Its not uncommon for residents of Americas most heavily policed neighborhoods to describe their local cops as an occupying force. Judging by where many U.S. police forces get their training, the description seems apt.

Thousands of American law enforcement officers frequently travel for training to one of the few countries where policing and militarism are even more deeply intertwined than they are here: Israel.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Israel seized on its decades-long experience as an occupying force to brand itself a world leader in counterterrorism. U.S. law enforcement agencies took the Jewish state up on its expertise by participating in exchange programs sponsored by an array of pro-Israel groups like AIPAC, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Over the past decade and a half, scores of top federal, state, and local police officers from dozens of departments from across the U.S. have gone to Israel to learn about its terrorism-focused policing.

Yet Israels policing prowess is marred by its primary purpose: the occupation. Israel has carried out a half-century of military rule in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, an occupation...