[News] Israeli police teach schoolchildren how to shoot Palestinians

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 2 10:30:04 EDT 2018


  Israeli police teach schoolchildren how to shoot Palestinians

Ali Abunimah <https://electronicintifada.net/people/ali-abunimah> - 2 
May 2018


Israeli police planned to teach children how to shoot at Palestinians as 
part of a training exercise in a school.

The incident in the Menashe Regional Council, near Haifa in northern 
present-day Israel, was brought to light in recent days when Palestinian 
citizens of Israel took photos of what was happening.

Jamal Zahalka <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/jamal-zahalka>, a 
member of the Israeli parliament from the Joint Arab List 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/joint-list>, is demanding an 
into the training sponsored by the Israeli police and the education 
ministry, which he said “prepares students psychologically to kill Arabs.”

One photo shows a person – most of their body blurred with a black 
marker – using a paintball gun to fire at cutouts of men and women 
wearing checkered /kuffiyeh/ headscarves that are associated with 

Zahalka made his demand in a letter to public security minister Gilad 
Erdan <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/gilad-erdan>, according to 
the publication /Arab48/.

The activity in Menashe Regional Council is part of widespread training 
of children by police in Israeli schools, according to /Arab48./

In 2011, the newspaper /Haaretz/ reported 
<https://www.haaretz.com/1.5146107> on how a group of Israeli high 
school students from Herzliya took part in a simulated shooting attack 
at a military base “in which the targets were figures decked out with 
the Arab /kuffiyeh/ headdress.”

One source told /Haaretz/ that the exercise, which was also supported by 
the education ministry, was tantamount to “educating toward hatred of 

The training in the Menashe Regional Council school is also reminiscent 
of an incident last year 
in which Israeli police put on a demonstration for a group of 
fifth-graders for how to “confirm a kill” – in other words how to 
perpetrate an extrajudicial execution.

And early this year, American comedian Jerry Seinfeld visited a training 
center in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank where tourists 
are given demonstrations on how to kill Arabs 

And in a disturbing parallel in 2015, police in North Miami Beach, 
Florida, were found to be using photos of African American men 
for target practice at a shooting range.

    Separate and unequal

Zahalka noted that the incident occurred in Menashe Regional Council, 
which bills itself as a paragon of coexistence between Jewish and 
Palestinian citizens of Israel 

There are approximately 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel. They 
are the survivors and their descendants 
of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Unlike Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, they hold 
Israeli citizenship and a right to vote, but nonetheless live under 
dozens of laws <https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/7771> that 
discriminate against them because they are not Jewish.

Israel operates a separate 
and unequal 
school system for Jewish and Arab students.

Anti-Arab incitement and indoctrination is endemic in schools 
for Jewish children from the earliest grades.

    Proud to kill

The Israeli police said 
<https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5245501,00.html> that the 
targets in the Menashe Regional Council school had been set up as part 
of an activity day to teach children “about good citizenship” and that 
to “engender interest among participants, a paint gun station was erected.”

“Before the activity began, the activity’s commanders and the school 
staff noticed the matter and hid the images, and no children saw them 
during the activity itself,” the police claimed.

The education ministry also called the use of the targets, according to 
the publication /Ynet/, a “serious mishap.”

Zahalka also wrote to Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett calling 
for those responsible for organizing the shooting training to be punished.

He stated that it was unacceptable for the ministry to merely cancel the 
activity without seeking accountability, and to try to shift the blame 
to the police alone.

Zahalka quipped that had a similar activity taken place in a school run 
by the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 
“would have demanded a meeting of the UN Security Council.”

Nadav Perez-Vaisvidovsky, an Israeli college lecturer, expressed shock 
at the training, tweeting, “This is the type of thing you see in history 
books and wonder how it could be allowed to go on.”

    מסוג הדברים שרואים אח"כ בספרי ההיסטוריה, ואתה לא מצליח להבין איך
    נתנו לדברים כאלה לעבור pic.twitter.com/XN936KZMwd

    — Nadav Perez-Vaisvidovsky (@NadavPerez) April 29, 2018

Yet this is only a small part of what the so-called international 
community is allowing Israel to do with impunity 

The European Union, for instance, which never ceases to issue reminders 
of the importance of learning “lessons from the past 
is currently pretending not to see 
how Israel is deliberately massacring unarmed civilians besieged in the 
Gaza Strip.

And there is little chance of accountability, since the incitement comes 
from the top, with Israeli ministers regularly calling 
for or applauding 
extrajudicial executions.

Naftali Bennett, the education minister, himself notoriously declared 
in 2013, “I have killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there is no 
problem with that.”

    Ending complicity

Last December, Belgium’s KU Leuven university announced 
that it would end its role in an EU-funded “research” project carried 
out in partnership with Israeli police.

“The participation of the Israeli public security ministry indeed poses 
an ethical problem taking into account the role which the strong arm of 
the Israeli government plays in enforcing an unlawful occupation of the 
Palestinian territories and the associated repression of the Palestinian 
population,” university rector Luc Sels explained.

In light of Israel’s ongoing premeditated killing and maiming 
of unarmed protesters 
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/great-march-return> in Gaza, 
Palestinian activists recently renewed their calls 
<https://bdsmovement.net/Gazalandday> for an international arms embargo 
on Israel, including a ban on cooperation and joint training with 
Israel’s police and military.

In a major victory for this campaign <https://deadlyexchange.org>, 
Durham, North Carolina, recently became the first city in the US to pass 
such a ban 

“What the Israeli police did is not that unusual, especially in the 
current atmosphere of racism against Arabs,” Zahalka wrote.

“In any case, the Israeli police do not require such an atmosphere as 
their record is full of disregard for the lives of Arab citizens, whom 
they continue to treat as enemies and not as citizens.”

Zahalka concluded that firing on cutouts of Arab citizens “falls within 
the racist policies of Netanyahu and his government, and therefore 
everyone is called upon to confront this racism until it is defeated.”

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