Thu Jun 25th, 2020 at 05:46:22 PM EST
Note: The quote in the Independent article’s interview with Maxine Peake can rightfully be condemned. She herself does so:
Continued below the fold ...
The close relationship of Israeli military with the U.S. Armed Forces was a problem from the start of the Iraq War in 2003. Urban guerrilla tactics, interrogation and torture of Muslims were trained in the Israeli desert camps and facilities. Think Abu Ghraib. The anti-terror tactics became part of policing in the Unites States and there was no better place to participate than the security institutions of Israel. However, it was Israel that exploited and transformed Muslim hatred into hatred for the Palestinian people seeking an independent state. Israeli leaders equated Palestinians with terror of al-Qaeda and were applauded by successive US Government administrations. The Islamophobia mantra became a common policy of right wing extremists in Western states and political parties. No one holding Israel, the United States nor Western NATO allies culpable for war crimes, rendition, tortures and utter abuse of human rights. It’s become part of history, part of Western “Civilization”.
There is more to Starmer’s sacking of RLB:
Another row …
Labour leadership: Rebecca Long-Bailey confirms her name is hyphenated | The Independent |
END OF UPDATE
Keir Starmer sacks Rebecca Long-Bailey from shadow cabinet | The Guardian |
Keir Starmer has sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretarie after she tweeted praise for an interview in which the actor Maxine Peake said the US police tactic of kneeling on someone's neck was taught by the Israeli secret service.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews had condemned Long-Bailey's actions and called for her to delete the tweet and apologise. Long-Bailey sent a second tweet saying her praise was not "intended to be an endorsement of all aspects of the article".
Soon afterwards, the Labour leader's office issued a statement saying Long-Bailey, who came second to Starmer in this year's Labour leadership race, had been sacked.
Jewish groups praised Starmer's action. The Board of Deputies credited Starmer for "backing his words with actions on antisemitism", while the Jewish Labour Movement said the sacking was "welcomed".
But it prompted dismay among supporters of Long-Bailey. John McDonnell, who was shadow chancellor under Jeremy Corbyn, tweeted: "Throughout discussion of antisemitism it's always been said criticism of practices of Israeli state is not antisemitic."
US police departments under pressure to end training programmes with Israel | Middle East Eye |
Since his death in late May, footage of Floyd pleading: "I can't breathe" and "they're going to kill me," has emerged alongside videos and stills of Israeli security forces taking similar positions over the necks of unarmed Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip.
The Israeli police force has tried to distance itself from any perceived similarities, issuing statements denouncing what happened and stating that its officers are not trained to use knee-to-neck techniques.
But photographs taken as recently as March have shown Israeli forces using the same restraint on unarmed protesters just yards from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City.
The damning imagery has revived complaints against US programmes that send American police officers to train under Israeli law enforcement and military officials, as nationwide calls for defunding and abolishing American police departments have taken hold.
'Police Unity Tour': US officers in Israel for anniversary of 9/11 attacks
It is called the Police Unity Tour.
On Monday, around 50 US police officers arrived in Israel to meet their law enforcement counterparts and engage in a series of meetings and training exercises in what the Israeli media has described as "strengthening the domestic security cooperation between the two allied nations".
The officers are scheduled to spend nine days in Israel, during which they will also attend events in Jerusalem marking the anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.
On Tuesday night, US Ambassador David Friedman and Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attended an event at the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza on a hill overlooking Jerusalem.
According to reports, the officers will also be briefed by the Israeli army as well as travel close to the fence with Gaza, where Israelis have been using disproportionate force on Palestinians protesting as part of the Great March of Return since March 2018.
On 6 September, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead and 70 others injured by Israeli forces close to the fence. At least 210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces over the past 18 months during demonstrations calling for an end to the Gaza siege and return of refugees to their homes in Israel.
"We will be discussing the issue of the kites and balloons so we will know what and how the Israeli officers deal with it," Michael Safras, chief of New Jersey's Essex County Sheriff's Department, was quoted as saying to The Jerusalem Post.
Around 35 out of the 50 officers taking part in the delegation are visiting Israel for the first time whereas Safras has been to the country more than 40 times.
'Nothing to learn from Israel'
Observers have long held that exchange trips like these valorise the Israeli occupation as well as setting a dangerous precedent for the importation of military-style policing to the US.
American pro-BDS group claims IDF tactics 'systematically target black and brown bodies' | Jewish Chronicle |
Durham first US city to ban police training with Israeli military | Al Jazeera - April 2018 |
Israel Security Forces are training American Cops despite history of rights abuses | The Intercept - Sept. 2017 |
Militarization fails to enhance police safety or reduce crime but may harm police reputation | PNAS - Sept. 2018 |
Why the UK government should not be allowed to define Islamophobia | MEE |
Given that the APPG definition of Islamophobia is gradually being adopted by city councils, such as Manchester, and by political parties, including Labour - and that there have been calls for its adoption by government - I accepted the invitation by MEE to restate my arguments on the definition of Islamophobia for a wider audience. I did so with both conviction and trepidation, having spent my adult life devoted to Islamic culture, while also having spent the past three years campaigning against the IHRA definition.
The IHRA definition was adopted by the UK government on 12 December 2016. Its adoption was followed by a series of crackdowns on Palestinian activism, particularly focused on trying to mitigate the effects of Israel Apartheid Week. Events critical of Israel were cancelled. Students and university staff were censored for their writings and statements about Israel. Jo Johnson, in his capacity as minister of state for universities, began pressuring universities to adopt the IHRA definition.
All definitions, irrespective of their content,
empower governments in potentially dangerous
ways to prosecute anyone who dissents
While the IHRA definition is clearly flawed on its own terms as a text that conflates criticism of Israel with antisemitism, governmental reliance on such definitions also raises broader questions. One point that has not been adequately reflected on is that all definitions, irrespective of their content, empower governments in potentially dangerous ways to prosecute anyone who dissents.
Joining hands in fight against Israel’s policy of Apartheid …
Earlier diaries on UK and IHRA definition …
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