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    One of the organizations that organize and sponsor these trainings is the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). The AIEF is a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). AIPAC is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. AIEF is AIPAC’s charitable arm and makes grants to AIPAC as well as funds trips to Israel for politically influential Americans, including U.S. Congress members, for meetings with the Israeli political and military elite. In 2017 alone, AIEF sponsored 147 congressional trips to Israel and spent $2.16 million, more than any other interest group sponsoring congressional travel.

    Another organization that sponsor these trainings is the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). JINSA is a think tank that advocates for US-Israeli security cooperation, increased domestic military spending, and military aid to Israel, and has board members with close ties to US defense contractors. JINSA launched its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) shortly after 9/11, and since 2002 has run annual trips to Israel for US federal, state, and local law enforcement. Over 11,000 additional American law enforcement officials have attended LEEP conferences nationwide, which bring in Israeli security officials as experts.


    The Sheriff’s Office of Calhoun County, Alabama, is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. A law enforcement official who served in the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office attended a training in Israel with AIPAC as a delegate of the American Israel Educational Foundation (AIEF).


    Sheriff Larry Amerson of Calhoun County was a participant on the 2012 JINSA LEEP trip to Israel. Sheriff Amerson said that the trip had a lot more impact than he expected, and that, “when he saw life in Israel with his own eyes he saw a greater understanding of the situation in Israel as it relates to terrorist threats.” Sheriff Amerson stated that he would make changes to his own department based on the Israeli model and what he learned on his trip in 2012. These enhancements, Amerson claimed would, “increase their capabilities to identify, and respond to terrorist activities in their country.” Based on his trip, he concluded that there must be a “proactive component like the Israelis.” 




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