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MSU Groups Host Event to Discuss America’s and Israel’s Police Forces

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

"They claimed that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), partakes in 'counter-terrorism, collective punishment, home demolitions, just horrible things.'"

Author: Joe Janosik

Two student groups on February 19 hosted, “America-Israel: Deadly Exchanges Turning Everyday Officers Into Soldiers.” Black Girls Unite (BGU) and Students United for Palestinian Rights (SUPR) compared the police enforcement situations African Americans in America go through with the Palestinians in Israel.

They claimed that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), partakes in “counter-terrorism, collective punishment, home demolitions, just horrible things.”

To start the meeting, they compared the current situation in Israel to the apartheid of South Africa. In South Africa from 1948 to 1994, blacks and Asians could not swim, eat, work, go to church, live, marry, or even play soccer with white South Africans. Research by the African Studies Center at Michigan State University shows between 1960-1983, 3.5 million black South Africans were relocated by force. They were put into ten designated tribal camps, Bantustans. Citizenship was revoked.

Continuing, they said that political imprisonment is “a practice widely applied by Israel,” and stated the 99.7% of Palestinian Arabs residing in West Bank are politically arrested. No source was referenced.

Israel, according to the presenters, has “Jewish or white-only schools, violent government removal, mandatory IDs, and laws restricting travel,” along with restaurants, transit, and cities designated for Jews.

They shifted to the “deadly exchange” where they compared the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and American police. They displayed a map to show which cities are currently training their police alongside the IDF.

BGU moved to incorporate Black Lives Matter into the discussion and started off with the violence in Chicago. They stated military practices of “worming” and the “one shot, one kill” tactic imitates home invasions in the US with use of flash grenades and police shootings.

The United States gives more money to Israel than any other country for defense. To date, 134.7 billion (non inflation adjusted). The members of SUPR added “considering how much [we spend]...we probably could’ve put it towards clean water in Flint or something better to do with our country.”

They further mentioned, “55 percent of kids in Detroit go to bed hungry and we probably could’ve put our money towards that, or teachers getting a pay raise, or anything useful”.

In this vein, referenced was the tweet by Congressman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” was taken “the wrong way as being anti-Semitic.”

They closed with a video that claimed the Trump administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government are both far-right regimes that promote repression, violence, and racism.

“To claim that the US government is far-right kinda defeats the purpose of what the US government is supposed to be. Yes, there is a Republican majority, but, just with the government setup it’s not going to be far-right or far-left … and saying the US government is entirely far-right is absolutely incorrect and misinformed, “ journalism student Jack Waynick told The Morning Watch.

He further said, “what’s happening over in Israel, to me, it doesn’t equate to apartheid... I think the comparison is unfair because in Africa it was just so much more extreme than one could possibly imagine it’d be in today’s Israel”.

Contributor: Joe Janosik

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