The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) in Israel invited Dr. Paul Burke to attend the 18th Annual High Level International Conference on Terrorism, with the theme this year of “The Art of Counter-Terrorism”. Speakers at this prestigious event came from a wide range of backgrounds, including government ministers, ambassadors, academia, the Armed Forces, law enforcement, the United Nations, NATO, the Prison service and the media. These included distinguished speakers such as the Honourable MK Gilad Erdan (Israeli Minister of Public Security), the Honourable Hans-Georg Engelke (German State Secretary for Security), Baroness Michele Coninsx, (United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director for the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)), Brig. Gen. Dr. Yuval Bitton (Head of the Israel Prison Service Intelligence Division), the Mayor of Herzliya, a host of serving and retired flag-rank Israeli Generals, Commissioner Ian Dyson (City of London Police), Prof. Boaz Ganor (Founder and Executive Director of ICT) and many more.
The discussions this year centred on the complex problem of discovering and analysing solutions to the dilemmas that states face, and struggle to address, in their fight against terrorism. The conference took place over four days of presentations, workshops and discussion groups. Of particular interest was a frank and open panel discussion among a select group of retired military Generals, who openly discussed a number of topics from the kinetic spectrum of counter-terrorism operations through to the need for engaging with civil society as a key partner in negating the draw of violent extremism. This panel included Maj. Gen. Yair Golan (former Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Israel Defense Forces); Brig. Gen. (Res.) Itai Brun (former Head of Research Department, Military Intelligence Directorate, Israel Defense Forces); Mr. Yaakov Peri (former Minister and Knesset member and former Director of the Israel Security Agency (ISA)); Dr. Daphne Richemond-Barak (Head of International Humanitarian Law Desk, ICT); Col. (Ret.) Miri Eisen, (Associate, ICT). The conference provided many opportunities for networking and for sharing common challenges and listening to a wide range of approaches from various countries, bodies and organisation and it highlighted the importance of the research being conducted by the ERC Counter-Terrorism Ethics team.