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Who Is Rebecca Weiner of Israeli-Linked NYPD Intelligence and Counterrorism Bureau?

A profile published in The Grayzone of Columbia University Adjunct Professor Rebecca Weiner provides useful background on the brutal round of student arrests at Columbia on the evening of April 30, and Weiner’s role in this. As authors Wyatt Reed and Max Blumenthal point out in “Columbia Crackdown Led by University Prof Doubling as NYPD Spook,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams praised Weiner for “giving police the green light to clear out the anti-genocide students by force.”

An adjunct professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Weiner happens to “moonlight” as head of the New York Police Department’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureau, occupying an office close to where students had set up their encampment. In that capacity, she advised Adams on when to call in heavily armed police to violently dislodge nonviolent students from Columbia’s Hamilton Hall, and arrest several hundred of them. According to Grayzone, Weiner “develops policy and strategic priorities for the Intelligence & Counterterrorism Bureau and publicly represents the NYPD in matters involving counterterrorism and intelligence.”

The NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau maintains an office in Tel Aviv, coordinates with Israel’s security apparatus, and maintains a department liaison with them. “Weiner appears to serve as a bridge between the Bureau’s offices in Israel and New York.” The Grayzone also points out that a 2011 investigation by Associated Press discovered the existence of a “Demographics Unit”—or more correctly, the “ethnic profiling unit—“ that was inspired by Israeli intelligence, and operated inside the NYPD’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau. This was the outfit that spied on Muslims in the New York area, as well as on students at out-of-state campuses who were involved in Palestine solidarity activism.

Revealingly, this unit was developed in tandem with the CIA, which to date, has refused to name the former Middle East station chief it posted in the “senior ranks” of the NYPD intelligence division. At the time of the AP investigation, a former police official told the news agency that the unit “attempted to map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

So all of Mayor Adams’ ranting during his May 1 press conference, about “outside agitators” on the campuses, and “professionals” who were “radicalizing” students, came straight from Weiner. At the same press conference, she spouted off verbiage about “change in tactics” by protesters and other sociological gobbledygook about “mainstreaming of rhetoric associated with terrorism,” to justify the previous night’s police deployment. It was she who claimed—three times— that the completely innocent, 63-year-old Palestinian retired elementary school teacher, Nahla Al-Arian, who briefly visited the Columbia campus on April 25 with her daughter—and was in now way involved with the activities there at all—was a dangerous individual married to someone “convicted for material support to terrorism.” In fact, the case against Al-Arian’s husband, Sami, was an example of the persecution of Muslims and Arabs in the “war on terror” that followed 9/11.