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St. Louis police bought Israeli skunk spray after Ferguson uprising

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

Three months after Ferguson erupted in protest over the police killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) added an Israeli weapon called skunk to its protest-crushing arsenal, arms industry news website Defense One has confirmed.

Skunk is a crowd control “malodorant” developed by the Israeli police in collaboration with Odortec, an Israeli company that specializes in scent-based weapons, and tested on Palestinians.

Released at high pressure from a water cannon, canister or grenade, skunk liquid emits an odor — described as a mix of rotting animal carcass, raw sewage and human excrement — that sticks to walls, clothing, hair and skin for days to weeks and is impossible to wash away without a special soap that is only accessible to police.

Ramallah-based activist and writer Mariam Barghouti once told The Electronic Intifada that “the water lingers on your skin to a point when you want to rip your skin off.”

First deployed by Israeli armed forces in 2008, skunk water has become a fixture in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Israeli forces routinely douse entire Palestinians neighborhoods in skunk water, deliberately spraying it into private homes, businesses, schools and funerals in what the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem calls “a collective punitive measure” against Palestinian villages that engage in protest against Israel’s colonial violence.

While Odortec insists skunk spray is non-toxic and even drinkable, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) warns that it “can cause pain and redness if it comes into contact with eyes, irritation if it comes into contact with skin and if swallowed can cause abdominal pain requiring medical treatment.”

Stockpiling skunk

Thus far, the putrid substance has only been deployed against Palestinians. But that won’t be the case for much longer.

According to a 14 November purchase order obtained by Defense One through Missouri’s open records law, SLMPD purchased fourteen 1.4 liter canisters of Skunk for $428 along with two types of portable skunk delivery canisters that resemble fire extinguishers. Among them were two refillable MK-46 HE canisters for $1,284, which can spray up to 60 ounces of Skunk as far as 40 feet away, and five single use MK-20 Titan canisters totaling $198.90, which can hold up to 20 ounces of skunk with a spray range of 24 feet.

A second invoice shows that SLMPD modified its order on 12 January, increasing its purchase of special soap decontaminant from one to four gallons, totaling $121.40. The revision is labeled an “EMERGENCY PURCHASE.”

While the invoice does not identify the vendor, it was likely Mistral Security, a subsidiary of Mistral Group, a US company based in Bethesda, Maryland, that deals in the production and sale of military and law enforcement equipment.

Speaking at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Armament Systems Forum in April, Mistral general manager Stephen Rust announced, “We’ve provided some Skunk for the law enforcement agencies in Ferguson.”

Rust, who is a former project manager for the US army and Department of Defense, noted that the US military had also expressed interest in purchasing skunk. “We’ve demoed it at Fort Bragg. Why? Because they asked about it,” boasted Rust.

Mistral markets skunk spray to US police as ideal for controlling crowds and individuals at “border crossings, correctional facilities, demonstrations and sit-ins.”

It has also been promoted as means for targeting people for arrest. “I’m going to be able to drill [a specific target in a crowd] with a … round while I put him in the dirt. I can mark him with Skunk and he will be easy to locate when the crowd disperses,” said Rust at the armaments expo.

Just how many US police agencies have stockpiled the putrid substance remains unknown. Defense Onereported that Mistral sold Skunk to police departments in Bossier City, Louisiana. Mistral did not respond to repeated inquiries from The Electronic Intifada.

Global pacification industry

US police departments taking repression cues from their Israeli counterparts is not new.

Decades of testing methods and weapons of domination and control on has given rise to a booming “homeland security industry” in Israel that refashions occupation-style repression for use on marginalized populations in other parts of the world. This dystopian arrangement has placed Israel at the core of what Israeli activist Jeff Halper terms the “global pacification industry.”

While Gaza serves as a testing ground for explosives, the West Bank is Israel’s preferred laboratoryfor testing and refining crowd control technology.

Like most Israeli weapons, skunk is advertised by Odortec as having been “field-tested,” meaning Palestinians were used as human test subjects during the development process.

David Ben Harosh, head of the Israeli police’s department for technological development, which partnered with Odortec to develop skunk water, stated in 2008 that skunk water was tested in “monitored exercises” in the Palestinian villages of Bilin and Nilin, which he referred to as an “experiment.”

