Rock musician Ted Nugent apologized this week and reportedly accepted honorary membership in a Jewish gun rights group after recently posting a graphic on Facebook targeting Jewish pro-gun control politicians that was widely viewed as anti-Semitic.
Emphasizing that he does not harbor ill feelings toward the Jewish people, Nugent posted a new graphic on Wednesday highlighting a dozen leading Jewish defenders of gun rights, including past National Rifle Association President Sandy Froman.
Nugent also posted a photo of the iconic Gadsden flag, stamped with the Hebrew words for “Don’t Tread on Me.”
U.S. Army veteran Nicki Kenyon — an activist with the Zelman Partisans, a Jewish group dedicated to the right to keep and bear arms — wrote on her blog, The Liberty Zone, that she’s been corresponding with Nugent since his original post branding American-Jewish politicians as conspiratorial “globalist political” agents.
She said she told him that the graphic he had posted had originated at an anti-Semitic website and that she “wasn’t being politically correct” in telling him that the “graphic was chock full of anti-Semitic crap.”
“Can I say oy vey?” Kenyon quoted Nugent saying, using the iconic Yiddish phrase.
“I sincerely apologize for my irresponsible re-posting of such a nasty and offensive meme. In my rush between songwriting jams and musical recording frenzy all I saw was the images of people dedicated to disarm us, I made no connection whatsoever to any religious affiliation,” Nugent wrote to her.
“Everyone knows deep down that at 67 years of age I didn’t suddenly become anti-Semitic. That’s patently ridiculous, and those who rushed to such a mistaken condemning judgment should re-examine the system by which such equally irresponsible knee-jerk judgments are made,” Nugent added.
Nugent later followed up with an email to Kenyon in which he asked those who were hurt by his actions to “accept my heartfelt and sincere apology.”
Zellman Partisans, whose motto is “Jews. Guns. No compromise. No surrender,” offered Nugent membership in their group, which they said that Nugent accepted.
As part of his honorary membership, they said they would send him a Jewish yarmulke skullcap decorated with “a Star of David crossed with both an AR-15 and a Mauser 98 of the type WWII-era Jewish partisans captured from Nazis and used against their oppressors,” the group wrote.
The graphic that Nugent originally posted on Facebook showed a grid of photos of Jewish public figures decorated with an Israeli flag and derisive text, such as a description of the late New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg that read, “Gave Russian Jew immigrants your tax money” and Michael Bloomberg who was described as “Jew York City Mayor Mikey Bloomberg.”