After George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020, many people pointed out that American policing methods are very similar to that of Israeli occupation policing. One Palestinian rights activist said that when she saw the image of former officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck, she was reminded of the Israeli forces’ policing of the occupied territories.
The Morning Star publication also wrote about how the Minneapolis police force received training from Israel, and at least 100 Minnesota police officers attended a 2012 conference hosted by the Israeli Consulate in Chicago.
Furthermore, The intercept reported in 2017 that thousands of American law enforcement officers received Israeli police/army training, and that several pro-Israel organizations have sponsored the programs. During these programs, American police officers are trained using violent techniques by Israeli forces. It is no secret that these methods are used in terrorizing Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank and in the region of 1948 lands that were stolen by Israelis during the Nakba.
In addition, the Jewish Voice for Peace Pittsburgh chapter wrote the following in 2018:
“Exchanges between US police and the Israeli army promote a brutal military occupation as a positive model for community policing. Under the banner of “counter-terrorism” training, Israel is presenting lessons learned from 50 years of illegal military occupation over a Palestinian population deprived of human and civil rights.”
It went on to say:
“Racial profiling, violent suppression of protest, massive surveillance, militarization of school security and the ongoing displacement of people from their homes are not lessons US law enforcement or US mayors should be bringing home.”
This dangerous alliance between the Israeli military and American law enforcement has resulted in systemic oppression worldwide. As Palestinians are wrongfully beaten and imprisoned, in the United States Black people are brutally murdered and accused of crimes they did not commit. The parallel between the Palestinain struggle and the Black community should not be ignored. We must expose this international alliance which continues to terrorize innocent people.
Just as the occupying Israeli military forces serve to further intensify the genocide system against Palestinians, the US police forces only serve to further amplify the system of American White supremacy and privilege. Oppression does not occur in isolation or come from one place; they come from various systems which seem unrelated, but are actually working together to maximize their influence. Activist Lina Abojaradeh visualized this correlation between different forms of oppression. “The Black man choked to death, the Palestinian worshipper being beaten, the indigenous native women facing violence…it is all rooted in the settler colonialism mentality, and the deeply systematized belief of the supremacy of one race over another,” she said.
We must continue to build our relationships between Black and Palestinian solidarity, and one way to do that is through examining similarities in our struggles. Black people in the United States and Palestinians are oppressed by the same capitalist, racist, and imperialist system.
If you would like to learn more, here are some books to read on the interconnectedness of Black and Palestinian struggles are the following:
Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, by Angela Davis.
Black Power and Palestine: Transnational Countries of Color, by Michael Fischbach.
Black Liberation and Palestine Solidarity, by Lenni Brenner and Matthew Quest.
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