- The Tower - http://www.thetower.org -

African American Law Enforcement Group: Exchange Program with Israel Enhances “Public Safety”

An African American law enforcement group has praised a Georgia-based exchange program with Israel for enhancing “public safety,” thereby contradicting a claim by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that joint exercises with Israeli law enforcement “militarize U.S. police forces.”

In a letter published [1] earlier this month, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) endorsed the work of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE), saying the program’s work, including that done with Israel, strives “continuously to improve public safety by enhancing inter-agency cooperation, partnership, and professional educational training.”

The statement, The Algemeiner reports [2], calls into question the “Deadly Exchange” campaign launched by the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace. The initiative, kickstarted in 2017, blames Israeli-American law enforcement cooperation for “discriminatory and repressive policing” against minorities in both countries and condemns “Jewish organizations that facilitate such deadly exchanges.”

When the city of Durham, North Carolina, in April became [2] the first U.S. municipality to bar its police department from training in Israel, the boycotts movement claimed that cooperation with Israeli law enforcement would “further militarize U.S. police forces that train in Israel.” They also charged that the IDF deploys “tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling, and repression of social justice movements.”

These charges have been strongly denounced by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and were also rejected by the Board of Commissioners of Forsyth County in Georgia.

Days before NOBLE published its letter, the board warned that “anti-police and anti-Israel groups launched a propaganda campaign against U.S. police training in Israel under the misnomer of ‘Deadly Exchange.’” It observed that the boycotts movement falsely accuses American officers of learning “to kill and to oppress minorities” during their training in Israel.

“Not only do such claims lack any foundation in the facts or histories of such exchanges, but the inflammatory causal attribution that such training leads to deadly encounters in the US is utterly fallacious and slanderous,” the board said.

The Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns issued a similar rebuke in a letter published on January 9, in which it described itself as “the only state entity specially authorized to address the concerns of Georgia’s American Indians.” The council praised GILEE for “its work to promote the professional development of law enforcement executives,” and said it “completely rejects anti-police and anti-Israel false claims that programs like GILEE amount to a ‘deadly exchange.’”

[Photo: Pelham Police Department / Facebook ]