The UK has secret control over Palestinian security forces through a network of “embedded mentors.” The British company Adam Smith International conducts its work primarily within the framework of the United States Security Coordinator’s (USSC) mission to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Since 2015, Britain has invested enormous sums of money every year into a “Middle East Peace Process Program.”
A formal explanation of the initiative is replete with lofty platitudes about defending the weak, upholding humanitarian law, and promoting peace. However, its primary, if not only, goal is made abundantly plain right away. Specifically, developing Palestinian Authority (PA) institutions that are “ready for statehood, [and] supportive of UK values and interests.”
It is obvious that these British measures place a “particular emphasis on the security sector,” according to leaked documents examined by The Cradle. After all, it is debatable whether the corrupt, unelected, Israeli-directed PA could continue to rule without keeping a strong and oppressive security system.
By way of Adam Smith International, a contentious British government contractor, London plays a crucial role in shaping, administering, and staffing the PA’s Security Forces and its techniques of repression, as shown by these documents.
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In order to “professionalize” the Palestinian Authority’s other “security institutions,” the company has made millions by “building the capacity of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces” and “discrete areas of the Ministry of Interior” since 2012.
Through a network of “embedded mentors,” the British company conducts its work primarily within the framework of the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) mission to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It offers “technical assistance, training, and on-the-job guidance” to various Security Force departments, including the Palestinian civil police, intelligence agencies, and “civil protection” units.
Additionally, “strategic advice” is given directly to the US Security Coordinator “on the institutional development of the police sector,” and the PA’s Media Center is given support for “strategic communications” campaigns to “support their program for achieving statehood by maintaining public support” — information warfare operations aimed at intimidating and appeasing Palestinians.
‘Not the easiest of tasks’
Other exposed documents show that Adam Smith International’s services and training for the PA Security Forces are uniquely British in nature.
The creation of a “Palestinian Officers Academy” in the mold of Sandhurst, the premier training ground for the British Army, is reportedly the “highlight” of this funding. Adam Smith International takes great pride in having created the “business case” for the Academy, acquired “a multi-million-pound budget” for its start-up and operation, and coordinated “design and development plans” with the Security Forces and Interior Ministry.
A nine-month “practical leadership curriculum” with “over 1,700 lesson plans” in English and Arabic is provided to Academy students. It is supervised by 12 foreign staff members and 30 Palestinian employees. Additionally, Adam Smith International gave advice to the PA’s military training director “on how to strengthen the design and delivery of training” throughout the Security Forces. This advice included “course design, delivery methodology, organizational structure, as well as various training-related operational matters, such as resourcing, course coordination, and management of training infrastructure.”
By embedding a “specialist military technical advisor” within the ranks of the Security Forces, Adam Smith International ensured access to “discrete areas” of the PA Interior Ministry and senior Security Forces staff “buy-in” to its training operations. The firm mentions Anthony Malkin, a former head of leadership training at Sandhurst who is nameless in the records.
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In his own words, he served as “the interface between the UK Ministry of Defence and the UAE General Headquarters” and “[developed] policy lines at ambassadorial and ministerial level while supporting defense sales” during his tenure as the British defense attaché in the United Arab Emirates from 2000 to 2005.
Malkin worked for Adam Smith International to “improve the operational capability” of the civil police, armed forces, and intelligence agencies of the Palestinian Authority by “training, mentoring, and advising leaders and staff.” Throughout, he “[showed] he can operate well in a culture of ambiguity, and has been flexible in adapting as the job has evolved to reflect wider political and military influences.”
“He is the only international consultant embedded at this high level within the [Security Forces]; his deep contextual understanding and Arabic language skills have gained him the respect of key interlocutors,” Adam Smith International approvingly noted. “Our advisor has ensured the buy-in of senior personnel, and thus the long-term success of the [Palestinian Officers Academy]…through exercising well-apportioned patience, tact, and diplomacy which has built strong and trusting relationships.”
Three years into the position, Malkin resigned in 2016. He wrote a blog post on LinkedIn in December of that year explaining his experiences creating the Officers Academy. It is replete with astounding revelations, such as the “considerable intelligence liaison between the Israeli and Palestinian Security Forces,” which relates to both the purported threats posed by the “immediate neighbors” of the West Bank as well as “internal threats to safety and security.”
Malkin said he faced many challenges in starting the Academy, the “most taxing” of which was getting Israel’s tacit approval because it would require teaching Palestinians how to use rifles and pistols and Israel forbids Palestinians from possessing “any heavy weapons.” Finally, approval was granted, “provided that no sniper training was involved!”
It was also “not the easiest of tasks” to secure US Security Coordinator mission support for the project because it was “basically a British-centric project based on UK’s leadership doctrine but with a US budget.” Still, “a multimillion-dollar budget was released despite considerable initial misgivings and protestations.”
Calling the tune
On behalf of Adam Smith International and the US Security Coordinator mission, Malkin then gave “battlefield tour presentations about Israel’s military history.” Additionally, he self-published The Tortuous Birth of a Nation “for the enthusiast wanting to explore and discover more about Israel’s military history,” and moonlights in “cross-cultural consultancy” between Israel and the UAE.
These actions reveal Malkin’s true affiliations and sentiments, which is informative. His project account also reveals the depressing reality of the unelected Palestinian Authority. It is a foreign-created and -controlled organization that serves the interests of Western governments and Israeli apartheid rather than that of the people who live in the Occupied Territories.
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From the viewpoint of the UK Foreign Office, controlling the PA’s operations and membership guarantees that it will not only continue to be “supportive of UK values and interests,” but will also enable London’s domestic and international security and intelligence services to keep a steadfast eye on citizens of Gaza and the West Bank. Because of this, Israel and Britain could be protected from any potential threats of retaliatory violence resulting from Tel Aviv’s savage attacks in the Occupied Territories.
The Palestinian Authority has a long history of British infiltration, and its security system has consistently been a top priority. Tony Blair’s administration sent Jonathan McIvor, a seasoned senior British police officer, to help the body in 2004.
The following year, he was hired by the European Union to set up the Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (COPPS), Brussels’ first “security” mission in Palestine, in advance of its official launch in early 2006. It increases coordination between the PA’s military, security, policing, and intelligence wings and Israeli occupation forces.
There are many reasons to doubt whether McIvor’s high-ranking time with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, a police force in Northern Ireland notorious for its vicious persecution of the province’s Catholic minority and extensive collaboration with loyalist terrorist organizations, influenced the Palestinian Authority’s current strategies.
The “five techniques” of physical and psychological torture, which served as the foundation for contemporary global torture, and the policy of “internment without trial” for terrorist suspects were both developed in Northern Ireland by Britain.
The Royal Ulster Constabulary received unfettered permission to use these tactics in 1976, and this freedom persisted well into the 1990s, during McIvor’s time as an officer. It has been established that the Palestinian Authority regularly arbitrarily detains people and tortures them, usually at Israel’s request.
The ‘expert’ advice of Adam Smith International and other British government contractors has possibly never been more urgently required than it is right now, as the PA is proving to be less and less effective at quelling both peaceful and armed resistance to both its brutal rule and to Israeli ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Territories.