US cops trained to use lethal Israeli tactics

Chicago’s police — seen here carrying out arrests during protests over the killing of Laquan McDonald — has been tutored on using Israeli tactics. (John W. Iwanski/Flickr)

US police officers are being tutored by Israel on how to employ the tactics that have brought death and serious injury to huge numbers of Palestinians in the past few months. 

Officers from 15 US police agencies recently traveled to the Middle East for lessons from their Israeli counterparts. 

For 10 days in late November, police officers from New York, Miami, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and US Customs and Border Protection observed the daily operations of the Jerusalem police, the Israeli Border Police and the Shin Bet secret service, all of which play a vital role in administering Israel’s system of control over Palestinians. 

The training junket was hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neoconservative think tank that claims to have organized Israeli training sessions for some 9,500 law enforcement officials since 2004 through its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP).

Summary executions

Since 1 October, Israeli forces have killed more than 100 Palestinians, including at least 19 children, in what human rights groups have labeled a “clear pattern” of summary executions. Nineteen Israelis, one Palestinian and one American were killed by Palestinian attackers during the same period, it has been reported.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem placed the blame squarely on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “the transformation of police officers, and even of armed civilians, into judges and executioner.” 

Many were executed while posing no threat, like 13-year-old Hadil Wajih Awwad, who was running away when shot and lying injured when killed by armed Israeli men. Others, like community activist Lafi Awad, were unarmed when ambushed and executed by Israeli soldiers. 

In some cases, knives were likely planted on Palestinians. In others, Israeli soldiers may have forced them to pick up knives. 

Snuff films 

Several of the killings have been caught on video, producing a seemingly endless stream of viral snuff films depicting the cold-blooded murder of people like Fadi AllounMahdi al-Muhtasib and Haftom Zarhum, to name just a few. 

LEEP director and former assistant FBI director Steve Pomerantz told The Jerusalem Post that the goal of JINSA’s November delegation was to adopt these Israeli tactics for application in the US.

“Now Israel is experiencing a different type of terrorism – knifings and lone wolf attacks – for which there is almost no way to detect who will do it,” said Pomerantz, referring to the unorganized Palestinian revolt against Israel’s colonial violence.

“We’re learning a lot about how the police are responding to this latest change because Israel’s security agencies are always on the forefront on the fight against terrorists. Israel is the best at dealing with terrorism and we want to learn from your experience,” he added.

A similar phenomenon is playing out in the US, where viral videos of police murders are the new normal, from the executions of Samuel DuBose and Walter Scott to the slayings of Eric Garner, Zachary Hammond and, most recently, Laquan McDonald

While American police were getting schooled in Israeli execution tactics, dashcam footage of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke emptying his clip into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was making headlines. 

The video shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald, as he walks away from police, a total of 16 times in 15 seconds, thoroughly debunking police accounts that McDonald was lunging at officers with a knife when shot. The killing was so egregious that Van Dyke was charged with murder and Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy was fired, an incredibly rare outcome in the US, where, much like in Israel, impunity is the rule. 

Churning out Zionists

Given the close relationship forged between US police departments and Israel’s security apparatus, the similarities in execution tactics should come as no surprise. 

Under the cover of counterterrorism training, high-ranking officers from nearly every major US police department have traveled to Israel for lessons in occupation enforcement.

Van Dyke’s own department in Chicago participated in an Israeli training junket as recently as September, joining representatives from 14 other US police agencies for a weeklong annual seminar hosted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Among the participants were officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Marshals Service, the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They were joined by senior police executives from Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin, Seattle, Oakland and Miami-Dade.

David Friedman, the ADL’s director of national law enforcement initiatives, told The Jerusalem Post that the objective of the trip was “to learn lessons from Israel in terms of tactics and strategies,” with the added benefit of churning out influential supporters for Israel’s colonial project. 

Officers who take part “come back and they are Zionists,” boasted Friedman.


Beyond serving as an indoctrination conveyer belt, these training programs seek to reframe Israel’s conquest of Palestine as a campaign of law and order for US law enforcement to emulate. 

Such a narrative positions Palestinians not as dispossessed and stateless, but as a pathologically dangerous population that must be controlled and pacified with brute force. 

At the 2006 annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Avi Dichter — the former head of Shin Bet who in 2002 ordered that a one-ton bomb be dropped on a Gaza City apartment building as part of an extrajudicial assassination — delivered an address on the “intimate connection between fighting criminals and fighting terrorists.” 

According to Dichter, today’s cops are fighting a new class of super predators called “crimiterrorists.” 

Dichter went on to emphasize the commonalities between the war on terror and the US war on drugs.

“The war against drug abuse is a global war involving all countries,” he said. “Similar to the war against terrorism … all means and methods must be used in the war against drugs, including intelligence cooperation between countries and agencies such as the United States and the DEA.”

Disposable people

What does the disastrous war on drugs have to do with a tiny Sparta state six thousand miles away?

As Michelle Alexander explains in her book The New Jim Crow, the rise of the war on drugs in the 1970s and 1980s coincided with the collapse of inner-city economies due to deindustrialization, globalization and advancements in technology that replaced low-skill labor, creating a new underclass completely shut out of the American economy.

The war on drugs essentially criminalized Blackness and poverty, fueling an explosion in mass incarceration. 
“While earlier systems of control [slavery and Jim Crow] were designed to exploit and control black labor,” argues Alexander, “mass incarceration is designed to warehouse a population deemed disposable — unnecessary to the functioning of the new global economy.”

Who better to learn from than a state with decades of experience occupying and warehousing a population that has been deemed disposable?

