PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Michael Oren, the Israeli Deputy Minister for Diplomacy in the Prime Minster’s Office, spoke with Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about how the Israelis confront terrorism and keep their citizens safe in a region where terror attacks have become commonplace.
Oren said they’ve adopted an all inclusive strategy when it comes to tracking down potential suspects.
“We’ve amassed the greatest experience in fighting terror. We’ve been very successful at it. We have learned that fighting terror is not about putting troops on the street. It’s about intelligence. It’s about community connection building. It is particularly about collecting data from the internet, where people go on Facebook and say things or view certain Facebook pages, a lot of jihadist websites out there. Gotta follow it. Yeah. Sometimes we have to balance the whole question of democracy, free speech with basic security. Years ago, Israel made a conclusion that you can’t have democracy if you’re dead.”
He believes the only way movements like ISIS will be defeated is with viable and stronger alternatives.
“ISIS is an organization. It’s holding territory in Syria and Iraq. You can bomb it. You can roll it back. But, Isis is also an idea. That idea can appear in New Jersey. It can appear in New York. It can appear in Minnesota, Orlando, San Bernardino. You can’t bomb that. You have to have different ways of fighting it. Intelligence is certainly one way, but the best way to beat a terrible idea like ISIS is with a better idea.”
Oren also explained how important data collection can be in preventing deaths related to terrorism.
“Since last October, about 40 Israelis have been killed in what’s known as ‘lone wolf’ attacks. Very often there are Palestinians who wake up in the morning, particularly young people, they’ll take a knife, if they have a gun or a bomb, they can take that. Sometimes they don’t even know until that morning that they themselves are going to be terrorists. So how do you stop something like that? We have almost stopped it. We’ve done it through deep penetration intelligence through data information gathering and stopping the terrorist attack three days or three steps before it actually happens. That requires a change in mentality in so many different ways. It’s also being proactive.”