Haters constantly attempt to slander Israel as a “white-supremacist” state. Using lies and distortions, they are trying to convince African-Americans that Israel hates blacks and that they should hate Israel.
Unfortunately, the lies seem to be working. In a recent poll, only 46% of black Americans viewed Israel as “ally” or “friendly”, compared to 67% percent of whites.
One of the accusations leveled at Israel, is that Israel is responsible for police brutality against blacks in America, because Israel has trained U.S. police forces in “brutal tactics” it uses against Palestinians. For instance, a black movement has recently attacked the Congressional Black Caucus for their support of Israel, citing the same accusation.
But is it true? Is there any evidence linking Police brutality in the US with Israeli Police?
One of the first people to make this accusation is an Israeli BDS activist who included it in a lecture he gave in Denver in 2014 [starting at 38:15]. Somehow linking it to a conversation he had with a Maryland cop about Israel, he goes as far as telling the American crowd
“You guys are next in line. The next one who will die out of brutality of the police, will be one of your sons or your daughters, in a protest, because they are training together. Your Police training with our Army.”
In 2018, two US Police departments caved to anti-Israel hate groups’ pressure and cancelled their training in Israel.
All those articles follow the same line. They assume Israel is “brutal” and then comes the “proof”:
“A) US Police have trained in Israel.
- B) There’s a problem of Police Brutality in the US.
- B) must be caused by A)”
Of course, this is a classic logical fallacy. There’s no proof nor evidence showing a cause-and-effect relationship between training in Israel and Police brutality in the US.
Police brutality in the United States started long before the training program in Israel was launched about 20 years ago. In fact, a commission to investigate police tactics was established in the 1920’s (long before Israel was even founded) and brutality grew worse in the 1960’s.
Serious research into the problem by experts and human rights groups points to other reasons for police brutality, unrelated to Israel.
One report blames the post-9/11 “War on Terror” which has created a “climate of impunity for law enforcement officers, and contributed to the erosion of what few accountability mechanisms exist for civilian control over law enforcement agencies. As a result, police brutality and abuse persist unabated and undeterred across the country.” Nothing to do with Israel, which isn’t even mentioned in the report.
Another report cites U.S. wars abroad and the soldier-to-police officer transition that has become common, bringing veterans of foreign wars home to patrol mostly poor and working-class communities of color. Again, Israel is not mentioned.
The ADL has clarified that in the training session, US officers meet both Israeli and Palestinian law enforcement officers. Yet I’ve never seen anyone accusing Palestinian police of brutality in the US.
There’s no evidence to date that any participant in their program has used what they learned in Israel to promote racial or religious profiling, police misconduct, or discrimination. But who cares about evidence?
The claim that Israeli training is causing brutality in America is totally illogical. Israel is being used here as a scapegoat by haters.
As correctly articulated by another writer, this blaming of Jews for murder of innocents, literally blaming Israel for causing the murder of American “sons and daughters”, even though the Jews had nothing to do with them, is a classic trope of antisemitism.
Yes, this is one more medieval-style blood libel, where Jews became the scapegoats for problems that were not of their making.
Fortunately, not everyone falls for these Jew-hating tropes.
A statement published by The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives rebuke these accusations and reiterates support for the training program. The new Congressional Black-Jewish Caucus could be another good sign.
Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.