U.S. Rep. Kind,

This refers to the recent unrest regarding police brutality. One aspect of this deserves your attention, i.e., the training of thousands of American police from a majority of states and cities -- including Minneapolis, site of the recent death of George Floyd -- by Israeli forces. The following quote from a chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace sums it up:

“Exchanges between U.S. police and the Israeli army promote a brutal military occupation as a positive model for community policing. Under the banner of ‘counter-terrorism’ training, Israel is presenting lessons learned from 50 years of illegal military occupation over a Palestinian population deprived of human and civil rights.

“Racial profiling, violent suppression of protest, massive surveillance, militarization of school security and the ongoing displacement of people from their homes are not lessons U.S. law enforcement or U.S. mayors should be bringing home.”

Note how Israel responds to protesters: 195 of them were killed in the recent Palestinian Great March of Return for approaching too close to an arbitrary military barrier. Among them were 41 children, for which you should note the following:

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The U.N. Human Rights Council has provided chilling details of the contexts in which children have been killed and injured; children who were playing, dancing, watching the crowd, waving flags, handing out sandwiches, assisting those affected by tear gas, chanting slogans. The council has concluded that the Israeli Security Forces used lethal against children who posed no imminent threat to soldiers.

We bring this to your attention because you are a recipient of funds from the Israel lobby, which routinely defends Israeli atrocities. As your constituents, we ask that you no longer accept such funds, tainted with the blood of small children. We also ask that you denounce the training of American police officers by Israel.

Failure to do so means that you and your colleagues, the great majority of them, are by proxy, responsible for the killing, torture, maiming and violent repression of an entire people, the Palestinians.

Paul Schaefer, Hager City

Thomas Smith and Jacqueline Brux, River Falls