New Birthright trip for Jewish law enforcement seeks to counter BDS movement

US Politics
on 45 Comments

Every year, thousands of Jewish youth flock to Israel for ten days of sightseeing and Zionist indoctrination through Birthright Israel, an organization that offers the trips free of charge to young adults with Jewish heritage.

Beginning in May, Birthright and its partner organizations will pilot a new trip specially tailored to a specific demographic: Jewish law enforcement officers.

In February, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) announced the first ever “Law Enforcement Israel Adventure,” designed to “connect law enforcement officials to their Jewish roots and Israeli counterparts.”

Asked why Jewish police need their own Birthright trip, JNF spokesperson Adam Brill, himself a former Detective with the New York City Police Department, said it’s important for cops to have a connection to “their homeland.”

“It’s part of our DNA to want to help out others and make society better,” he said.

But later in conversation, he acknowledged that the trip was conceived, in part, as a reaction to the growing influence of the Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“They hear only bad things about Israel…from this BDS community that’s out there today, which is borderline anti-Semitic in its tone and is there to malign Israel all the time,” Brill said.

“We’re hoping to take the officer away from the department and community and let them see for themselves, without media telling them what’s going on,” he added.

If the law enforcement trip is anything like other Birthright ventures, there will indeed be no media, but rather a well-oiled propaganda machine––replete with fake Bedouin tents, checkpoints re-imagined as tollbooths, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrouded in fog machine haze––telling police officers “what’s going on.”

Participating officers will also be matched with Israeli cops who will travel with them in the hope of forming friendships. It’s a heightened level of personal connection that Brill says doesn’t necessarily happen in the numerous programs that already send American law enforcement officers of any background, Jewish or otherwise, to Israel––like the Georgia-based GILEE program, which doles out counter-terrorism training and Islamophobia in equal measures.

“We wanted to pair these folks with Jewish Israeli police officers to share stories…When you’re walking through the old cities and the new cities that are being created in Israel, you can share these very personal stories,” Brill said.

This isn’t the first time that Birthright Israel has created a specialized program for a niche group. The organization currently offers trips tailored to LGBTQ people, foodies, and techies; in the past there have been special trips for skateboarders and hip-hop enthusiasts. Then there are Birthright spinoffs like Honeymoon Israel, and a Birthright-like trip for evangelical Christians.

The timing of the launch of Birthright’s law enforcement trip suggests that the program was perhaps conceived not only with BDS in mind, but also in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the growing outrage over racist policing in the United States.

“Many young, progressive, American Jews are as outraged by the oppressive and racist policies of Israel as they are with U.S. law enforcement,” Naomi Dann, of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), told Mondoweiss.

“It’s deeply ironic that an organization that has played a large role in displacing Palestinians from their land is sponsoring a trip to sell Israel to young American-Jewish law enforcement officers,” Dann said.

Ironic, maybe also savvy. Young police officers who view critiques of the criminal justice system as personal attacks may be poised, now more than ever, to embrace any ideology that reinforces their righteousness.

Brill told Mondoweiss that the law enforcement Birthright trip is the brainchild of Rabbi Tzvi “Harry” Berkowitz, chief chaplain of New York City’s Metro Transit Authority. Berkowitz approached JNF with the idea and the organization ran with it. Now, Berkowitz is busy recruiting officers to participate.

“He’s going to Florida to sell to several hundred police officers down there and get the word out…the hope is to expand it,” he said.

45 Responses

  1. Rusty Pipes
    March 3, 2016, 11:52 am

    How large is this Jewish law enforcement pool from which JNF is hoping to recruit? And why assume that Progressives are well represented among Jewish cops? Those Jewish police officers who do take advantage of the trip likely will be given more fodder for the arguments they may already be having with their Progressive peers and family members about Law Enforcement in the US and Israel.

  2. Ossinev
    March 3, 2016, 1:07 pm

    “Asked why Jewish police need their own Birthright trip, JNF spokesperson Adam Brill, himself a former Detective with the New York City Police Department, said it’s important for cops to have a connection to “their homeland.”

    Neatly sums up the thinking of right wing Jewish organisations in the USA. Israel not the USA is the ” homeland ” of all American Jews be they US Military , US Air Force or US Law Enforcement officers and it is to Israel that they owe their loyalty over the USA. What a cracking US approved breeding ground for potential spies on their return to their second if at all country.

    The US Government is so bent bought and warped when it comes to thinking and policy on Israel that they simply cannot see or more likely are financially persuaded to turn a blind eye to these open incitements to disloyalty.

