Connect with us


An opportunity to learn from those who know best: Summer internship at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism in Israel

Instead of taking summer courses at the University of Manitoba this summer, I decided to apply for an internship at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

After living in Israel for almost six years and missing the country terribly (especially the food), I was searching for an excuse to spend an extended period of time in the country.
The International Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT) is an open source think tank, specializing in analysis of terror events, national security, homeland security, national defense, security strategies and more.
It is one of the leading academic institutions for counter-terrorism in the world, facilitating international cooperation in the global struggle against terrorism.
As a student in the Political Studies department at the University of Manitoba, terrorism is a common theme brought up in many of my lectures and most of my term papers have been based on either Middle Eastern security challenges or Canadian counter terrorism efforts. Having served in the IDF during several of its military operations, I gained an appreciation for the people who dedicate their time and effort to better understand why terror events occur and how they might be prevented.
As counter terrorism is a field I would like to pursue professionally, I figured that the ICT would expose me up-close to the world of counter terrorism in a country that has had to, via necessity, become expert in the field.

After being accepted into the program, I was not entirely sure what to expect from the experience. I essentially showed up at the campus where the ICT is housed not fully knowing what I would be doing for the next three months or whom I would be working with. However, after having just completed my first month of the internship I can say that this experience has exceeded my expectations and has been incredibly rewarding.
I sit at a desk in an office with ex-high ranking officers from the top intelligence units in the IDF, along with a former head of the Mossad, and the director of the program, someone who essentially revolutionized the way the world analyzes and bases their counter-terror efforts: Dr. Boaz Ganor.

Every week we have guest speakers,  including a representative of the FBI stationed in Israel and a former head of the Israeli Prison Service. In addition to attending lectures, interns are given a personal project which could be described as a thesis paper. With guidance from my advisor, I began researching and writing my paper,  focusing on the recruitment and radicalization of Somali and other youth in Minnesota and their association to both al-Shabaab (al-Qaida in Somalia) as well as the Islamic State.

Outside of my time spent in the internship program, I have made a concerted effort to acquire a better understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After having lived in the region for almost a third of my life and having taken numerous Middle Eastern political science courses at the University of Manitoba, I continue to expand my understanding of the difficulty in grasping the full complexity of the Israel-Palestinian situation.
In my attempt to appreciate more fully the Palestinian narrative, I have spent time over the last month in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The opportunity to meet and hear stories directly from  Palestinians I met has provided me with a perspective that was lacking in my long held views of the conflict.
As a frequent visitor to Israel and then, as an Israeli citizen, it was far easier for me to avoid going to Palestinian populated areas of the country and to live daily life as if severe problems did not surround me.
However, although challenging, it has now become vitally important for me to hear all sides of the story, whether I agree or not. Perhaps when an attempt is made to gain a holistic picture of the situation, along with the needs, goals and challenges faced by both sides of the conflict, maybe just maybe, peace in Israel can seem possible.

By the time my internship finishes at the end of August, I hope to have my thesis finished with the possibility of being published. As the Institute for Counter Terrorism only publishes only a third of interns’ completed works, this will not be easy to achieve, but I feel that the research that I am doing is fairly innovative and relatively unexplored. It could possibly shed light as to why Minnesota has the highest number of  jihadist fighters who travel to foreign nations to fight in the name of their religion.

I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to experience Israel through the lens of this internship in counter terrorism. It has expanded my knowledge base, my perspective and has further enhanced my appreciation for the complexities and challenges that are today not just facing Israel, but the entire world as well.
For information on ICT’s annual counter terrorism conference (September 2016) that features international representation of leading experts in the field or if you have questions about the ICT or would like to acquire their publications please visit the ICT website at

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


New website for Israelis interested in moving to Canada

By BERNIE BELLAN (May 21, 2024) A new website, titled “Orvrim to Canada” ( has been receiving hundreds of thousands of visits, according to Michal Harel, operator of the website.
In an email sent to Michal explained the reasons for her having started the website:
“In response to the October 7th events, a group of friends and I, all Israeli-Canadian immigrants, came together to launch a new website supporting Israelis relocating to Canada. “Our website,, offers a comprehensive platform featuring:

  • Step-by-step guides for starting the immigration process
  • Settlement support and guidance
  • Community connections and networking opportunities
  • Business relocation assistance and expert advice
  • Personal blog sharing immigrants’ experiences and insights

“With over 200,000 visitors and media coverage from prominent Israeli TV channels and newspapers, our website has already made a significant impact in many lives.”
A quick look at the website shows that it contains a wealth of information, almost all in Hebrew, but with an English version that gives an overview of what the website is all about.
The English version also contains a link to a Jerusalem Post story, published this past February, titled “Tired of war? Canada grants multi-year visas to Israelis” ( That story not only explains the requirements involved for anyone interested in moving to Canada from Israel, it gives a detailed breakdown of the costs one should expect to encounter.

