Dec. 6, 2018
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. The program, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, is more than a decade old.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) claims 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. It implicates Israel and its American Jewish supporters, who back such exchange programs, in police shootings of African Americans on the streets of U.S. cities.
But such arguments essentially prove that BDS isn’t so much a critique of Israeli policies as an attempt to delegitimize Israel and ultimately a justification for anti-Semitism.
As ADL has pointed out, the program it sponsors is not a form of tactical training. Rather, it gives Americans an idea of the challenges Israel faces and how its police handle extraordinary threats of terror and violence within the constraints a democratic society with an independent judiciary puts on law enforcement.
By linking Israel and its supporters to disputes about American law enforcement, JVP is seeking to smear them as being ultimately responsible for the murders of African Americans. Blaming Jews for crimes, especially the murder of innocents, even though they had nothing to do with them, is a classic trope of anti-Semitism.
In that sense, even though JVP presents itself as defending Jewish values, its campaign is merely an updated version of medieval blood libels.
The writer is editor-in-chief of JNS (the Jewish News Syndicate).