Saturday, March 10, 2018

  • Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I spoke for a short while with a European who works for the US Consulate in (east) Jerusalem. His role is to help train PA security forces.

From the State Department:

A three-star officer serves as the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) to assist the PA to transform and professionalize its security sector; engage with the Israelis and Palestinians on security initiatives that build trust and confidence; and support U.S. and international efforts that set the conditions for a lasting and peace agreement. INL (US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs) works closely with the USSC to implement security assistance programs for the PA, and provides the funding necessary to support the PASSTP and related U.S. efforts. The U.S. also coordinates with the Government of Israel in order to implement this program.
Goals: The INL program began in 2007 with a key goal to establish at least nine special battalions within the PA National Security Force (NSF), a gendarmerie-like force with the mission to provide a rapid reaction capability to support the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP). After attaining this milestone in 2012, the program’s overall focus shifted from build, train, and equip to one focused on assisting the PA to develop further the institutional capacities to maintain these gains. The program now continues to assist the PA to professionalize its security forces, and assist the PA to build, maintain, and sustain security and justice sector institutions necessary for a future Palestinian state.
I wasn't aware that the US was still actively working with the PA on security training. I was aware of a similar initiative by the EU called EUPOL-COPPS.

I asked this man whether the PA has stopped coordination with the US program since the Trump declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as they claimed they would. He answered with an anecdote.

One day, when he and his coworkers - most of them not US citizens - drove up to Ramallah, they were stopped by the PA police. This had never happened before; up until then the PA police would just be hanging out and not doing anything. But this time they were hostile and not letting them through, even though the group has diplomatic plates.

The PA policeman asked what country they were from, and one of them answered honestly that he was Canadian. Suddenly, the PA officer became very friendly, and said that Canadians are his favorite people, and let them go.

I'm not quite sure how to interpret this story. It seems that the coordination and training is still happening but in a lower-key way where the American source of the training is being downplayed.

This is a very honor/shame type story, where for honor purposes the American presence must be declared to be illegal in the PA, but as long as there can be a pretense that this training comes from the EU and elsewhere.

I do not understand why the US has outsourced this role almost completely to non-Americans.

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