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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Homeland Security Monitor: December 2018

One year after Hurricane Harvey, Israeli groups continued providing on-the-ground humanitarian assistance to natural disaster victims. (AP/David Phillip)

Two Israeli Firms Selected to Help Transform NYC into a Global Cybersecurity Leader

On Oct. 2, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced a new city-wide initiative, which would include two Israeli firms in leading roles, to help transform NYC “into a global leader of cybersecurity innovation and talent to combat one of the world’s greatest threats.” Israeli firm SOSA and venture capital fund Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) are among the institutions selected to participate in the new cybersecurity initiative. The collaboration of “world-renowned partners” will create a Global Cyber Center that aims train up-and-coming cyber startups. “We’ve convened a world-class roster of partners to help us execute on this essential plan, which will help protect the industries and people that make this city the economic powerhouse that it is today,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett.

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Israel-U.S. BIRD Foundation Finances Two Search-and-Rescue Joint Projects

On July 31, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation announced its investment in two joint search-and-rescue projects, totaling $1 million each. The projects—a drone-mounted system and an emergency radio—were selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security to develop new, advanced first responder technology. “Our partnership with Israel remains one of our most robust and has the strong support of leadership,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for Science and Technology for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security William Bryan. “It is important that Israel and U.S. work together in combating emerging threats.”

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Israelis Provide Humanitarian Assistance to Texas and the Caribbean One Year after Hurricanes

One year after hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, José and Nate, Israeli organizations continued to provide on-the-ground assistance to help victims recover from the natural disasters. IsraAID and the Israel Trauma Coalition are two that are still operating in the hurricane-affected areas, continuing to help victims and readying residents for the next hurricane season. “We want to give community management teams more control after a storm by knowing where resources are needed and how to channel them in a cost-efficient way,” said Texas head of mission for IsraAID Niv Rabino, who has been in Houston since Hurricane Harvey.

Homeland Security Secretary Meets with Israeli Officials in Jerusalem

On June 11, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen held the first-ever cabinet-level meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem since it was moved there from Tel Aviv last month. The embassy meeting with Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan preceded the International Homeland Security Forum, which was held the following day. The forum featured 20 ministers and vice ministers from 17 different countries, with a focus on counterterrorism and radicalization. Nielsen also joined representatives of the Israeli Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Public Security and Strategic Affairs as well as the Israel Defense Forces in discussing Israel’s security technology and operations. At the forum, Secretary Nielsen delivered remarks praising the “strong and enduring” alliance between the United States and Israel and asserting the need to “deepen cooperation” between the two allies. “Our alliance has been fortified through crises and strengthened by collaboration. Following the 9/11 attacks—the deadliest terror assault in modern world history—you were right there by our side,” she said.

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Israel Launches New Program to Bolster Cybersecurity Startups

On Aug. 15, Israel announced that it is investing $24 million to ensure Israel remains a world leader in cyber security. The three-year program will allow select companies working on high-risk research and development to receive up to 5 million shekels ($1.4 million) per year. The initiative will support select pilot programs in Israel and abroad. Israel has an estimated five percent of the global market share in cybersecurity, second only to the United States, and 16 percent of the global investments in the cyber industry.

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Type: Homeland Security Monitor