On Dec. 3, Director of Public and Environmental Safety Kevin Maguire, who oversees the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) in addition to the Department of Public and Environmental Safety (DPES), traveled to Israel for a nine-day National Counter-Terrorism Seminar (NCTS) alongside a delegation of Massachusetts police officials, consisting of Somerville Police Chief David Fallon; officials from Boston University (BU); officials from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s workplace; Secret Service marketers and Drug Enforcement Administration agents; and police chiefs from several cities, amongst them Worcester, Foxborough, and Watertown, in step with Maguire.
The experience becomes funded with the aid of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a non-governmental organization which, in step with its website, is “committed to preventing anti-Semitism and hate crimes.” The ADL has been sending delegations of U.S. Police officials to the seminar seeing that 2003. According to an editorial about the trip in the Seattle Times, two of the officials who attended – the Watertown, MA police chief and the top of New England’s Department of Homeland Security – labored at the Boston Marathon bombing case.
Tufts is one in every of 5 universities to send a police officer on this journey due to the fact its inception. All of the others are Massachusetts-based as well. Police chiefs from Suffolk University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Northeastern University attended the seminar in 2016, in keeping with an Arlington Patch article and Boston University, which despatched officials alongside Tufts in December. Tufts Executive Director of Public Relations Patrick Collins advised the Daily in an email that the trip turned into an opportunity for TUPD to learn how to be prepared on the occasion of an apprehension assault.
“The college and DPS are dedicated to mastering how to put together for, save you and respond to all sorts of emergencies. Terror assaults in cities at some point of the U.S., which includes Boston, and on university campuses, together with Ohio State University (OSU), have confirmed they want for nearby and college police departments to put together for capability terror assaults and to understand the way to save you and reply to them,” Collins wrote, referring to a Nov. 2016 stabbing incident at OSU, for which ISIS claimed duty. “The ADL seminar, which changed into value-unfastened to contributors, changed into a valuable source of data to beautify the college’s readiness to deal with emergency conditions.”
Collins brought that the university learned of the seminar by using direct invitation from the ADL and that the college administration accepted Maguire’s attendance. In an email to the Daily, Maguire showed his attendance but deferred to Collins’ statement on the issue when requested in addition questions about his participation. Fallon, the Somerville Chief of Police, did now not respond to 2 requests for comment made to his workplace via smartphone call.
According to the ADL’s website on the seminar, officials attend the NCTS “to observe first hand Israel’s methods and techniques to combat terrorism,” mastering from “senior commanders within the Israel National Police, experts from Israel’s intelligence and security services, and the Israel Defense Forces.” Robert Tristan, the New England Regional Director for the ADL, defined that Israeli forces are properly ready to teach law enforcement strategies to American police officers because of their experience with counterterrorism.
“ADL is the country’s pinnacle non-governmental law enforcement schooling agency,” Tristan wrote in an electronic mail to the Daily. “The strategies and approaches learned from Israel exchanges permit American regulation enforcement leaders to increase their potential to guard the U.S. Against attack, as well as enabling them to be prepared with powerful responses after an assault.”
Allegations of human rights abuse in opposition to seminar audio system
Tristan did no longer provide facts about the 2017 itinerary for the seminar “for the safety of [its] participants.” Maguire additionally told the Daily that he changed into no longer capable of providing any information about his experiences during the seminar. A 2016 itinerary for the NCTS turned into requested from the Orlando Police Department by journalist Alex Kane for an Aug. 2016 article in Mondoweiss and is linked to within the piece. According to the itinerary, attendees meet with several prominent Israeli counterterrorism officials, such as Alan Moss.
The previous head of the Israeli Security Agency was referred to as Shin Bet and representatives from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Shin Bet has been condemned by the UN Committee Against Torture for its “institutional” use of torture techniques on Palestinian detainees, such as kids, in line with a 2010 record via the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights and an Al Jazeera article from final January.
Neither the university nor Maguire replied to questions concerning the debatable nature of the seminar. Tristan insisted that the NCTS takes “civil rights” under consideration. He did now not deny the life of allegations of human rights abuse against Israeli authorities corporations. “The presentations we’ve had with these authorities protection officers awareness on dealing with the terrorist danger whilst additionally protective civil rights of everyone,” he wrote.
Amira al-Subaey, a junior at Tufts and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), stated that even though TUPD’s attendance at the seminar changed into surprising to her, it became regular with her view of the branch. Al-Subaey is one of the co-authors of the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate decision that referred to as for Tufts to divest from 4 businesses with economic ties to Israel’s army occupation of Palestinian territory. According to a Daily article, the decision handed remaining April.
“I couldn’t believe it might be so near domestic and so immediately affecting our everyday lifestyles,” al-Subaey said. “I suppose this alternate software [is about] training our regulation enforcement on discriminatory practices, on quite a few the matters that we see occurring in Israel that must make us into reality involved.”
Controversy surrounds U.S.-Israel regulation enforcement alternate programs in trendy.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an activist organization that advocates for Palestinian human rights, launched a campaign ultimate May to end U.S.-Israel regulation enforcement exchanges. The marketing campaign, called Deadly Exchange, condemns alternate applications just like the NCTS, where, consistent with the marketing campaign’s internet site, “‘worst practices’ are shared to promote and increase discriminatory and repressive policing in each nation.”
“We’re very involved that American police chiefs and high-rating police officers are going to Israel to study, under the banner of counterterrorism, some of the worst practices of oppressive policing which might be utilized by the Israeli authorities to perpetuate its half of-century profession. And it is going both ways; we’re involved about [what Israeli police might be learning from] places like the NYPD, that have a long history of Islamophobic surveillance and broken window policing,” Ben Lorber, campus coordinator for JVP, instructed the Daily.
“All residents of the sector who’s concerned in our day and age approximately the rights of marginalized communities to be free from violent policing have to be concerned approximately these exchanges.” Lorber also expressed concern about the ADL’s lack of transparency concerning the details of their seminars, which, as Tristan told the Daily, aren’t made public because of worries for the security of NCTS contributors.