A National Rifle Association delegation from the United States was joined by
former US ambassador to the UN John R.
Bolton Thursday for a tour and
briefing at the capital’s Police Intelligence and Observation Center, located in
the Old City.
The state-of-the-art center, which features nearly 40
highdefinition screens monitoring the Old City 24 hours a day, is utilized to
alert officers to any potential threats.
Bolton, who served under former
president George W. Bush and is an honorary NRA member, joined the 30
delegates, who came for 10 days to tour and learn more about police practices in
Israel as a model for US crime prevention.
Now a senior fellow at the
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Bolton said he had
worked with the NRA over the years on issues ranging from illegal arms trade to
He cited Israel as a country facing unrivaled security
challenges, yet having the capability to effectively protect its
“The number of threats Israel faces is unique,” Bolton said.
“It’s a very complex environment from a security point of view, so it’s
important that civilians like these see the nature of the threats Israel
Asked where he thought Israel ranked internationally in terms of
overall security, Bolton said the country was “near the top of the
“In many respects, Israel can serve as a model for American
security, which is one of the reasons we’re here,” he said.
brief presentation, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld played a clip illustrating
a real-time crime in the Old City during which a terrorist followed two
undercover officers, stole one’s gun, shot an officer and fled. The clip went on
to clearly show every frame of the subsequent chase through the labyrinthlike
alleys of the Old City until the terrorist was apprehended.
“This is just
unbelievable,” said one middle-aged female delegate watching the
“We need to have surveillance like this back
Rosenfeld said the Israel Police had worked with the NRA in the
past to share information on operations, intelligence and gun-control
“We offer them an inside perspective of how the Israel Police
carries out operations and community policing, with an emphasis on prevention
and responding to incidents – both criminal and terrorist related,” Rosenfeld
He emphasized the importance of gun control as a preventive
measure, the locating of illegal weapons, and making sure that gun owners
regularly renew their gun licenses and provide up-to-date and accurate
information to police.
The NRA delegation’s leader, Joseph R. Gregory,
serves as co-chairman of the organization’s Ring of Freedom National Advisory
Council. He called the tour a “good-will visit” intended to show support for
Israel while learning about its sophisticated security measures.
to demonstrate our appreciation and support of the Israeli people because we
feel Israel is important to the United States and we love our country,” said
“We know security issues are a big deal in Israel, and one of
the things the NRA is focused on is personal security, self-defense and national
Gregory said he attributed Israel’s high level of security to
an unusual “grasp of history and national heritage” accompanied by pronounced
“The spirit of the people here is exceptional in their love
of their country and affinity for the land,” he said. “One of the first things
I’ve learned is how exceptional Israeli security and national defense has
become, and I think Americans could learn a few lessons from that.”