A conservative Jewish organization dedicated to self-defense recently hosted a day of firearms instruction at a shooting range in Southern California.
“We talk about defending ourselves, but we have to do something aside from sharing email articles,” Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors President Doris Wise Montrose told Israel’s Haaretz. Montrose organized the event, and she says she comprised the group with the help of a “humongous email list.”
The group’s website says they are dedicated to the “New Holocaust Resistance.” Alex Kozinski, a friend of Montose and the chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, told Haaretz that “Doris is trying to do is to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive so we will not forget its important lessons.”
Wise and seven other participants, three of them children of Holocaust survivors, gathered in mid-May at the Angeles Shooting Range in northeast Los Angeles to receive basic “point and shoot” instruction, Haaretz reports.
A former lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces, Itamar Gelbman, gave the participants safety instructions and taught them basic handgun technique. Each of them then practiced shooting paper targets depicting an armed shooter. Gelbman framed his instruction in terms of a home invasion, but participants mentioned other potential threats.
“When the Muslims say they want to kill us and drive us into the sea, I believe them,” David Sievers, a retired cancer surgeon and reserve sheriff’s deputy, told Haaretz.
“No cattle car for me,” said Montrose. She warned that anti-Semitism is rising, and believes interest in self-defense is growing. Haaretz cited a recent Anti-Defamation League survey, which found that about 1.1 billion people around the world harbor deeply anti-Semitic attitudes.
Lea Rosenfeld, a child of Holocaust survivors, told Haaretz she has never understood why her parents didn’t fight back. “My question has always been why they didn’t fight back, and my mother could never give me a good answer,” Rosenfeld said. “They weren’t prepared for it, they didn’t believe it was going to happen and they didn’t have anything to fight back with.”
Rosenfeld stayed later than the rest of the group, and Gelbman presented her with a new target: an image of the late Muammar Gadhafi as a zombie.