By Rebel Fagin
Two security states, Israel and the USA, are currently developing in tandem and targeting similar populations.
In the USA, economic disparancy is driving the development of the security state. As the rich steal more they need to protect it. Non-corporate crime in the United States, including violent crime, is down. Ted Kirkpatrick, a homicide expert in the Department of Clinical Sociology at the University of new Hampshire, listed three primary reasons for this: an aging population, an increase in immigration, and a stronger police presence.
Yet the security state worsens. Hardly a week goes by when I don’t hear about someone, usually of color, usually male, always poor, getting gunned down by police somewhere. As the police become increasingly militarized, citizens come to expect a diminution of their rights and learn to accept of the inevitability of the police to get away with murder in court.
In September of 2011 the poet Remi Kanazi read at a benefit for the North Coast Coalition for Palestine. He had this one poem where the verses told of police brutality with the refrain of “Black Boy, Brown Boy/ I didn’t get the name/ the picture was blurred.” It spoke of the easy acceptance and anonymity that goes with the taking of Brown and Black lives.
The United States gives Israel $3.1 billion annually. Israel’s’ economy expands as violence increases. In 2012 their security and defense industries (a euphemism for occupation) exported $7.5 billion in death, more than twice what they had exported in 2003. They are the 6th largest arms dealer in the world and second only to the United States in drones. Last Spring, Governor Brown and Prime Minister Netanyahu met to secure a deal on cyber security development. Hewett Packard and British-Danish G4S, who engages in child torture, have been working in collaboration with Israel on security development. ELBIT Border Protection and Checkpoints Unlimited of Israel, both of which use Hewett Packard Technology, are working with the US on the development of the US/Mexico Wall.
Both security states target people of color. On March 12, one Knesta member stated that Israel is a white man’s land while another compared Africans to a cancer then later apologized …. to cancer survivors for comparing them to Africans. As Israel moves more to the right, liberal Israelis are leaving.
Palestinians who travel in Black America, such as Ali Abunimah and African-Americans, such as Bill Fletcher Jr., who travel in Palestine, both remark at the similarities in the treatments of the people of colors in both lands. Both countries dehumanize the “others” using code language to do so. The War on Drugs is a war on Brown and Black. The War on Terror is a war on Arabs. Indeed both captive populations speak about living under occupation. In both cases there is a permanent sense of insecurity; an awareness that the security forces are only there to hurt you; a sense of always being watched and not belonging in your own land.
During the siege of Ferguson, Palestinians sent e-mails with practical suggestions on how to survive attacks from a rabid security force. Suggestions such as covering your baby’s face with a light, damp cloth, holding a long onion beneath your nose and breathing through that as you flee the tear gas.
In the United States more African-American adults are either in prison or on probation/parole then were enslaved in 1850. Crime rates are down. Recently youth in Santa Rosa were labeled as gang members by the police while pursuing their civil rights. This tag has the potential to make future encounters with law enforcement more costly, bar employment, restrict college money, and they can even get arrested for associating with one another. And crime rates are down.
In 2010, the Jewish United Fund, in cooperation with Israel’s secret police, Shin Bet, sponsored a delegation of Chicago law enforcement officials to Israel where they were treated to an intensive seminar on policing techniques and checkpoints. Police from Miami, Philadelphia, Lexington, Mobil, Houston, and Salt Lake City have all made similar visits.
The Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs works closely with the International Association of Chiefs of Police as well as with New York and Los Angels Police Departments. This collaboration of techniques and technology is growing like a cancer on democracy and crushing hopes for many.
Last March in Albuquerque, college students with the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) were meeting outside on campus when two groups arrived. One was a hostile group of pro-Israel supporters, the other was the police. One of the members of SJP had recently returned from the West Bank and she noticed the similarities in equipment, uniforms, and methods of the police. The two security states are becoming indistinguishable to the populations they oppress.
Sources: Omar Barghouti speaking in Santa Rosa 3/23/14, KPFA Flashpoints, 3/12/14 & 3/25/14, AlterNet 3/7/14, 3/20/14, Tom Dispatch 3/25/14, Electronic Intifada 4/3/14, The Battle For Justice in Palestine © 2014 Ali Abunimah, Remi Kanazi poetry reading in Santa Rosa 9/17/11.