Letter Regarding TUPD Training in Israel
**** To sign, please email tuftsletterofprotest2018@gmail.com with your affiliation (student, faculty, alum, community member) and any other identifying information. Your email will be confidential, but the name you give and affiliation may be publicly shared ****

March 4, 2018

Dear President Anthony Monaco, Provost David Harris, Dean James Glaser, and Director of Public and Environmental Safety Kevin Maguire,

We the undersigned write to express our dismay with the decision of Tufts University to send Director of Public and Environmental Safety Kevin Maguire on a nine-day trip to Israel for a National Counter-Terrorism Seminar (NCTS) training.[1] In 2016, this seminar included as some of its speakers the former head of the Israeli Security Agency, also known as the Shin Bet, and representatives from the Israel Defense Forces.[2] Israel has been reprimanded by the UN Committee Against Torture and Amnesty International for its widespread use of torture tactics against detainees, including children.[3] Israel’s policing and security techniques are widely known to be discriminatory.[4] Israel has been rated as the most highly militarized country in the world, according to the Global Militarization Index.[5]

We believe this record makes Israel’s model far from reputable for Tufts Police. These trainings contribute to the militarization of police forces. Adoption of Israeli approaches to security would endanger our students, staff, and faculty. At a moment when U.S. police forces have come under scrutiny for brutality and discrimination against minority communities of many kinds, it is not the time for Tufts Police to be taught by institutions like these that routinely disregard civil and human rights. Furthermore, these joint trainings lend ideological and financial support for Israel’s repression of Palestinians.

Moreover, we are deeply concerned that the University saw fit for Mr. Maguire to spend such a long time on this training when we have little reason to believe that terrorism is a pressing threat to our campus. Our students are instead concerned about anti-immigrant and other racist rhetoric that places undocumented people and people of color at greater risk of violence and hate.[6] Students with DACA and TPS status, who are a valuable part of our community, are concerned about their vulnerability to detention as well as to their financial ability to stay at Tufts should they lose DACA protections. Students of color, especially Black students, are concerned that the TUPD can be inclined to see them as threats or as people who need “extra” policing.[7]

We commend President Monaco’s November 16, 2016, statement in support of undocumented and DACA students at Tufts.[8] We also appreciate Tufts’ support for the lawsuit led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to oppose President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program. However, we need to do more.
We wish to see the University doing all it can to make Tufts and the community of which it is a part a safe place for all its members, and to see Tufts living up to its values of “human rights and democratic participation.”[9] Kevin Maguire’s participation in this training undermined this important mission. To this end, we ask:

1. For Provost David Harris, Director of Public and Environmental Safety Kevin Maguire, Chief Diversity Officer Amy Freeman, and Dean of Student Affairs Mary Pat McMahon to meet with concerned professors and students to inform us of why Kevin Maguire was sent on this training, and to hear our concerns about how such trainings undermine the goal of a safe campus. During this meeting, we also wish to discuss routes for more transparency between TUPD and the Tufts community. In particular, we ask for transparency regarding the changes over time in TUPD's staffing and training initiatives. At this meeting, we also wish to discuss elements 2 and 3 as listed below.
2. For Tufts to commit to recruiting Palestinian and refugee students with outreach in the West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.
3. For Tufts to continue to support its DACA students, and to support any employees with DACA status as well students and employees with Temporary Protective Status that may be threatened by recent Trump administration decisions. Specifically, we ask that the Tufts administration:
a. Present an update about the evaluation that President Monaco alluded to in his Nov. 16, 2016, statement about declaring Tufts a sanctuary campus.
b. Commit to inform affected students of any requests on immigration and citizenship status by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
c. Require trainings for all staff (including housing staff and campus security) on how to respond to federal agents seeking access; and develop a clear process for staff to follow in the event that they are presented with such requests;
d. Increase institutional financial aid for noncitizen students, especially undocumented students and those who might be affected by a repeal or change in DACA.

Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.


The Undersigned Members of the Tufts Community

Cc: CDO Amy Freeman and Dean of Students Mary Pat McMahon

***** Please note: We have revised this demand from an earlier version of the letter because Tufts has already committed to this: "b. Commit to not share information about employee and student immigration and citizenship status with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or other government agencies unless mandated by court order, warrant, or subpoena; and commit to inform affected students of such requests." See above for change. I will email all signatories about this change before sending letter. See here: http://president.tufts.edu/blog/2016/11/30/supporting-and-protecting-our-daca-and-undocumented-students/. Thank you - Amahl Bishara

[1] “Tufts Police Chief Travels to Israel for Counterterrorism Seminar,” Liam Knox, Tufts Daily, January 26, 2018, https://tuftsdaily.com/news/2018/01/26/tufts-police-chief-travels-israel-counterterrorism-seminar/.
[2] Police Exchange Program Itinerary, Deadly Exchange, https://deadlyexchange.org/police-exchange-program-itinerary/.
[3] Committee Against Torture Concluding Observations on the Fifth Periodic Report of Israel,” available at: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CAT%2fC%2fISR%2fCO%2f5&Lang=en, “Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories 2016/2017,” https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/report-israel-and-occupied-palestinian-territories/. For more, see: “Torture, Israeli-style – as Described by the Interrogators Themselves,” Chaim Levinson, Ha’aretz, January 24, 2017, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-style-torture-as-described-by-the-interrogators-themselves-1.5489853 and “Israeli Torture of Palestinian Children ‘Institutional’” Ben White, Al-Jazeera, Feb. 7, 2017, https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/01/coercion-violence-threats-torture-israeli-style-170129092739964.html.
[4] “In Israel, Racial Profiling Doesn’t Warrant Debate or Apologies,” Anshel Pfeffer, Ha’aretz, September 20, 2016, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/in-israel-racial-profiling-doesn-t-warrant-debate-or-apologies-1.5439830, “17 years after October 2000 Killings, Israeli Police Still Kill Arab Citizens With Impunity,” Adalah, October 3, 2017, https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9258, “Israeli Security Forces are Training US Cops Despite History of Rights Abuses,” Alice Speri, September 15, 2017, The Intercept, https://theintercept.com/2017/09/15/police-israel-cops-training-adl-human-rights-abuses-dc-washington/.
[5] “Global Militarization Index 2017,” Max M. Mutschler, Bonn International Center for Conversion, https://www.bicc.de/uploads/tx_bicctools/GMI_2017_EN.pdf.
[6] “As DACA Repeal Looms, Tufts’ Undocumented Students Face Setbacks, Insecurity,” Liam Knox and Jessie Newman, Tufts Daily, December 8, 2017, https://tuftsdaily.com/features/2017/12/08/daca-repeal-looms-tufts-undocumented-students-face-setbacks-insecurity/.
[7] “What’s There to See? Questioning Police Presence on Campus,” Jonathan Innocent, Tufts Observer, September 25, 2017, http://tuftsobserver.org/whats-there-to-see-questioning-police-presence-on-campus/.
[8] “Statement on Support for Undocumented and DACA Students at Tufts,” Anthony Monaco, November 16, 2016, http://president.tufts.edu/blog/2016/11/16/statement-on-support-for-undocumented-and-daca-students-at-tufts/.
[9] “Service, Citizenship, and Tisch College,” http://admissions.tufts.edu/life-at-tufts/citizenship-public-service/.
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