    A grotesque government approved variation of Jihadism (substitute naive soon to be groomed into extremism Jews for naive soon to be groomed into extremism Muslims ).

  3. a blah chick
    March 3, 2016, 1:29 pm

    “We wanted to pair these folks with Jewish Israeli police officers to share stories…When you’re walking through the old cities and the new cities that are being created in Israel, you can share these very personal stories,”

    Well, the beating and shooting of swarthy people and black folk seem to be rampant in both countries so they’ll have plenty of stories to swap.

    • Marnie
      March 4, 2016, 9:53 am

      There’s no longer daylight between israel and the usa anymore. Fucking disgusting.

  4. Les
    March 3, 2016, 6:01 pm

    Former IDF camp guard of Palestinian prisoners, Colonel Jeffrey Goldberg will be the perfect tour guide for fellow authoritarians.

  5. gamal
    March 3, 2016, 6:15 pm

    “Participating officers will also be matched with Israeli cops who will travel with them in the hope of forming friendships.”

    and if there’s no connection what? Social Hannibal Directive, “Snub him Yossi, yes do it!”, Israel is becoming a bit like Westworld, still its not Detroit.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    March 3, 2016, 6:54 pm

    RE: In February, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) announced the first ever “Law Enforcement Israel Adventure,” designed to “connect law enforcement officials to their Jewish roots and Israeli counterparts.” ~ Anna Simonton

    A FASCINATING AND SOMEWHAT RELATED ARTICLE:
    “How Israel’s Dusty Zionist Bureaucracy Survives” | By Anshel Pfeffer | Haaretz – Forward.com | May 10, 2014
    How do dusty Zionist groups like the Jewish National Fund survive? They keep politicians happy — and have a direct link to the deep pockets …
    LINK – link to forward.com

  7. inbound39
    March 3, 2016, 8:26 pm

    Doesn’t matter what Israel tries to do regarding combatting BDS. The Bill just pushed through Congress by Pro Israelis linking trade with America to Israel’s Occupation and all the blatant sidestepping of International Law that it does to legitimize Israeli crimes ensures less trade for America as well as Israel and it puts the TPPA at real risk when people realise it means taking peoples free speech and political rights away from them and makes them at risk of deportation to America to face America’s bent laws and bent Justice in its sad attempt to protect Israel’s impunity for its crimes. Any Nation who formally signs the TPPA now is signing its sovereignty rights away. Israel and America have ensured their isolation by signing and legalising that Bill in Congress. It fortifies BDS rather than weaken it.

  8. Kay24
    March 3, 2016, 8:34 pm

    It makes you wonder if it comes to loyalty will these brainwashed law enforcement officers stand up for their own country, over a devious alien nation. This is not a good idea, and I am surprised that other nations are allowing this (I guess they will be accused of being anti-semitic otherwise). If the masses protest against Israel, where would their loyalties be?
    Will it be okay if Muslim law enforcement officers are sent to some Islamic nation for indoctrination? The zionist minions in the US would be outraged. We have sent our officers for so called training to Israel, and this is another step towards making sure zionists influence is spreading at very dangerous levels. After all, don’t we know how efficient, ruthless, and violent Israel’s finest can be? What will our officers be exposed to joining this celebration of Jewish brotherhood?
    The influences from apartheid land are spreading slowly but surely.

    • JustJessetr
      March 3, 2016, 9:57 pm

      And the evil forces of BDS are being countered with a trip to sunny Israel!

      • Annie Robbins
        March 3, 2016, 10:15 pm

        uh huh

      • Kay24
        March 3, 2016, 11:23 pm

        Believe me, if the Israeli lobbies can influence the brave BDS movement and halt this rather successful movement, they will bend over backwards to do that. Fighting for the rights of occupied people, whose lands are being stolen on a daily basis is not evil – the evil comes from the occupier perpetrating these crimes.

      • talknic
        March 4, 2016, 1:52 am

        @ justJessetr

        Ah yes, of course. Wanting a state to adhere to the law is soooooooo evil.

        But being in breach of Laws and a UN Charter adopted in large part because of the treatment of our Jewish fellows by the Nazis is just fine by you and your fellows

      • a blah chick
        March 4, 2016, 9:40 am

        “And the evil forces of BDS are being countered with a trip to sunny Israel!”

        Your lack of self-awareness is almost endearing.