In the post-9/11 era, Israel has helped facilitate the absolute convergence of the war on terror and war on drugs, just as Ditcher envisioned, with American police behaving as fully militarized occupying forces in poor Black neighborhoods. When residents attempt to resist their conditions, like they did in Ferguson and Baltimore, they are met with suppression tactics nearly indistinguishable from Israel’s occupation regime.

Since the beginning of this year, American police officers have killed 1,046 people, with Black victims accounting for a disproportionate number of the victims relative to the overall Black population.

Deadly police violence in the US is bad enough as it is. Adopting murderous Israeli tactics will only make it worse. 




You would think that cities and police departments in the US would begin to see the correlation between infecting their police with Israeli policing atrocities and the rising cost of lawsuits. These brutal Israeli policing tactics have become very expensive payouts in lawsuits over police killings and police brutality claims for both communities and for police departments.


Excellent report, with valuable links.

If mainstream US media had a problem with police executing black people in the streets, this sort of information would feature in their coverage. You can't understand the wave of officially sanctioned murders in America without addressing Israeli indoctrination of US law enforcement agencies. The symbiosis between Zionism and the National Security State is underscored in these training junkets and by the subsequent introduction of Israeli methods of colonial repression to American communities. Police departments across the country are purchasing the technologies and weapons used by their Israeli counterparts, and they're organising along the same lines.

There's a very good reason why the Black Lives Matter movement has affiliated with the Palestinian cause. They face the same enemy and the same future if they cease resisting.


' Sparta state' is a very interesting label. Is this in common use describing Israel ? It seems most apposite. It has often occurred to me that the Spartan's behaviour in regards the Helot population must, at some level, be a blueprint for Israeli thinking in the colony.


"Ever since the founding of the state of Israel, the country’s leaders have favored overwhelming military might over diplomatic finesse in confronting conflicts with their neighbors. Such is the argument made by veteran journalist Patrick Tyler in his new book, Fortress Israel: The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country—and Why They Can’t Make Peace. Tyler has spent a combined 26 years reporting for the New York Times and the Washington Post, covering the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, the intelligence community, and the Middle East. In his book, Tyler focuses on the latter, offering a fascinating account of the Israeli military establishment—its victories, defeats, mistakes, and cover-ups. Beginning with David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan in the 1950s and continuing almost up to the present, Tyler details a military mindset that pervades nearly all of Israeli culture and that, as he sees it, has made peace in the region all but impossible.

Tyler speaks with Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry about the similarities between the ancient Greek warrior state of Sparta and modern Israel, about the “sabra code” to which Israel’s leaders largely adhere, and about the influence of the past on the current stand-off with Iran. [Running time: 22:48.]


As implausible as the claim may sound, some Zionists have cited a passage in Josephus' ANTIQUITIES (Book 12, chapter 4, paragraph 10) to claim that the ancient Lacedaemonians and the ancient Israelites "are of one stock," closely related genetically, "brothers," in fact, who in the words of King Areus of Lacedaemonia, "esteem your concerns [the Jews'] as our own, and will look upon our concerns as in common with yours." The co-founder (with Theodor Herzl) of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), Max Nordau (1849-1923), coined the term muskel-Judenthum ("muscular Jew") at the 1898 Zionist Congress to emphasize the physical courage and athletic prowess of the ancient Israelites. He used the term to describe Jewish culture and religion which, according to him, "directed its people to reach for certain moral and corporeal ideals which, through discipline, agility and strength, would result in a stronger, more physically assured Jew" to counter the "stereotype of the weak, intellectually [focused] Jew" (Wikipedia).


Great article, as usual, Rania. The training and indoctrination of U.S. police officers by the brutal, ethnocratic State of Israel is something that should outrage every American. But it does not, at present, because the Zionists have effectively seized the reins of power of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government over the past 48-50 years. This particular method of training and indoctrinating U.S. citizens is, as you know, only one well-documented example of the systematic takeover of the U.S. government and MSM by neoconservative Christian and Jewish Zionists that has been going on in this country since the Johnson administration. The Zionist neocons in this country are a classic case of a fifth column covertly working to undermine a democracy and turn it into a totalitarian police state like Israel. They are well-organized, financed and absolutely dedicated to their clandestine mission, so we should never underestimate the very real threat they represent. Thank you for documenting one small part of this systematic process with compelling arguments and evidence that is irrefutable and definitive. Hopefully more Americans will begin to recognize a pattern and rouse themselves from their long Rip Van Winkle-like slumber.


Today's horrific video of an unarmed white man being summarily executed by an Israel-trained Miami Police firing squad looks exactly the same to me as extrajudicial instant executions of Palestinians by Israeli armed forces. Anyone got videos showing how these killings are using identical methods? The Miami police were trained in Israel in November. Of course there will be no punishment of them as they learned how to kill civilians with complete impunity.


I'd like to see research into how many of the recent killer cops were trained by Israel. It could establish a trend.


Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has just been fired for his role in a burgeoning number of abuse of power cases. Chicago police have been implicated in many violent, illegal and unconstitutional acts, and while the department is perfectly capable of finding its way to the sewer without assistance, Israel has graciously provided road maps in that direction through training and liaison. Here's an article outlining McCarthy's participation in a five day junket/exercise in Israel last year, three weeks after the Israeli-style police murder of Laquan McDonald.


Wow! This training has not yield any positive results especially for the black and minority communities in Amerikkka. Is this not another tactical strategy of white supremacy to began the process of organized genocide against some of the most oppressive groups in Amerikka. I don't see the positive benefits for the safety of the certain selective American people at all!

Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek's picture

Rania Khalek is an independent journalist reporting on the underclass and marginalized.