(Updated May 28)

We contacted Ms. Harel to ask whether she’s aware whether there has been an increase in the number of Israelis deciding to emigrate from Israel since October 7. (We want to make clear that we’re not advocating for Israelis to emigrate; we’re simply wanting to learn more about emigration figures – and whether there has been a change in the number of Israelis wanting to leave the country.)
Ms. Harel referred us to a website titled “Globes”:
The website is in Hebrew, but we were able to translate it into English. There is a graph on the website showing both numbers of immigrants to Israel and emigrants.
The graph shows a fairly steady rate of emigration from 2015-2022, hovering in the 40,000 range, then in 2023 there’s a sudden increase in the number of emigrants to 60,000.
According to the website, the increase in emigrants is due more to a change in the methodology that Israel has been using to count immigrants and emigrants than it is to any sudden upsurge in emigration. (Apparently individuals who had formerly been living in Israel but who may have returned to Israel just once a year were being counted as having immigrated back to Israel. Now that they are no longer being counted as immigrants and instead are being treated as emigrants, the numbers have shifted radically.)
Yet, the website adds this warning: “The figures do not take into account the effects of the war, since it is still not possible to identify those who chose to emigrate following it. It is also difficult to estimate what Yalad Yom will produce – on the one hand, anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews and Israelis around the world reminds everyone where the Jewish home is. On the other hand, the bitter truth we discovered in October is that it was precisely in Israel, the safe fortress of the Jewish people, that a massacre took place reminding us of the horrors of the Holocaust. And if that’s not enough, the explosive social atmosphere and the difference in the state budget deficit, which will inevitably lead to a heavy burden of taxes and a reduction in public services, may convince Zionist Israelis that they don’t belong here.”
Thus, as much as many of us would be disappointed to learn that there is now an upsurge in Israelis wanting to move out of the country, once reliable figures begin to be produced for 2024, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that is the case – which helps to explain the tremendous popularity of Ms. Harel’s website.

Continue Reading


Message from a Palestinian in Gaza to protesters: “You’re hurting the Palestinian cause”

Protesters at McGill University

A very brave Palestinian who was willing to put his name to paper and write an article for Newsweek Magazine has exposed the utter hypocrisy of all those students – and others, who have been setting up encampments across the U.S. – and now Canada, too.

You can read the article at

Continue Reading


The Most Expensive Israeli Soccer Transfers

Eran Zahavi

Even if Israel isn’t known as a world soccer power, it has produced plenty of talented players who have made a living in top European leagues. On more than one occasion, an Israeli international has commanded a rather large transfer fee. But who are the most expensive players in Israel’s history? The answer could be a little surprising. We took a look back to find the most expensive Israeli soccer transfers of all time.

Tai Baribo

In 2023, Baribo made the move to MLS, signing with the Philadelphia Union. The reported fee was around $1.5 million, which is one of the highest transfer fees the Union has ever paid for a player.

Omer Atzili

Throughout his career, Atzili has played for a variety of clubs, including stops in Spain and Greece. In 2023, he joined Al Ain in the UAE for a transfer fee of $2.1 million.

Maor Buzaglo

Now retired, Buzaglo was briefly the holder of the richest transfer deal for an Israeli player. After a couple of successful seasons on loan, Maccabi Tel Aviv paid $2.7 million to rival Maccabi Haifa for Buzaglo in 2008.

Dia Saba

Saba made history in 2020 when he joined Al-Nasr, making him the first Israeli player to play for a club in the UAE. At the time, it was a big deal for relations between the two countries. Al-Nasr also paid an impressive $2.9 million transfer fee for the midfielder.

Tal Ben Haim

On multiple occasions, Ben Haim has been sold for more than $1 million. First, there was his move from Hapoel Tel Aviv to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2023 for close to $1.2 million. A few years later, Sparta Prague came calling for him, spending $3.1 million as a transfer fee for the winger.

Itay Shechter

During the prime of his career, Shechter was the type of player who warranted a seven-figure transfer fee. German club Kaiserslautern paid a little over $2.6 million in 2011 to bring Shechter to the Bundesliga from Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Daniel Peretz

When Peretz was sold to Bayern Munich, it wasn’t the most expensive deal involving an Israeli player, although it was arguably the most important. He became the first Israeli Jew to play at Bayern, which is one of the biggest clubs in the world. The transfer fee for Peretz paid by Bayern Munich to Maccabi Tel Aviv was around $5.4 million.

Oscar Gloukh

Gloukh is one of the best young Israeli players right now. He already has three international goals in a dozen appearances to his name. Somehow, Gloukh is already one of the most expensive players in Israel’s history. After coming up with Maccabi Tel Aviv, he moved to Austrian giant Red Bull Salzburg in 2023 for a transfer fee of close to $7.5 million. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him top that number one day.

Liel Abada

Abada has been a part of two huge transfer deals in his young career. In 2021, Scottish club Celtic paid $4.8 million to acquire him from Maccabi Petah Tikva. However, that number was topped in 2024 when Charlotte FC of MLS paid a fee of $8 million for Abada.

With Charlotte FC, Abada competes in North America’s top league, facing teams from both Mexico and Canada. Throughout North America, sports betting has taken off in recent years. That includes betting in Canada, where there is a large collection of trusted sports betting platforms.

Eran Zahavi

To date, Zahavi holds the record for the most expensive transfer fee paid for an Israeli player. It’s fitting for Israel’s former captain and all-time leading scorer. In 2016, Chinese club Guangzhou City paid $12.5 million to get Zahavi from Maccabi Tel Aviv. That record was nearly broken later that year when another Chinese club offered $20 million for Zahavi, who turned it down and stayed with Guangzhou City.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News