint with great effort). If you are as outraged by this new plateau of hypocrisy and chutzpah as I am, please convey your warm and fuzzy sentiments to:
The Jewish Federation
6505 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel: (323) 761-8000
Go back to the top of this Alert and again read the Jewish Federation's Mission Statement: "...to foster a sense of common Jewish purpose; to strengthen Jewish constituencies in order to enhance Jewish identity; to meet critical human needs in a Jewish context;..." etc., ad nauseum. Speak with Ms. Nina Lieberman-Giladi, the executive director of the Jewish Federation. Ask her if the means of defense against the thousands of Buford O. Furrows out there is a critical need in a Jewish context. You will be calling on your dime, so demand an intelligent answer (assuming she has one). Be polite, but firm. We need to show that we are as intelligent as they incorrectly presume themselves to be.
Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party of California is in consultation with legal counsel to review grounds for a lawsuit. Breach of contract comes to mind, though Nina Lieberman-Giladi, the executive director of the Jewish Federation, has voiced a possible willingness to compensate us for actual out of pocket expenses, but not for the lost opportunity.
Other means of bringing our case to the public eye are also under consideration. The Jewish Federation seems quite content, even happy, with blood soaked victimhood. It makes for great press coverage and ensures that contributions keep flowing in. The Libertarian Party of California will NOT, G-d forbid, give them yet another moment of martyrdom in which to bask in sanguineous fame and glory. The Libertarian Party has a bit more class than Buford O. Furrow, the convicted murderer.
The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, along with its affiliates and lackeys, must be exposed as the not charged or indicted murderers that they are. Their business, their very livelihood, is derived from the sale of Jewish blood.
Rabbi R. Mermelstein
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