In 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported:
Five New York City police investigators are in Israel for a symposium on suicide bombers. The officers are apparently the first members of a U.S. police department to receive training from Israeli counter-terrorism experts.
“Obviously after 9/11 everyone’s world changed,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said. “We have to be as prepared as we can be for any eventuality.”
Fast-forward to the present, where in recent weeks a steady drip of outrageous revelations about the NYPD’s indiscriminate spying on Muslim New Yorkers continues to be published by the Associated Press.
Israeli “counter-terror” tactics rely on a racist dragnet that labels every Palestinian a threat to Israeli security, much in the same way the NYPD’s operation reveal that the department believes every Muslim guilty until proven innocent.
The NYPD, of course, needs no help in learning the tactics of racial profiling when it comes to policing communities of color. But the close relationship between the NYPD and Israel on counter-terrorism merits a closer look. Just what insight is the NYPD gathering from Israeli security?
Is the NYPD’s spying operation on Muslim New Yorkers yet another example of, as Scott McConnell put it, “anti-Muslim bigotry” becoming embedded in the U.S. due in part to Israeli-centric ideas about counter-terrorism?
Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and blogger based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.