When McKinney, TX police officer David Eric Casebolt brutally took down a teenage girl at a pool party in June, he was using a form of martial arts called Krav Maga in which he trained exclusively. These combat techniques were developed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
This is a small reflection of a larger reality that exists in U.S. law enforcement, one that helps explain the brutality and militarization that now characterizes so many police forces. Since 9/11, cops have been traveling abroad to learn from one of the most repressive and dangerous State forces in the world today—the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus.
Political commentator John Miranda recently stated that police brutality is directly linked to the training some officers receive in Israel.
“As for the increase in police brutality within the United States, I think this definitely can be pointed towards the Israeli training that the Department of Homeland Security is giving all of American police officers.
Some police officers are actually being flown to Israel for the training, not all of them but some, and then those that are flown to Israel, they come back home and they train the head officers in the training that they’ve gotten in Israel.
All these incidents, it is not just happening to African Americans. Police are literally being brutal with all Americans.”
At least 300 high-ranking U.S. sheriffs and police from all over the country, as well as FBI and US Customs and Border Protection agents, have traveled to Israel to learn first-hand the most efficient means of subduing populations. The purported reason is counterterrorism, but protests and crowd control methods are commonly discussed.
Police are not learning from the Israeli criminal law sector that deals with Jewish residents. U.S. police are learning from Israel’s military justice system, which controls Palestinians through paramilitary and counterinsurgency tactics. Residents of Gaza and the West Bank live in what is essentially a giant prison camp, where oppression and brutality from the IDF is a way of life. The use of excessive or deadly force for crowd control is rarely questioned.
Three organizations are responsible for sending U.S. cops to Israel for training—the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. The ADL insulted victims of police brutality last month when it honored the St. Louis Police Department (SLPD) just days ahead of the anniversary of Michael Brown’s killing. The SLPD was the first department to enroll in ADL’s training program.
The St. Louis Chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace issued a scathing statement in response: “We have cringed as the ADL positions itself locally as a champion of racial profiling legislation while sending US police – including former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch – to train on population control in Israel, an apartheid police state with more than 60 years of sophisticated expertise in racial profiling, mass incarceration, settler colonialism, and ethnic cleansing targeting the non-Jewish indigenous Palestinian people.”
This occupation-style policing has made its way to U.S. cities and towns and has become standard operating procedure at any protest of government. Also, the very same equipment used by Israeli military for crowd control—tear gas grenades, triple chaser gas canisters, and stun grenades—were used at demonstrations in Ferguson, Oakland and Anaheim. The LRAD (long-range acoustic device) was also used by both Ferguson police and Israeli military forces. …