Gun Control Ad Highlights Jews on NRA ‘Blacklist’

By Eric Marx

Published November 07, 2003, issue of November 07, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

In their latest campaign against the National Rifle Association, gun-control groups are highlighting the names of Jewish organizations and individuals found on an NRA-compiled “blacklist,” in what observers say is an effort to spur one of the gun-control lobby’s key constituencies to action.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence-Million Mom March bought advertisements in The New York Times and other publications last week inviting gun-control advocates to “join the honor roll at www.NRAblacklist.com.”

The NRA’s register of those it considers enemies contains the names of many different organizations and individuals, including tennis commentator John McEnroe, newsman Walter Cronkite and rock star Bruce Springsteen. Yet fully a fifth of the names cited in a list of 35 featured in the Brady Campaign-Million Mom March ad belonged to Jewish organizations or individuals.

“They were consciously or unconsciously acknowledging that American Jews are an important demographic in the universe of domestic social policy and social organizing,” said David Twersky, a spokesman for the American Jewish Congress.

The AJCongress appears on the NRA “blacklist” and in the Brady ad along with Hadassah, former New York City mayor Ed Koch, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Billy Crystal and comedian Mel Brooks.

The advertising campaign is being waged amid a fierce battle to influence legislation pending in Congress that would sunset the assault-weapons ban and provide civil immunity to gun dealers, manufacturers and distributors.

A spokesman for The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Rob Wilcox, said Jewish groups such as the AJCongress and Hadassah were chosen for inclusion in the ad because they represent the American mainstream.

“It’s the same way we picked the NAACP instead of the Black Panthers,” said Wilcox, explaining the selection of Hadassah and AJCongress. “We wanted to use highly recognizable names that clearly explained the widespread attack on every aspect of society.”

Jewish groups that are on the NRA “blacklist” but are not cited in the Brady ad include the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Jewish Labor Committee, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

Five religious leaders are singled out by the NRA, including Rabbi David Saperstein, the chief lobbyist for the Reform movement; Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and Rabbi Paul Menitoff, executive vice president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

No bodies of the Conservative movement make the NRA list, despite that movement’s pro-gun control positions.

Menitoff said he didn’t understand the point of publicly labeling one’s enemies.

“I don’t know of any self-respecting organization that creates a blacklist,” he said. “It’s beyond the pale. It has no effect on our stance as an organization, and I can’t believe it would have any effect on any other credible organization.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.