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Israel Exports Its Brutal Police Training to the US, and it Shows


It’s an open secret that Israel exports its occupation and subjugation management strategies to the world’s worst human rights violators, including China, Myanmar, India, and the United States.

By CJ Werleman

Inside Arabia, June 17, 2020

 
Israeli soldiers fire tear gas canisters towards Palestinian demonstrators at a protest against Trump's
Mideast initiative, in Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, Feb. 25, 2020.
(AP Photo Majdi Mohammed)


Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories enters its 54th year, making it the longest running belligerent military occupation in modern times, and thus affording it a unique understanding into what it takes to repress, suppress, and dominate a stressed population that yearns for equality, justice, and emancipation.

Its occupation management, counterterrorism, border protection, and anti-narcotic strategies have made Israeli police and security forces the most revered in the world, allowing the Middle Eastern state to profit from exporting its know-how and experience abroad, particularly to the world’s worst human rights violators, including China, Myanmar, India, and the United States.

It matters not that Amnesty International, and even the US State Department have accused Israeli police forces of carrying out extrajudicial murder, unlawful killings, torture, illicit surveillance, racial profiling, and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters. What matters to security forces around the world is Israel knows how to crush political resistance and dissent.

Israeli police brutality has been exported to cities, counties, and states’ police precincts all across the United States.

Israeli police brutality has been exported to cities, counties, and states’ police precincts all across the United States, including the Minneapolis Police Department, whose officers are responsible for the killing of George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose murder sparked the current nationwide protests in the US.

“When I saw the picture of killer cop Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd by leaning in on his neck with his knee as he cried for help and other cops watched, I remembered noticing when many Israeli soldiers began using this technique of leaning in on our chest and necks when we were protesting in the West Bank sometime in 2006,” Neta Golan, a Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of International Solidarity Movement, told The Morning Star.


Israeli forces brutalizing a Palestinian man (Facebook photo)


Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, thousands of US police officers have traveled to Israel for training, which has not only played a central role in the recent trend in the militarization of US police departments, but also has no doubt contributed to the upward spike in cases of police brutality, given Israeli security forces are trained for urban warfare and are given a license to kill.

In response to the public’s outcry over police brutality, a police department in North Carolina banned the training of its police officers by the Israeli military.

Last week and in response to the public’s outcry over police brutality, a police department in North Carolina banned the training of its police officers by the Israeli military; Durham Council voted unanimously to adopt the ban after 1,600 residents put their signatures to a petition.

“The Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of color,” the “Demilitarize! From Durham2Palestine” petition said. “These tactics further militarize US police forces that train in Israel, and this training helps the police terrorize black and brown communities here in the US.”


Despite this isolated incidence of push back against Israeli military training, the fact remains that Israel has become the go to resource for governments that seek a solution for suppressing restless and harassed populations. To that end, Israel has successfully latched onto US “war on terror” discourse, which falsely portrays Muslim minorities as a threat to US security.

Israel has become the go to resource for governments that seek a solution for suppressing restless and harassed populations.

Already in 2015, the US Department of Justice released a damning report that documented “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation” within the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). According to Amnesty International, what was not emphasized was the fact that Baltimore police received training on crowd control and use of force and surveillance by Israel’s national police, military, and intelligence services.

“Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from FloridaNew Jersey, Pennsylvania, CaliforniaArizona, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North CarolinaGeorgiaWashington state as well as the DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials here in the U.S.

“Many of these trips,” Amnesty added, “are taxpayer funded while others are privately funded. Since 2002, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs have paid for police chiefs, assistant chiefs, and captains to train in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).”

When it comes to subjugating Muslim minorities – under the guise of fighting terrorism – Israel is the best of the worst offenders.

Indeed, when it comes to subjugating Muslim minorities in particular – under the guise of fighting terrorism – Israel, a “chronic human rights violator,” to borrow an Amnesty International designation, is the best of the worst offenders. Thus why China, Myanmar, and India have turned to the Israeli military for guidance in their respective efforts to repress Uyghur, Rohingya, and Kashmiri Muslim populations.


“Israel and India are partners in the battle against this scourge and there cannot be any compromise in the way against terrorism,” read a 2003 joint statement between then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and then-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari.

Since then Israel has not only provided India with weaponry and technology tailor made for suppressing Kashmiri liberation aspirations, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), laser range-finding and targeting equipment, and advanced air-to-ground weapons, but also Israeli intelligence agencies routinely travel to India to train their counterparts in counter-insurgency strategies.

“In style and character, the power structure and subsequent consolidation trend is quite similar to that followed by Israel against the Palestinians,” observes Shaid Lone, a journalist in Indian-administered Kashmir. “This utter disregard for human brotherhood, dignity, equality, liberty and freedom reveals how both countries are making a mockery of open government and how the global advocates of democracy maintain a criminal silence to protect their own economic and national interests.”

When the Myanmar military launched its operation to terrorize the country’s Muslim minority, Israel trained these forces.