Under the cover of “counterterrorism training,” senior commanders from nearly every major US police agency, including departments in Baltimore and St. Louis, have received training from Israel’s occupation regime on junkets that allow Israeli companies like Odortec to market their products directly to US law enforcement executives.

As the BBC reported in 2008, “The Israeli police force has high hopes of turning skunk into a commercial venture and selling it to law-enforcement agencies overseas.”

Those hopes have finally been realized, as US police departments search for more effective ways to subdue growing resistance to racist policing, further exposing the collusion taking place among purveyors of racist state violence in the US and Israel.

Podcast: Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter and problem of identity politics

Two Black Lives Matter activists interrupted a Saturday afternoon rally in Seattle, where Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, was scheduled to speak. It was a rally held to celebrate the anniversary of Social Security and the need to expand social welfare programs.

The activists took the stage and grabbed the microphone. Some people attending the rally booed, urged police to remove them with a Taser, and called for the activists to be arrested by police. Meanwhile, organizers allowed the activists to criticize Sanders, condemn “white supremacist liberalism,” and honor Michael Brown, who was gunned down by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson one year ago today.

While this week’s episode of the “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast was recorded before this happened, it just so happens the episode we recorded was about this issue of Bernie Sanders, the Black Lives Matter movement, and solidarity organizing.

Douglas Williams, a writer at, a third-generation organizer, and a doctoral student at Wayne State University in Detroit, is our guest this week. We talk to him about Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter, and the critique of Bernie Sanders not talking about race enough. He discusses how Democratic presidential candidates have used the “Black Lives Matter” mantra to make their campaigns relevant.

We highlight Bernie Sanders’ record in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a group which played a key role in the civil rights movement. We also talk about the problems the movement has with solidarity organizing and the role of white “allies” in organizing against institutional racism.

Our conversation spans the full hour, which is a necessary length of time to unpack and dig in to the identity politics, which seems to be impacting the ability of activists to engage in solidarity organizing.

It is our hope this episode will provoke more debate about organizing against institutional racism in the United States, and that you will not mistake this discussion for an attempt by us to lead a discussion but rather recognize it as an effort to agitate and fuel a critical conversation.

The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and also to download the episode), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode. And please follow the show on Twitter at @UnauthorizedDis.

Israeli leaders lit the match that burned baby Ali Dawabsha

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

The savage burning alive of 18-month-old Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsha in the occupied West Bank village of Duma has elicited energetic condemnations from Israeli leaders.

To anyone paying attention to the widespread expressions of hatred emanating from many quarters of Israeli Jewish society, these stern platitudes are not only unconvincing, they are an obvious handwashing performance meant for external consumption.

It is difficult to find a single Israeli cabinet minister who has not encouraged or perpetrated racist violence against Palestinians, largely because this kind of incitement – and worse – gets them elected.

Ali was killed in the middle of the night, early Friday, when persons, later seen by witnesses fleeing back to the settlement of Maaleh Efraim, smashed the windows of the child’s family’s home and threw Molotov cocktails and flammable liquid inside.

His parents and 4-year-old brother barely survived the attack – they are fighting for their lives with burns covering almost their whole bodies.

An autopsy found that Ali’s “body was completely blackened, his features had melted, parts of his extremities disintegrated from the burns, while parts of the lungs and rib cage had melted,” Ma’an News Agency reported.

Burning children, from Gaza to Duma

The attackers spray-painted a Star of David and the Hebrew words for “Revenge” and “Long live the Messiah King” on the walls of a neighoring house which they also burned – no one was injured in it – leaving no confusion about their motive.

Similar nationalist and racist graffiti was found on the walls of homes occupied by Israeli soldiers in Gaza during last summer’s military assault.

This is just one of many reasons the award for most disingenuous posturing goes to the Israeli army, which issued statements condemning “this barbaric act of terrorism” and vowing to intensify efforts “to locate those responsible.”

The notion that the same Israeli army that protects and allows settlers to harass and attack Palestinians with impunity is going to hold the Dawabshas’ attackers accountable is far fetched.

This is also the army that completely destroyed or severely damaged more than 25,000 homes in Gaza last summer, wiping out entire families sheltered inside, “including nineteen babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of 1 and 5,” according to an AP investigation.

