Massachusetts (QNN)- Students of Tufts University launched a seven-day action calling attention to various disturbing elements of police exchange programs between the United States and ‘Israel’, according to a press release from the group.
The campaign came in the same week in which Israeli forces attacked the Gaza strip, killing 35 citizens. It also came following a protest on Thurs., Nov. 14, during a lecture by Ishmael Khaldi, a former soldier in the Israeli Occupation Force, who was invited to speak at the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs about his experience facilitating conversations between Bedouins and Jews in Israel.
The action, which was held in the period between Nov. 13 and Nov. 19, is part of SJP’s broader campaign to “#EndTheDeadlyExchange,” which seeks to end military training trips for the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) and all other police militarization on campus. Over 15 student organizations have signed on to SJP’s campaign.
Tufs Daily quoted SJP member Molly Tunis, who said that the group started the campaign after it learned that Kevin Maguire, executive director of public safety and chief of TUPD, attended a training trip with the Israeli military in December 2017.
“There was quite an uproar after we found out — there was a letter from faculty members condemning the trip and a petition went around calling on Tufts to stop partaking in them,” Tunis, a senior, said. “Obviously Kevin Maguire is just one small piece of the puzzle, but creating these exchanges and building up this country’s military industrial complex can really have these big repercussions and it really did scare a lot of people on this campus.”
A 2018 Daily investigation revealed that Maguire, along with other Boston-area police chiefs and federal officers, attended an Anti-Defamation League-funded counterterrorism seminar in the occupation state in December 2017. According to previous reporting by the Daily, these seminars have been criticized by activists both for trying to sway the officers who attend to favor the Israeli government and because some the trainings have been conducted by Shin Bet, which has been accused of using torture tactics.