From 11 tot 14 November the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute is organising the 2th Homeland Security Conference in Tel Aviv. Homeland security is the term used for -often highly militarised- protection against internal treats like terrorism. For the HSC in Tel Aviv, governments and community decision makers from all over the world are strongly invited to participate because, according to the chair of the organising institute: “We live in an age of terror” and “Israel has long experience with terror (…) and expertise acquired over decades of combating internal security and terror threats”. This experience is reflected in the close collaboration between the military and the arms and security industry, where half of the senior employees have a military background. Although other countries also know the phenomenon of the ‘revolving door’ the high level of connection is unique for Israel.
Homeland security is a booming business. According to US government estimates, more than 4000 Israeli companies were exporting security related products in 2007, with a value of $1.2 billion. It is predicted that the global homeland security markets will be growing fast over the next years – from a sum total of $140 billion in 2008, to approximately $254 billion in 2018 and with Israel in the forefront of the technology and tactics, its export volume might increase rapidly.
The Homeland Security Conference will be accompanied by a exhibition where companies of Israel’s homeland security industry will show their “solution areas”. Apart from the big arms companies Elbit and IAI there is a long list of 54 exhibitors which announces companies such as BlueBird Aero systems, a company which offers combat proven Unmanned Areal Systems or drones. BlueBird is helping us prepare for the worst: Its drones are suitable for hazardous areas like earthquake areas or areas subjected to atomic, biological and chemical attacks. And all this the company offers cost-effectively.
Another company offering its services is the Israel Prison Service, the national detention organization of the State of Israel. One can wonder what special services or experience this company will have to offer to the international delegations.
Or ISPRA, global leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing of non lethal devices for riot control, crowd management, anti terror equipment and police gear. ISPRA advertises that it combines technical know-how and practical field experience with a broad range of tear gasses, smoke grenades, launchers and ammunitions and police personal gear such as tactical assault vests. ISPRA also offers consultancy for the best security solutions, again cost-effective, based on operational experience in the governmental as well as the private sectors. Who wants to be advised by experienced controllers of Palestinian ‘riots’ and ‘terrorists’ should definitely visit the HSC.
It would be interesting to know which countries do send delegations to this Homeland Security export show of Israeli repression techniques and technology. The first HSC in 2010 was visited by many government representatives from abroad, including, among others, the ministers of internal security of Italy and Panama. Some countries sent particularly large delegations, including Brazil, whose delegation included 80 people.