The only thing that separates the Israeli soldiers responsible for those killings from the settlers who burned baby Ali is a uniform and explicit orders from the state.

Less than 24 hours since vowing to bring the killers to justice, the Israeli army has shot dead two Palestinian teens – Muhammad Hamid al-Masri in Gaza, and 17-year-old Laith al-Khaldi in the West Bank – while the killers of baby Ali remain at large.

From killer to leaders

As for the Israeli officials who rushed to denounce the Duma attack as “terrorism,” all have well-documented histories of engaging in anti-Palestinian incitement. Some have even killed Palestinians themselves and later bragged about it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the architect of last summer’s 51-day assault that killed 551 Palestinian children in Gaza, responded to the settler attack with a statement that his government is “united in strong opposition to such deplorable and awful acts.”

This is the same man who, following the discovery of the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens one year ago, issued a call for blood vengeance, essentially lighting the match that burned alive 16-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khudair.

As journalist Dan Cohen observed, it seems vigilante burnings of Palestinian children have become a yearly Israeli ritual.


Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of the ultra-nationalist Habeyit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party, said, “Arson against a house in Duma and the murder of a baby is a disgusting act of terror.”

This is the same Bennett who famously bragged, “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that.”

Perhaps the settlers who murdered baby Ali were following in the footsteps of Bennett, who rose to prominence after playing a key role in triggering Israel’s April 1996 massacre of more than 100 civilians and UN peacekeepers sheltering at a UN base in Qana, Lebanon, during that year’s Israeli invasion.

Over half of those killed in the attack were children.

Had the settlers who burned baby Ali been wearing Israeli army uniforms when they set fire to the Dawabsha house, Bennett would likely be praising rather than denouncing them, much like he did in response to international outrage at the Israeli massacre of the four Baker boys on the beach in Gaza last summer.

Appearing on CNN at the time, Bennett accused Palestinians of “conducting massive self-genocide” to make Israel look bad.


Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon referred to the killing of baby Ali as “horrible terror attacks that we cannot allow” and promised to “pursue the murderers until we bring them to justice.”

This is the same Yaalon who guaranteed that Israel would not hesitate to kill Palestinian and Lebanese civilians including children, if it felt it had to, in any future war between Israel and its neighbors.

Like most Israeli leaders, Yaalon has a pattern of engaging in violent incitement and of acting on it.

During his stint as Israeli army chief of staff, he likened Palestinians to a cancerous threat that can only be eliminated by “applying chemotherapy.”

If the murderers of baby Ali are anything like Yaalon, they will evade justice and advance their careers while doing it, as Yaalon has successfully done time and again despite his participation in war crimes.

In Israel, killing Palestinians and advocating for genocide builds political careers.

Violent demagogues occupy key positions in government, not in spite of their anti-Palestinian incitement or the killings they have perpetrated, but because of them.

After endorsing a call last June for Palestinian mothers to be slaughtered in their beds to prevent them from birthing “little snakes,” Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked was rewarded by being appointed justice minister.

Killings babies permitted

Eli Ben-Dahan, the settler rabbi in occupied East Jerusalem who decreed that “[Palestinians] are beasts, they are not human,” is Israel’s recently appointed deputy defense minister.

He is now in charge of the “Civil Administration,” the name Israel gives to the military body that rules Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

It is no accident that clerics like Ben-Dahan have been largely silent about baby Ali. After all, they inspire an extreme messianic, eliminationist version of Judaism that drives settler violence.

Two of the most notorious are Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur, who in 2009 co-wrote Torat Hamelech (The King’s Torah), a guidebook on when it is permissible to kill non-Jews.

The authors claim that Jewish law permits “killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults.”

Elitzur and Shapira run a hardline yeshiva – Jewish religious school – in the settlement of Yitzhar, home to some of the most violent settlers, not far from the Palestinian village of Duma.

In July 2014, Dov Lior, a leading West Bank settler rabbi who has endorsed Torat Hamelechissued his own ruling that the complete “destruction of Gaza” was permissible.

“At a time of war, the nation under attack is allowed to punish the enemy population with measures it finds suitable, such as blocking supplies or electricity, as well as shelling the entire area … to take crushing deterring steps to exterminate the enemy,” Lior wrote.

