Friday, June 29, 2007

Lessons learned?

"The Israel Police are on the front line constantly," said Micky Rosenfeld, spokesman for Israel Police, noting that since 2001, his department has dealt with some 120 suicide attacks. "The fact things are calm now is due to the fact that we are carrying out operations all the time."

Rosenfeld said that since 9/11, Israel has received dozens of delegations from the United States - including the CIA and FBI as well as local police officers - who are interested in learning more about methods to combat terrorism. The New York City Police Department has one officer based in Israel full time who participates in investigations of bombings and attacks so he can train members of his own department, Rosenfeld said. The deepening security relationship between Israel and the United States has some Muslim groups worried that American police officials may begin adopting profiling techniques of Israel.

"It's always a concern that people return with a very negative impression of Muslims and Arab culture, and is that going to be translated into police work in the United States?" asked Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington.

"We've always been concerned when these kinds of trips become exercises in political indoctrination in which everything Israel does is good and just and everything Palestinians do is perceived as evil and unjust," Hooper added.

But Arieh O'Sullivan, spokesman for the ADL, said the tour's goal was strictly focused on offering guidance in security techniques - nothing more.

"It's a homeland security mission, not a mission to learn about the Middle East conflict. We're not trying to indoctrinate anyone," he said.

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