Jewish Groups Pay to Send U.S. Police to Train in Israel

Friday, September 19, 2014
Israeli SWAT team conducts training exercise for US police officials (photo: Bernat Armangue, AP)

The militarization of American police forces hasn’t been paid for by just the federal government. Pro-Israel groups in the U.S. have also played a role by financing trips for hundreds of law enforcement officers to travel to the Middle East for counterterrorism training, according to Ali Winston, a contributor to the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR).


Monies provided by such groups as the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs have made it possible for “at least 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from agencies large and small – from New York and Maine to Orange County and Oakland, California” to attend privately funded seminars in Israel since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Winston discovered.


There, they have learned how Israeli security forces deal with demonstrators and armed threats by terrorists. The seminars include field trips to such sites as military installations, surveillance outposts, and checkpoints at the West Bank and the Israeli-Egyptian border. The training includes spending time observing operations conducted by Israel’s Border Patrol, Defense Forces, national police and intelligence services.


U.S. police officials who have undergone such training have come from the Los Angeles and New York police departments, the New York and New Jersey Port Authority Police Department, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police, and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association. The fact that the former chief of Missouri’s St. Louis County Police Department trained in Israel in 2011 recently came to light following the well-armed police response to protestors in St. Louis-based Ferguson.


Israeli training of U.S. police has also influenced the type of equipment being used. Security forces from both countries are now using some identical gear, including stun and tear gas grenades manufactured by the same U.S. companies—Combined Systems Inc. and Defense Technology Corp. A long-range “sound rifle” that emits ear-shattering noise to disperse crowds, which was used against 2005 West Bank protestors, was also used in the recent police action against protestors in Ferguson.


Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, told CIR that American police are often copying what Israel does in terms of crowd control and other techniques.


“Whether it is in Ferguson or L.A., we see a similar response all the time in the form of a disproportionate number of combat-ready police with military gear who are ready to use tear gas at short notice,” Syed said. “Whenever you find 50 people at a demonstration, there is always a SWAT team in sight or right around the corner.”


Israel’s security forces have also trained police in Mexico since 1994, originally in response to the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas.

- Danny Biederman, Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

US Police Get Antiterror Training in Israel on Privately Funded Trips (by Ali Winston, Center for Investigative Reporting)

Department of Justice COPS Office Features Article on JINSA's Law Enforcement Exchange Program (by Kimberly Brummett, JINSA)


mikrat 9 years ago
@William Lutek - Sorry to tell you this, although you would know this if the Gov Schools were not so bad - WE ARE A REPUBLIC, not a Democracy. @Charles Steiner - BINGO! 100%
William Lutek 9 years ago
Maybe accepting the 2003 Arab Peace Agreement would be a better use of money and time than training US Police depts to oppress people in a Democracy .
LeeZee 9 years ago
I feel much safer now. Perhaps our borders will be better protected and protests will stay civil. I suppose Steiner and Fallin are fans of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack and admire the wholesale looting in Ferguson. I'm sure these moral cowards will run for the hills when the swords and machetes swoop down on their necks, or their homes are bricked or firebombed by those peace-loving marauders.
Charles Steiner 9 years ago
Israel is not America's friend. It is a parasite and America's enemy but it takes people who aren't corrupted and ass-kissers to see this.
Robert Fallin 9 years ago
I hope contributors to those groups are prepared to exercise their "right of return"; because, when things soon get REALLY ugly, they will need a place to hide.

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