In 2016, when the Myanmar military launched its operation to terrorize the country’s 1.3 million Muslim minority – the Rohingya – Israel armed and trained these forces, providing Yangon with more than 100 tanks, light weapons, and patrol boats, which have been an instrumental tool for attacking Rohingya fishermen.


And Palestinian children too!


In other words, Israel knowingly aided and abetted genocide. But Israel has a long history of arming and training oppressive regimes. It continued to provide apartheid South Africa with tanks, guns, and military advisors when the rest of the world had severed economic and military ties with the African nation, and it armed the Nicaraguan dictator Somoza when it was known he was murdering more than 500 of his people every day.

If the United States ever reaches the point in which it becomes truly serious about implementing genuine reform of its police departments and criminal justice system, then detaching police departments from methods and strategies used by Israeli security forces must be part of that reform. The crisis of police brutality cannot be resolved while thousands of cops are roaming American streets with ideas imparted upon by soldiers of a militarized apartheid state.


~~~~


*The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Inside Arabia.





 


First published in Amnesty International USA’s blog on Aug 25, 2016
 

WITH WHOM ARE MANY U.S. POLICE DEPARTMENTS TRAINING? WITH A CHRONIC HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATOR – ISRAEL

TOPSHOT – Baltimore County Sheriffs officers gather after Baltimore Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. was acquitted of
all charges in his murder trial for the death of Freddie Gray at the Mitchell Court House June 23, 2016 in Baltimore,
Maryland. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)


This blog post ran on Amnesty International USA’s blog on Aug 25, 2016, authored by Edith Garwood, Amnesty International USA Country Specialist covering Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the State of Palestine. Read about our latest work to address deadly force and police accountability.

When the U.S. Department of Justice published a report Aug. 10 that documented “widespread constitutional violations, discriminatory enforcement, and culture of retaliation” within the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), there was rightly a general reaction of outrage.

But what hasn’t received as much attention is where Baltimore police received training on crowd control, use of force and surveillance: Israel’s national police, military and intelligence services.

Baltimore law enforcement officials, along with hundreds of others from Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, North CarolinaGeorgia, Washington state as well as the DC Capitol police have all traveled to Israel for training. Thousands of others have received training from Israeli officials here in the U.S.

Many of these trips are taxpayer funded while others are privately funded. Since 2002, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs have paid for police chiefs, assistant chiefs and captains to train in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

These trainings put Baltimore police and other U.S. law enforcement employees in the hands of military, security and police systems that have racked up documented human rights violations for years. Amnesty International, other human rights organizations and even the U.S. Department of State have cited Israeli police for carrying out extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, using ill treatment and torture (even against children), suppression of freedom of expression/association including through government surveillance, and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.




Public or private funds spent to train our domestic police in Israel should concern all of us. Many of the abuses documented, parallels violations by Israeli military, security and police officials.

The Department of Justice report cited Baltimore police for using aggressive tactics that “escalate encounters and stifle public cooperation.” This leads, the report said, to use of unreasonable force during interactions for minor infractions, such as quality of life matters.  Furthermore, the report details how an overall lack of training leads to excessive force being used against those with mental health issues, juveniles and people who present “little or no threat against others,” such as those already restrained.

For years, Amnesty International has found Israeli military, security and police forces responsible for the same behavior.

In one case, a 28-year-old Palestinian man, not suspected of any crime except being present during a raid, was killed in what appears to have been an extrajudicial execution by Israeli forces, including an undercover police unit, during a raid on al-Ahli hospital in Hebron November 2015.

Eyewitnesses report that when Israeli forces entered the hospital room where the suspect was recuperating, they immediately shot his cousin. There was no attempt to arrest him or to use non-lethal alternatives before shooting him dead. This is one example among many.

There are also documented incidents of suppression of freedom of expression by Israeli police. For instance, journalists covering protests have been assaulted or shot. Individuals are also arrested for social media posts or for gathering to peacefully discuss the occupation. Police have harassed and arrested Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu repeatedly since he served his full sentence in 2004. Just this past July, Vanunu was in court for giving a news interview, moving (in the same building) without notifying police and for meeting with foreign nationals.

Another concern with the BPD is “systemic deficiencies” in “accountability structures”. Lack of accountability for human rights violations by Israeli forces and the environment of impunity that exists has been a long-standing concern with human rights organizations.

It is beyond dispute that there are some very serious human rights problems in U.S. policing, including in relation to the use of force and respect for equality of all before the law.

The people of Baltimore deserve better. The American public deserves better.  Baltimore and other police departments should find partners that will train on de-escalation techniques, how to handle mentally challenged or ill citizens, on the constitutional rights of citizens concerning filming and how to appropriately respond to those using non-violent protest to express their opinions. Israel is not such a partner.







See also:

How Israel Trains U.S. Police




Visit the site: Palestine is Here - Track US-Israeli State Violence from Palestine to Your City

 


 

 




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