Threats and Counter Threats – Learning from Israeli Experience


In the pre-Covid Middle East, ISIS was still a major thorn in everyone’s side but it has since been pounded down in Syria where Russia has also been asserting itself. Relations between Israel and the UAE, Morocco and even Saudi Arabia and Turkey have warmed up. In three short years, elements of that political landscape have shifted significantly.

The ever-evolving nature of the Middle East is reflected in the ever-evolving methods Israel deploys to deal with its security threats. Although the basic security concepts and methods remain the basis, threats change and so do the solutions that mitigate them. Innovation is key in Israel and as a prime target for terrorism, that innovation cannot afford to stagnate.

Iron Dome accuracy has reached about 97% and was most recently tested this month when almost 600 rockets and mortars were launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad into Israel. The forty-mile-long underground wall system constructed to prevent tunneling into Israel from Gaza includes hundreds of cameras, radar, other high-tech sensors and a command center. It was completed last year.

Not all innovations in Israel are technology or terrorism related. Chameleon is adding several new modules to its upcoming Israeli security seminar and one is an inside look into how the third largest city there has changed the way it deals with crime and public disorder.  Law enforcement officers are partnered with municipal inspectors for neighborhood patrols. It might sound odd. But the missions of city law enforcement and city inspectors (anywhere from parking enforcement to building codes, trash and litter management or dog licensing) overlap in perhaps unexpected ways while their respective experience and legal redress, work in complement. Also, as inspectors work in the field they have intelligence and insights that can benefit law enforcement, as well. It’s an odd solution, but it operationally addresses the Broken Windows Theory.

James Wilson and George Kelling developed the Broken Windows Theory that sees serious crime as the product of a long chain of events starting with behavioral disorder – misdemeanors, panhandling, public drinking and likewise trash filled gardens and actual broken windows. When citizens feel an area is unsafe that fear results in weakened social controls meant to check criminal behavior. Disorder causes crime which in turn brings more disorder and more crime – a vicious cycle.  The joint effort between police and inspectors described above works to minimize the ‘broken windows’ and has so far proved a real success in mitigating crime in that Israeli city.

Ideas gleaned from case studies – in this case, how to leverage multi-agency collaboration or how to deal with civilian populations in crisis can be applied to any security situation, just about anywhere in the world. Indeed, the goal of our seminar is to share knowledge gained both through the successes and also the challenges and failures that Israel has encountered and overcome. Attendees take what they learn from specific situations in Israel and with a bit of creativity, adapt the ideas and methods to the shifting security environment on their own home fronts.

Leave a Comment