Israeli settlers, who see themselves in a perpetual state of war against an “enemy population,” would certainly take heed of such clerical guidance.

In February, the Israeli army raided Yitzhar and confiscated weapons that settlers there planned to use against Palestinians, including flammable liquids, tear gas canisters and black face masks.

Despite the horror expressed by Israel’s most prominent politicians, they have yet to utter a word against the rabbis who incite attacks on Palestinians in the name of their extreme version of Judaism.

Growing racism

Meanwhile, this broad ideological spectrum of hate has consequences that extend beyond the settlements.

A recent report by the Coalition Against Racism in Israel revealed a sharp rise in anti-Arab attacks since 2013, which coincided with racist incitement by Israeli elected officials and decisionmakers during last summer’s attack on Gaza and the February elections.

Over the last year, the report documented 237 racist attacks, with 192 of them directed at Arabs, up from 113 in 2013.

This tally excludes settler attacks in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. The culture of hate and extremism that led to Ali Dawabsha’s slaying is rooted not just in the settlements, but within the very fabric of Israeli political culture, its discriminatory regime and the Zionism that underpins them.

Politicians that rule a society where Palestinian babies are routinely called a “demographic threat,” and where many joyfully celebrate their slaughter, cannot claim innocence and purport to be “shocked” when settlers burn Palestinian children alive.

Podcast: In Cleveland, Organizers Gather to Strengthen & Grow Movement for Black Lives

Following months of numerous actions across the United States, a gathering was held by the Movement for Black Lives from July 24-26 in Cleveland. The goal was to bring black organizers together to create a “collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of the moment.” It was also geared toward reflection on the history of struggle and healing from the many traumas, which black Americans have endured.

Waltrina Middleton, a member of the host committee for the gathering and an organizer/co-founder of Cleveland Action, appeared on this week’s “Unauthorized Disclosure” to highlight the critical importance of this event.

“It is important for us to communally strategize for ways that would be best for us to respond to racialized violence that we have been subjected to as a people,” Middleton declares.

She speaks about the setting of the gathering and recalled how two unarmed black people, Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams, were shot by Cleveland police 137 times, Tanisha Anderson, who was killed by Cleveland police after her family called to get her help, and John Crawford, who was killed by police while he was in a Walmart.

“There are other issues that bring us to Cleveland,” Middleton adds. “Violence against women, in particular black women, violence against LGBTQ community, particularly black trans women community, socioeconomic disparities and going into East Cleveland and seeing buildings or houses boarded up and the infrastructure that does not allow for paved roads and sidewalks going uncleared so people in the winter time are pushing wheelchairs and baby carriages in the middle of the street.”

Middleton explained there is a lack of concern for the quality of education and healthcare, basic needs which any person would want to be able to access.

During the discussion part of the show, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola highlight DHS surveillance of Black Lives Matter protests, the firing of a man from a Chicago police review agency for refusing to change his findings against police, and UK’s PREVENT program and anti-Muslim racism. The show’s hosts also talk a little more about the Movement for Black Lives gathering, including the role of white “allies” or white anti-racism activists in movement building.

The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and also to download the episode), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode.

Please follow the show on Twitter at @UnauthorizedDis.

Israel threw stun grenade at 11-year-old — Human Rights Watch

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada

A new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses Israeli forces of subjecting detained Palestinian children to chokeholds, beatings, strip-searches and forced confessions.

The report comes in the wake of a new law approved by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, allowing stiffer sentences for stone-throwing. Accusations of stone-throwing are routinely used by Israeli forces as a pretext to arrest, torture, jail and even kill Palestinians without consequence.

Employing the stone-throwing allegation, Israeli forces “have choked children, thrown stun grenades at them, beaten them in custody, threatened and interrogated them without the presence of parents or lawyers, and failed to let their parents know their whereabouts,” according to HRW.

HRW documented and corroborated the experiences of four boys from East Jerusalem, aged 11, 12, and 15, as well as a 14-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy from other parts of the occupied West Bank.  Read more

ADL honor for St. Louis police ahead of Ferguson anniversary sparks outrage

Crossposted from The Electronic Intifada 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is honoring the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) on 31 July, just days ahead of the first anniversary of the police killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in the St. Louis-area municipality of Ferguson, Missouri.

