Since 2014, when Israel was written into U.S. law as a “major strategic partner,” the two nations have bolstered collaboration in a wide variety of spheres related to homeland security. Below are a few examples from 2017:
On Jan. 31, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2017 (H.R. 612). Authored by Reps. James Langevin (D-RI) and John Ratcliffe (R-TX), the bipartisan bill would establish a grant program for joint cybersecurity research and development projects between America and Israel. “Cybersecurity is the preeminent national security issue of the Information Age. Working together with our allies will be essential to preserving our collective defense in this new domain,” said Rep. Langevin, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. “Israel is already a leader on cybersecurity, and by enhancing collaboration, we will be able to push the frontiers in protecting our respective homelands.”
For the second consecutive year, the Police United Tour—a delegation of 52 American law-enforcement officers from 12 states—arrived in Israel to train in counterterrorism techniques and attend an annual 9/11 memorial service outside Jerusalem. Based at the Beit Shemesh police academy, the delegation participated in various counterterrorism training exercises, met with elite units, and was briefed by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich. The delegation concluded with an annual memorial service at the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in the Arazim Valley.
In July, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation awarded $2.75 million to three homeland security projects. Selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Israeli Public Security Ministry, the joint U.S.-Israel projects will each obtain conditional grants of up to $1 million to find solutions to problems facing first responders. William Bryan, acting Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said, “I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with the Israeli Ministry of Public Security and the BIRD Foundation to bring the best of U.S. and Israeli technology companies together to develop capabilities to support our first responders."
Since March, the Israeli startup responsible for the control system behind the Iron Dome missile defense system, mPrest, has been helping to protect the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the state’s largest public power organization. mPrest’s predictive health analytics application is enhancing the operational reliability and efficiency of NYPA’s assets network. “Through our collaboration with mPrest, we can now accurately predict potential failures through better diagnostics and prognosis,” said NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones. “As we actively pursue becoming the ‘first completely digital utility in the country,’ it is through cutting-edge technological innovation like this one, made possible with the intelligence, dedication and cooperation of our partners, that we have developed a unique, effective way of monitoring our transformers.” Read More
In early September, The Software Guild, an Ohio-based coding boot camp, announced a partnership with Israeli cybersecurity academy HackerUSA. According to The Software Guild, the partnership will inaugurate a new online information protection course “supported by the same tools used by the Israeli military.” HackerUSA is the U.S. subsidiary of Israeli cyber institute HackerU, which was founded in 1996, employing instructors from elite Israel Defense Forces units, industry specialists and international information security experts. The Software Guild founder and chief academic officer Eric Wise said, “Israel is at the forefront of the cybersecurity industry, so it only made sense to bring in HackerUSA, Israel’s cybersecurity elite, to round out our offering.”
Fifteen law enforcement officers from Massachusetts attended a special training in Israel from Dec. 3-12. The delegation—which included local police chiefs, state police officials and a U.S. Attorney—was briefed and trained by Israeli military and police commanders on law enforcement and counterterrorism tactics. Haverville Police Chief Alan DeNaro said, “Some of the skills and techniques they taught us, we want to bring them to our departments to get our officers to think differently about how we approach people, harden targets and make major events and gatherings safer.”
On June 26, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Thomas Bossert announced a new U.S.-Israeli working group to meet on a range of cyber issues including the protection of critical infrastructure. “These high level meetings represent the first step in strengthening bilateral ties on cyber issues following President Trump’s visit to Israel,” said Bossert. “The agility Israel has in developing solutions will result in innovative cyber defenses that we can test here and bring back to America.” The group will specifically focus on finding and stopping attacks before they reach networks and critical infrastructure, while also identifying ways to punish attackers.
Type: Homeland Security Monitor