- The extreme militarization of American police forces
has been brought to public attention by the tactics employed against Occupy
protesters, which often appear more appropriate to counter-terrorism operations
than to the control of non-violent protest. According to investigative
journalist Max Blumenthal, however, the proper term for this ruthless suppression
of dissent should be "Israelification."
- In an article which begins with examples of American
police training alongside Israeli security forces, Blumenthal writes, "Having
been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience
of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population,
local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods
in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired
to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping
malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation,
and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The New York Police
Department's disclosure that it deployed 'counter-terror' measures against
Occupy protesters encamped in downtown Manhattan's Zuccotti Park is just
the latest example of the so-called War on Terror creeping into every day
life. Revelations like these have raised serious questions about the extent
to which Israeli-inspired tactics are being used to suppress the Occupy
- According to Blumenthal, the transformation began after
September 11, when American law enforcement officers began to look to the
Israelis for counter-terrorism expertise and in response the Israel Lobby
"provid[ed] thousands of top cops with all-expenses paid trips to
Israel and stateside training sessions with Israeli military and intelligence
- Many of these trips and training sessions were arranged
by JINSA, the stridently pro-Israel organization whose advisors have included
such prominent Neocons as Douglas Feith and Richard Perle.
- The Anti-Defamation League has also provided Israeli-run
training senssions to over 700 police officers through its course on Extremist
and Terroist Threats and claims to have provided a background in Israeli
perspectives to another 45,000 through its Law Enforcement and Society
program, which is required training for all new FBI agents.
- The Israeli influence has been particularly strong in
New York City where, Blumenthal writes, "under the leadership of Police
Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened
by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to
demonstrate his support for Israel's ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip.
Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya
Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government
officials who obsess over supposed 'demographic threats.' Back in New
York, the NYPD set up a secret 'Demographics Unit' designed to spy on and
monitor Muslim communities around the city."
- Not only dissidents but even ordinary criminals may be
treated as terrorists under the Israel model, which can also include the
routine use of torture. Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham School of
Law's Center on National Security, told Blumenthal, "After 9/11 we
reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was
torture. The training in Iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training.
There's been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now
we're going to spread that into the fabric of everyday American life? It's
counter-terrorism creep. And it's exactly what you could have predicted
would have happened."
- "Given the amount of training the NYPD and so many
other police forces have received from Israel's military-intelligence apparatus,"
Blumenthal concludes, "and the profuse levels of gratitude American
police chiefs have expressed to their Israeli mentors, it is worth asking
how much Israeli instruction has influenced the way the police have attempted
to suppress the Occupy movement, and how much it will inform police repression
of future upsurges of street protest. But already, the Israelification
of American law enforcement appears to have intensified police hostility
towards the civilian population, blurring the lines between protesters,
common criminals, and terrorists."