The Algemeiner Quotes Steve Pomerantz on Police Exchange Programs
Top Jewish Group Slams Quaker Publication for Spreading Blood Libel Blaming Israel for US Police Violence
by Benjamin Kerstein
A top Jewish group slammed a Canadian Quaker publication on Sunday for spreading what it called a “big lie” by claiming that Israel was responsible for US police violence against minorities.
The article by Sara avMaat appeared in the publication Quaker Concern, and asserted that the “racism that pervades our society” was revealed by the “increasing militarization of the police,” which she alleged was a result of “exchange visits and joint training that takes place between Israeli personnel and North American law enforcement professionals.”
She quoted from a book by far-left Israeli-American activist and BDS supporter Jeff Halper, who falsely charged that the training included tactics such as “interrogation bordering on torture, use of aggressive and disproportionate force, administrative detention and mass arrests, and aggressive crowd control.”
AvMaat then cited an already-discredited claim by Amnesty International and the anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace on the matter. She also made a guilt‐by‐association argument by highlighting a public radio report that police in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed, participated in the training, though there was no indication that this was in any way connected to Floyd’s death.
In response, the Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted, “Latest #Quaker intersectionality outrage doing the Lord’s work by spreading another big lie — defaming #Israel for US police officers who violate their oath to protect all citizens. Carrying water for Palestinian demonizing Jewish state.”
The claim that US police learn violent tactics from Israel that disproportionately harm minorities, nicknamed “Deadly Exchange,” is false and has been thoroughly discredited, though it is still spread by antisemitic and racist organizations and individuals, mainly on the political left but also including Jew‐hating reactionaries such as Louis Farrakhan.
It is widely seen as a blood libel in the Jewish community.
In June, Israel Police foreign media spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld tweeted, in reference to the Floyd case, “There is no procedure that allows an officer of the #israel police dept to carry out an arrest by placing a knee on the neck of a suspect.”
“None of police Counter terrorism training that #Israel national police provide to foreign law enforcement officers involves such a measure,” he added.
Steven L. Pomerantz, a former assistant FBI director and the head of the Law Enforcement Exchange Program at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), which helps organize such training programs, told The Algemeiner, “Exchange programs began as a direct result of 9/11 at the specific request of senior law enforcement officers. It focused on counter-terrorism responsibilities of law enforcement, both prevention and response, and was aimed at only senior law enforcement officials.”
The programs, he said, included “no hands-on training and no tactical training.”
Ironically, he pointed out, far from promoting violence against minorities, “more recent programs have included subjects such as improving relations between law enforcement agencies and minority communities, and recruiting in minority communities.”
A fundamentalist Christian sect now widely identified with the political left, the Quakers have a long history of virulent anti-Israel activism, and during World War II opposed the Allied war effort against Nazi Germany.
Originally published in The Algemeiner