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“Jewish Voice for Peace can finally claim a couple of victories for its Deadly Exchange program. The Vermont State Police and the Northampton, Massachusetts Police Department have pulled out of a program in which law enforcement personnel take part in a week-long seminar on terrorism in Israel. Participants hear from Israeli and Palestinian Authority police and learn from their experience in dealing with the problem.
The program, which is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, is more than a decade old and is one of those that have been targeted by JVP as part of its so-called Deadly Exchange campaign. JVP’s argument is that exposing American police officers to the techniques and ideas employed by Israel in its counter-terrorism efforts encourages brutality and mistreatment of minorities back home. The conceit of Deadly Exchange is that such training is both inappropriate for Americans as well as indirectly responsible for outrages like “police murders,” “shoot to kill policies,” “extrajudicial executions” as well as “spying” and “deportation and detention.” The claim here is that Israeli police are a force that is primarily interested in repression and violence and those U.S. personnel that learn from them are more likely to kill Americans.
The problem with Deadly Exchange is more than a matter of how you think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved.
Deadly Exchange is just one more battle in the efforts by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to isolate Israel from the rest of the world. While JVP pitched its successful arguments to the Vermont and Northampton departments by questioning what it claimed was a lack of transparency in the ADL program, this is more than just a question of whether Israeli police are good role models. JVP’s assertion is that any seminar with Israeli law enforcement is, by definition, a how-to course for violating human rights.”
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