Shoot first, justify later

Funeral march of 14-year-old Yousef al-Shawamreh

Funeral march of 14-year-old Yousef al-Shawamreh

Last week a young Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. He was crossing through the “security” barrier in the West Bank when he was ambushed (my words) by soldiers.

Yousef had no weapons, he posed no danger to anyone. He was gathering plants from his family’s farmland which is now separated from the family by Israel’s “security” barrier.

A human rights group said:

“By justifying the use of lethal fire in broad daylight at youths who posed no danger to any other persons, [the action of the Israeli soldiers] conveys a cynical lack of concern for the life of a Palestinian teenager.”

The editors of the liberal Israeli paper Haaretz called the killing “nothing short of a war crime.

Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote a heart-wrenching open letter to the soldier who killed 14-year-old Yousef. “You claimed you fired on a Palestinian because he had sabotaged the separation barrier. You’re not only judge, prosecutor and executioner, but also witness.” Her letter is available here.

That same week, Albuquerque police shot and killed a homeless man who was camping in the foothills. Boyd was actually turning away from the police when he was shot in the back. The public only knows the details of what happened because of a cam-video shot from the helmet of one of the officers. This video is disturbing. It demonstrates a “cynical lack of concern for the life” of this homeless man.

Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the police shooting Boyd in Albuquerque, just as hundreds took to the streets to protest the soldier shooting Yousef in the West Bank.

The similarities between how the teenager and the homeless man were killed by “law enforcement” are striking.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many U.S. law enforcement personnel are being trained by the Israeli military, including New Mexico’s top cop.

This booklet — “Empowering Law Enforcement Protecting America” –explains it all.

The Law Enforcement Exchange program (LEEP) was created in cooperation with the Israeli National Police, the Israel Ministry of Internal Security, and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) to support and strengthen American law enforcement counter terrorism practices.

Since 2004, 12 regional LEEP conferences have been held in the U.S., with a total attendance of over 9,500 law enforcement officials.

Chief Carlos Maldonado, Chief of Police, New Mexico State Police, attended a LEEP training in 2005.  I wonder if other law enforcement personnel from New Mexico have received training from Israeli security.

This “special relationship” between the U.S. and Israel must end.  Bin Laden and Al Qaeda have won the war on terrorism. Israel and the U.S. are routinely killing innocent civilians without any regard for human life. Our law enforcement have become the terrorists.



Filed under Israel, People, US Policy, Video

4 responses to “Shoot first, justify later

  1. dwicjan

    Lora, Must disagree with you on this one. The Albuquerque incident can hardly be compared to what is happening between the Israeli Army and the Palestinian people. Mr. Boyd was camping illegally. I don’t totally agree with the actions of the police. Glad to know about that LEEP stuff.

    • Yes, Boyd was camping illegally, he had a history of violence and was mentally unstable, and the police were well aware of this history. Does that justify shooting him in the back and killing him?

      I raise the similarities between the Israeli Occupation Forces and the Albuquerque police because both are so militarized, they don’t know how to respond to children and the mentally ill.

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