  9. Another Dave
    March 3, 2016, 9:41 pm

    I’d call that project seditious. Law enforcement officers are supposed to be loyal to the state in which they’re enforcing the law. For them to be encouraged to believe that another nation is their homeland is, or should be, unlawful.

    • bryan
      March 4, 2016, 6:08 am

      If there is any merit in them visiting their ancestral homelands then why are they not going to Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Iraq, Iran or anyone of dozens of countries that their families will have lived in within the last couple of centuries?

  10. Rooster
    March 3, 2016, 10:40 pm

    It’s to bring in American Jews and acclimate them to police brutality against Palestinians so that they will have a professional sense of dehumanization of Palestinians, thereby innoculating them against the subversive effects of BDS.
    You know: the effects that cause American Jews to see Palestinians as human beings fully deserving of equal rights.

  11. echinococcus
    March 4, 2016, 1:43 am

    “Law Enforcement”, wow, what a nice euphemism for Pigs!
    Jewish pigs if you can believe it, now officially declaring their homeland to be outside America.
    But of course still carrying their shield that guarantees total impunity to murder in plain daylight just anyone they fancy –in the US.
    The US Gov was already sending them to study how they can treat us, the civilian population, like an occupied enemy population.

    Looks like the generous US murder education programs for pigs ran out of money –yarright! So now Zionist solidarity funds have to be plundered to selectively train kosher pigs.

  12. Annie Robbins
    March 4, 2016, 4:18 am

    it’s not enough that our prez candidates and congressional reps trounce over there in droves, or regular military jaunts, or law enforcement chiefs arranged by ZOA and ADL. .. now our police, starting with police who are jewish. this is grotesque. simply grotesque. what shame.

    • gamal
      March 4, 2016, 12:38 pm

      how many of these policemen are going to commemorate meeting the Israeli police with a song this young lady did and thus forged a lasting connection, there is English eventually, capturing her essential sentiment

      link to youtu.be

    • Steve Grover
      March 5, 2016, 12:35 pm

      Maybe San Francisco will have a Mayor who’s father was in the IZL (Irgun Zvai Leumi) just like Chicago? You can only hope.

  13. alfa
    March 4, 2016, 10:33 am

    Is it yet time to recognize the Fifth Column?

  14. JustJessetr
    March 4, 2016, 11:45 am

    These thinly disguised accusations of dual loyalty are perfect for the next episode of defeating BDS at the Park Slope Food Coop. Charges of dual loyalty are among the oldest anti Semtic tropes out there and we won’t stand for it.

    Thank you again, MondoWeiss.

    • eljay
      March 4, 2016, 12:36 pm

      || JustJessetr: … Charges of dual loyalty are among the oldest anti Semtic tropes out there … ||

      Don’t feel bad – you Zio-supremacists do your fair share of anti-Semitism by regularly:
      – conflating Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel;
      – insisting that loyalty to the “Jewish State” of Israel is an essential part of being Jewish; and
      – asserting that Israel is the “historic homeland” and the “one true homeland” of every person who undergoes a religious conversion to Judaism or is descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

      • JustJessetr
        March 4, 2016, 4:18 pm

        Eljay, nice try. We don’t actually make any such claims, and there are no so-called zio supremacists at the coop. Just as its not necessarily anti Jew to criticize Israel (I do so frequently), its also not necessarily supremacist to defend her against blatant lies, such as Woody Allen boycotts Israel.

        By the way, the only conflation going on there is when so-called anti Zionists say they are Jewish and want to boycott Israel. But absolutely no one at PSFC claims that they are Jewish and that Israel represents all Jews.

        The arguments at MW get thinner and thinner everyday. And they’re very useful at winning battles against BDS. And passing legislation. And raising boycott minimums. And banning the SJP at CUNY (hopefully). And so on…

      • eljay
        March 4, 2016, 9:18 pm

        || JustJessetr: Eljay, nice try. We don’t actually make any such claims … ||

        Nice try. You Zio-supremacists do, in fact, make those claims.

        || … there are no so-called zio supremacists at the coop. … ||

        If you say so.

        || … But absolutely no one at PSFC claims that they are Jewish and that Israel represents all Jews. … ||

        If you say so. But you Zio-supremacists do regularly and anti-Semitically conflate Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel. Hell, even your King (Bibi) does it.

    • Mooser
      March 4, 2016, 12:58 pm

      “Charges of dual loyalty are among the oldest anti Semtic tropes out there and we won’t stand for it.”

      ROTFLMSJAO! But “just jesse t r” why, there isn’t a single thing antiSemites haven’t accused Jews of! Hooray! Total immunity against all charges!

