Campaign of the month: Deadly Exchange

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US police in formation

Our campaign of the month is "Deadly Exchange", a project of Jewish Voices for Peace. Deadly Exchange seeks to end exchange programs between police forces in the USA and Israel. The Deadly Exchange website explains why these exchange programs are do dangerous, and what needs to be done to stop them:

The deadly falsehood that violence against some communities will create security for others is perpetuated by the policies of both the U.S. and Israeli government.

One of the most dangerous places where the regimes of Trump and Netanyahu converge are in exchange programs that bring together police, ICE, border patrol, and FBI from the US with soldiers, police, border agents, etc from Israel. In these programs, “worst practices” are shared to promote and extend discriminatory and repressive policing in both countries including extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, police murders, racial profiling, massive spying and surveillance, deportation and detention, and attacks on human rights defenders.

As Jewish Americans and allies, we believe that building a vision and practice of collective safety is essential. As a Jewish organization dedicated to safety and justice for all peoples, we see it as our duty to draw the line at these exchanges. We want to join in efforts to expand the definition of sanctuary to mean that all people targeted by aggressive policing – including immigrants and refugees, as well as all people of color, Muslims, trans and queer people – are safe to live their lives.

Such exchange programs have been attended by thousands of US police personnel, which the US government states are primarily intended as counter-terrorism training opportunities. The campaign is in response to the call for a BDS campaign from Palestinian activists, and the Vision For Black Lives Policy Platform, which inclues a call to divest from deadly systems and invest in education, health, and safety of Black people in the USA. Israel bills itself as the "counterterrorism expert" of the world; Israel's occupation of Palestine has provided an opportunity to test equipment and tactics, and has one of the world's largest defence industries. The US sends over $3 billion a year to Israel in military aid.

The Deadly Exchange campaign encourages local groups to lead teach-ins to deepen community understanding of the issues, sticker campaigns, and request support with researching the links between the police in the USA and Israel. You can find out more about the campaign on their website: http://deadlyexchange.org/about-deadly-exchange/

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