Two US police departments cancel training with Israel

Middle East Monitor

Two police departments in the New England region of the United States canceled their annual visit to Israeli police forces and engagement in training, amid pressure from organisations affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Vermont State Police and the Northampton Police Department in Massachusetts both canceled their planned trip to Israel for a training program just days before it was supposed to start.  

A number of groups in opposition to the program, including some affiliated with the BDS movement, mounted pressure on the local police forces to back out of the trip over increasing concerns about US law enforcement’s treatment of asylum seekers in the country.

A coalition of organisations, including the Vermont National Lawyers Guild, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, announced in a press release Thursday that Vermont State Police Director Colonel Birmingham canceled the trip in response to a petition created against it.

“After a meeting with concerned Pioneer Valley residents, Northampton Mayor Narkewicz withdrew Police Commissioner Kasper from the same trip,” the press release said.

The program, called Resilience and Counter-Terrorism, was first created in 2002 and entails a week-long seminar in Israel where local US law enforcement trains with Israeli military, police, and secret service.

It is funded and organised by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the decision marks the first time police departments decided to cancel their trip in the program’s nearly 20 years.

Previous participants to the program include the former Deputy Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), along with other top ranking law enforcement officials, according to JVP.

The ADL told the Haaretz newspaper on Friday that the program did not provide tactical training to US officers, but would train them to “enhance their effectiveness in preventing and responding to extremism and terrorist threats and violence.”

Organizers declared the decision a victory against the ADL-funded program, and then sent a letter to the Boston Police Department to follow suit.

“The tactics taught are inhumane and are used in the continued killing and oppression of communities of color across the nation and the globe. Law enforcement and elected officials should understand that we as a community are watching and will hold them accountable for their actions,” Mark Hughes, director of the group Justice for All, said on JVP’s website.

Middle East Monitor

5 thoughts on “Two US police departments cancel training with Israel

  1. “The tactics taught are inhumane and are used in the continued killing and oppression of communities of color across the nation and the globe.”

    Really?! I’ve watched MANY videos of cops thugging up on WHITE people, so don’t make this a skin color issue because our Bill of Rights does not discriminate.

    …”mounted pressure on the local police forces to back out of the trip over increasing concerns about US law enforcement’s treatment of asylum seekers in the country.”

    Oh please! This was called off due to treatment of asylum/ILLEGAL seekers in the country.

    How about the treatment of ANY American national?!!!!

    This article is stupid because they don’t point out the REAL reason. Cops should NOT exist on our streets; they are an invasion of our privacy and security.

  2. So this has been going on for over 20 years !!

    And only 2 are pulling out ( or so they lie)
    What about all the thugs already trained to violate our rights that are already here?…(silence)

    Maybe the “retraining” of the remaining is up to us!

  3. I didn’t know they needed sniper training to shoot kids in the back, I thought they passed that with a pistol.

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