      “and we won’t stand for it”

      And what do you plan to do about it? Sue under the “antisemitic immunity” clause? Maybe patsh zich in tuchis und schrei hooray?

      • JustJessetr
        March 4, 2016, 4:21 pm

        Well, we plan to take yours, and Annie’s words, and show just how you push the trope of dual loyalties. You couldnt have figured that one out by yourself? And here i thought you were smater than me. : )

      • Annie Robbins
        March 4, 2016, 4:29 pm

        and show just how you push the trope of dual loyalties.

        shiver me timbers. what’s next? you plan on accusing us of anti semitism ? ahhhh!! help help oh no mr bill mr bill!

      • Mooser
        March 4, 2016, 8:49 pm

        “Well, we plan to take yours, and Annie’s words,”

        Who the funk (sorry Annie) is “WE”? There is no “WE”. You and the siccari?

        “and show just how you push the trope of dual loyalties.”

        And show who? To what purpose? Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be afforded all the space you need to do that here, at Mondo (ROTFLMSJAO!!) Or will you be doing it open court under the “anti-semitic tropes” law?

        “You couldnt have figured that one out by yourself?

        Nope, I’m a dummy. I can’t figure out what you are going to do except raise Mondo’s web-stats. Please tell me what “WE” are going to do, Your Majesty.

  15. JustJessetr
    March 5, 2016, 8:43 am

    Annie, With comments like yours, and by the way you don’t even deny you’re pushing anti Semetic tropes of dual loyalty, these are simply shown around at general meetings and no BDS in the coop is the result. And no amount of sarcasm changes those facts.

    Keep up your losing strategy!

    • Annie Robbins
      March 5, 2016, 12:32 pm

      the way you don’t even deny you’re pushing anti Semetic tropes of dual loyalty

      i suggest you search my archives for “dual loyalty”. my opinions on this so called ‘trope’ have not changed. i think we hashed over it during the ‘israel firster’ debates a few years ago. that said, the chances an american cop who is jewish is any more likely to be an israel firster is no more or less than any jewish person in the US. and it’s the systematic scam to send over our politicians/police chiefs and law enforcement over to israel for ‘security’ training (an oppressive apartheid state — arguably the worst model to train or influence US law enforcement in the world) that is disgusting.

      if you chose to take my words, focus on so called ‘dual loyalty’, accuse me of anti semitism, or whatever, and discuss them at your coop meeting, this is certainly always) your prerogative. however my words and opinions get out there and are discussed and debated it makes no difference to me — as long as they DO get out there is what matters to me. so thanks!

      • Steve Grover
        March 5, 2016, 12:42 pm

        Here is how BDSholes who probably don’t even pay taxes in the U.S. get treated by Americans who have paid taxes all their lives.
        link to youtu.be

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2016, 1:21 pm

        steve, where does this ‘this guy pays taxes this guy doesn’t’ even come from? if you’re looking for a way to segue the video into the conversation (while making excuses for the violent behavior of israel supporters — “get the fuck out” and “it’s a terrorist”?) making completely unsupported claims about who pays taxes is a lame way to do it.

      • Steve Grover
        March 5, 2016, 3:32 pm

        It doesn’t say so in the video all you have to do is talk to the ne’er-do-well BDSers parents and you’ll find out.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2016, 4:06 pm

        all you have to do is talk to the ne’er-do-well BDSers parents

        stop spamming.

      • talknic
        March 5, 2016, 7:38 pm

        Steve Grover comes up empty and instead shows he and the majority in the video do not support Palestinian human rights

      • Kay24
        March 5, 2016, 7:54 pm

        It seems Grover is worried about Americans not paying taxes……I guess he may be worried there might not be enough of American dollars left to pay for the charity and weapons we keep giving that greedy welfare queen in apartheid land.

    • echinococcus
      March 6, 2016, 2:39 am

      What “dual loyalty”?
      Zionists, by definition, do not have “dual loyalty”!
      Their loyalty in every case is to the illegitimate Zionist entity, not that of the country they belong to.
      Take the case of one Jesse Whatever, the one who can’t even spell his favorite word: not even pretending to have any other loyalty but to the bastard Zionist entity.

  16. Ossinev
    March 6, 2016, 7:05 am

    @JustJestr
    Assuming that you are an American born citizen of the USA can you confirm that the USA is your homeland and that in your opinion any American born citizen of the USA who describes a foreign state as his or her “homeland” is by definition guilty of disloyalty and potentially treason.

Leave a Reply