Apparently so and for some time now. According to Max Blumenthal with the Nation Institute, police in the U.S. have gone to Israel to train with the Israeli military in the "handling" of civilians. According to Blumenthal, "Crimaterrorists" is a phrase coined by an Israeli military official that essentially puts forth the notion that civilians engaging in civil disobedience should be seen and treated as a kind of domestic terrorist with criminal intentions. Raw Story weighed in on Blumenthal's allegations on December 4th. Here's Blumenthal in his own words:
Having been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population, local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The New York Police Department’s disclosure that it deployed “counter-terror” measures against Occupy protesters encamped in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park is just the latest example of the so-called War on Terror creeping into every day life. Revelations like these have raised serious questions about the extent to which Israeli-inspired tactics are being used to suppress the Occupy movement.
Here's a video in which Blumenthal outlines his assertions to a Russian TV News reporter:
Blumenthal asserts that the ties between New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Israeli are particularly strong, and getting stronger, as Raw Story points out in their article on Blumenthal:
The Israeli influence has been particularly strong in New York City where, Blumenthal writes, “under the leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to demonstrate his support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip. … Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government officials who obsess over supposed ‘demographic threats.’ … Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret ‘Demographics Unit’ designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city.”
With recent stories that sound canons and even lasers that temporarily blind people being considered for more common usage in dealing with American "criminals", we should all be alarmed at our rapidly growing, and hardening in attitude, police security state, and the criminalization of peaceful protest that is occurring in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement.