1. BIRD Foundation Promotes Homeland Security Cooperation
The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) recently announced that its new funding cycle will focus on homeland security cooperation between the two nations, Market Watch reported. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security have shared with BIRD a list of topics they deem priorities: first responders, disaster management, cyber security, and explosive detections. BIRD provides up to a 50 percent grant for the R&D costs associated with the joint U.S.-Israel projects that are selected as part of the BIRD program.
2. U.S. Learns Border Security Techniques from Israel
The United States and other countries such as India are turning to Israel to study border security and the techniques employed by the Israelis, The Jerusalem Post reported. Since beginning construction of a security barrier along its border with Egypt, international interest in Israel’s border security strategies has spiked. The United States is in the process of building a barrier along its border with Mexico and is borrowing many of the border security techniques developed by the Israelis.
3. Obama’s Counterterrorism Advisor Visits Israel
John Brennan, President Obama’s assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, visited Israel this July, JTA reported. According to a White House statement, Brennan visited Israel in order “to consult with senior Israeli officials about a range of shared security concerns, including the recent wave of terrorist plots against Israeli and other interests.” While in Jerusalem, Brennan also met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
4. TSA Turns to Israel for Airport Security Strategies
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has slowly begun to transition to a risk-based security approach, similar to that employed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, The Washington Times reported. While the TSA is intentionally planning a slow transition toward the Israeli model, it acknowledges the success Israel has had with airport security and is looking forward to a security system based on “intelligence and history.”
5. Obama Signs U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act
President Obama signed the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act into law, reaffirming America’s “unshakeable” commitment to Israel, JTA reported. The bipartisan legislation provides support for various defense systems, calls for expanded intelligence cooperation, and encourages a larger role for Israel within NATO. At the signing ceremony, the president said that it is a top priority “to deepen cooperation with Israel across the whole spectrum of security issues – intelligence, military, technology.”