The purpose of the event, according to an announcement on the ADL’s website, is to celebrate 10 years since the launch of the organization’s Holocaust education program, called “Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust” (LEAS).

Designed by the ADL and the Holocaust Museum, LEAS is described as “an innovative training that increases law enforcement’s understanding of their role as protectors of the American people and the Constitution.”

“By examining the Holocaust, police learn about the dangers that anti-Semitism, bigotry and bias pose to all,” according to the ADL, which boasts of having trained more than 90,000 police officers in LEAS.

The program has also been introduced to US military personnel with plans to expand its reach.

SLMPD is slated to receive special recognition for being the first law enforcement agency to participate in LEAS when it was piloted in 2004.

The program was created at the behest of former DC Metropolitan police chief and current Philadelphia top cop Charles Ramsey, whose career has been punctuated by violent crackdowns on protests and the expansion of racially discriminatory practices.

Learning about law enforcement’s role in perpetuating the Nazi Holocaust appears to have had little impact on the SLMPD, which participated in the heavily militarized crackdown against Ferguson protesters after Michael Brown’s death and continued to violently crushdemonstrations across St. Louis in the months that followed.

Cut ties with white supremacy

The ADL’s mission at its founding a century ago was to defend Jews against then rampant discrimination. In recent decades, the group’s main preoccupation has been to ferociously pursue critics of Israel and defenders of Palestinian rights.

Notoriously, the ADL spied on both Palestine solidarity and anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s.

In response to the ADL’s event honoring the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (STL-JVP) issued a statement beseeching “all who oppose white supremacy to cut ties with the Anti-Defamation League.”

STL-JVP said it was particularly egregious to honor “a police force whose racist shooting spree targeting Black youth continues, most recently in the shooting of 16-year-old Brandon Claxton in the face last weekend even as witnesses say he posed no threat.”

“We are disgusted by the ADL’s grotesque invocation of the Nazi Holocaust – in which countless members of our families perished – both as a tool to give the ADL and St. Louis police cover as protectors of civil rights, and to frame racism in the US solely within the context of anti-Semitism,” the statement continued.

“We have cringed as the ADL positions itself locally as a champion of racial profiling legislation while sending US police – including former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch – to train on population control in Israel, an apartheid police state with more than 60 years of sophisticated expertise in racial profiling, mass incarceration, settler colonialism, and ethnic cleansing targeting the non-Jewish indigenous Palestinian people,” STL-JVP added.

The group takes to task mainstream Jewish organizations in St. Louis including the ADL, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation whose leaders “speak the language of justice” but “are overtly racist toward Palestinians.”

“Zionism – itself a form of white supremacy that oppresses Palestinians, Jews of color, and other marginalized groups – has no place in any antiracist movement,” STL-JVP states.

The statement concludes by imploring “St. Louis Jewish leaders and organizations, especially those who have been active in Ferguson, to stop playing both sides – chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ in the streets while working closely with racist Jewish organizations.”

Meanwhile, STL-JVP is organizing a protest outside the ADL’s police celebration and has invited broad participation.

ADL stands by police

Despite the criticism, Karen Aroesty, ADL regional director in St. Louis, is refusing to cancel the event.

“We are validating a 10-year partnership that is not simply about the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, but about more than 50 other departments in the region who have participated in this program in the last decade,” Aroesty told this reporter by telephone.

While she acknowledged bias exists in policing, Aroesty said she believes the ADL’s event is warranted and that activists who are upset by police violence need to engage more.

“Those folks who are impacted by policing, they also need to understand that they have value in that learning process and simply being angry is not going to get the job done,” Aroesty said. “And I do think there are police departments that are kind of frustrated because they feel as if it’s all being put on them to change drastically but there’s certain things that they cannot change.”

When it was suggested that police are not being held accountable for killing citizens across the country, Aroesty said it is police who are being shot in the streets.

“I wonder what happens to our trust in democracy when people feel that they can just indiscriminately shoot police officers,” she said. “What does it do to the community’s sense of stability?” Aroesty asked, referencing the ambush shooting of an officer in St. Louis on 14 July, for which she implied the community bore responsibility.

