Armed Jews in the Americas


A Jewish weapons manufacturer during the American Civil War, a Jewish-Canadian chair of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Board, and Jewish-Argentine guerrilla fighters—these are some of the individuals discussed in this first-of-its-kind volume. It brings together some of the best new works on armed Jews in the Americas. Links between Jews and their ties to weapons are addressed through multiple cultural, political, social, and ideological contexts, thus breaking down longstanding, stilted myths in many societies about Jews and weaponry. Anti-Semitism and Jewish self-defense, Jewish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War and in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and Jewish-American gangsters as ethnic heroes form part of the little-researched topic of Jews and arms in the Americas.

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Raanan Rein, Ph.D. (1991), Tel Aviv University, is the Elias Sourasky Professor of Latin American and Spanish History and former Vice President of Tel Aviv University. He is the Head of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies. Rein is the author and editor of more than forty books and well over a hundred articles in academic journals and book chapters.

David M.K. Sheinin, Ph.D. (1989), University of Connecticut, is professor of History at Trent University (Canada) and Académico Correspondiente of the Academia Nacional de la Historia de la República Argentina. His most recent book is Race and Transnationalism in the Americas (2021), co-edited with Benjamin Bryce.
Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction: A Curious Mix of Jews and Weapons
David M.K. Sheinin and Raanan Rein

2 “If I Can See One … I Can Build Them”: David Lopez Jr. and Weapons Manufacturing during the American Civil War
Barry L. Stiefel

3 American Jewish Gangsters
Larry D. Gragg

4 “Our Fight Is Not Yet Over”: Jewish-Canadians in the Spanish Civil War
Michael Petrou

5 Mika, mi Guerra de España: Ideology and Commitment
Gabriela Jonas Aharoni

6 The Spirit of 1776 in 1948: American Machalnikim and Israel’s War of Independence
Amy Weiss

7 “To Get a Conviction a Morality Officer Has to Practically Crawl into Bed with a Hooker”: Phil Givens, the Police, and the Battle for Toronto’s Yonge Street
David M.K. Sheinin

8 “We Had Our Own Problems and So We Had Our Own Bitachon”: Jewish Self-Defense in Uruguay, 1960–1987
Raanan Rein

9 From Zionist Movements to Guerrilla Groups: David Armando Laniado, Raúl Milberg, and Political Radicalization in Argentina
Adrián Krupnik

10 Revolutionary Eschatology: The Argentine Ejército Guerrillero del Pueblo and the Secularization of Religious Traditions
Lukas Böckmann

11 The Montoneros and the Jewish Question in Argentine Fiction
Stephanie M. Pridgeon

All interested in military history, trans-nationalism, and ethnicity, Latin American studies, American studies, Jewish studies, modern history, Diaspora studies.
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