There’s no doubt that police face threats on the job, but the statistics do not compare to the often racially charged police violence against citizens they are supposedly tasked with protecting.

Of the 67 US police officers that have died “in the line of duty” so far this year, 22 were killed by gunfire or assault, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. The rest died from previous illnesses, car crashes, heart attacks or various accidents.

In the same time period, police have killed more than 630 people – nearly ten times as many – with more than 80 deaths in July alone.

And while those who harm police officers are likely to be arrested, charged and convicted, police officers who kill are almost never held accountable.

Nonetheless, Aroesty denied that police impunity is widespread.

“I feel confidant that police officers who are in fact acting beyond the scope and abusing their discretion, that they are in fact being held accountable,” she said. “It is very very complex.”


Back in March, after the Jewish Community Relations Council pressured the Missouri History Museum to cancel a panel discussion on Ferguson, Palestine and the kidnapping and killing of students from Ayotzinapa College in Mexico, Aroesty applauded the censorship and encouraged the museum to contact SLMPD for assistance in quelling protests the cancellation provoked.

The ADL has repeatedly condemned solidarity between Black Americans and Palestinians, characterizing it as offensive and rooted in hostility toward Israel. It became so incensed, it compiled a blacklist of people and organizations that dared to compare state violence against Black Americans to Israeli violence against Palestinians, accusing Palestine solidarity activists of “trying to rouse support for an anti-Israel agenda by attracting like-minded activists.”

The main connection activists recognize from St. Louis to Palestine is the training relationship between US law enforcement agencies and Israel.

“That’s hogwash!” Aroesty interjected before this reporter could finish asking a question about the fact that senior commanders from numerous US police departments routinely travel to Israel to “learn” from state security and occupation forces. Many of these junkets are organized by the ADL.

“Sure, the Israelis have, because of their security issues, a unique capacity for training police chiefs from around the country who have been going [to Israel],” Aroesty conceded. “And a number of different agencies, not just ADL, sponsor training programs.”

Under the cover of “counterterrorism training” senior commanders from nearly every major US law enforcement agency have traveled to Israel, including the St. Louis County and St. Louis Metropolitan police departments.

In 2011, then St. Louis County Police Department chief Timothy Fitch attended the ADL’s National Counter-Terrorism Seminar, an annual week-long Israeli training camp where US law enforcement executives “study first hand Israel’s tactics and strategies” directly from “senior commanders in the Israel National Police, experts from Israel’s intelligence and security services and the Israel Defense Forces,” according to the ADL’s own website.

While Aroesty acknowledged Fitch’s participation, she rejected as “factually incorrect” any suggestion that the training had any impact on the behavior of St. Louis police in the weeks following Michael Brown’s death.

But on its website, the ADL boasts of sending more than 175 senior US law enforcement officials from 100 different agencies to the seminar since 2004, proudly stating that they are “taking the lessons they learned in Israel back to the United States.”

Still, Areosty insisted that the training junkets “had nothing to do with any of the police tactics or the optics that were experienced in the couple of weeks after Michael Brown was shot.”

She insisted that any criticism of the training programs and ADL’s role in them “was about the ideological goals of the anti-Israel movement” which was intent on using “whatever they could to make their point … whether they were factual or not.”

The protests the ADL’s event is sparking suggest that it getting harder for the pro-Israel group to pose as both a champion of civil rights in the US while defending the police forces that routinely trample those rights with impunity.

In Support of Rania Khalek and Debate on Issues of Justice and Equality.

Originally posted on The South Lawn:

I really should not even have to write this post. I doubt that most would ever understand what makes this post necessary.

In fact, whenever I have to explain the stuff that happens on social media to people who spend little to no time in that world, they express a sense of puzzlement at best. It is almost as if I have told them that the oceans are purple, or that I have a third eye in the back of my head.

So you can imagine the time that I have had explaining the stuff that has happened to Rania Khalek — a journalist that is committed to anti-imperialist struggle both here and in Palestine, as well as a dear friend — over the last few days. Rania made the dastardly mistake of lightlyquestioning an organizing strategy being forwarded around by luminaries in a section of Twitter popularly known…

View original 576 more words


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