Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union addresses a conference in New York.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
"[Multilateral] collaboration to counter terror has to go up a notch at the intelligence level," MK Tzipi Livni, who is representing Israel at the annual Munich Security Conference, stated on Saturday following a closed discussion she took part in regarding intelligence activities and global terror.
Participating in the discussion, which was held on the second day of the security summit, were CIA senior officials, German Interior Minister Karl Ernst Thomas de Maizière and Jane Harman, a member of the US House of Representatives and the former ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security's intelligence subcommittee.
Following the discussion, Livni made a statement regarding the multilateral efforts to counter terrorism, deeming them insufficient. "The joint battle against terror begins by understanding the joint threats. Unlike local conflicts that every country deals with separately- global terror knows no limits and the Western world has to act against it together."
Speaking about Islamic terrorism, Livni said that "the danger Islamist terror poses as we have seen is that it polarizes countries and bring on a wave of refugees, which evokes fear in the West, changes entire societies and hurts the most fundamental values."
"Knowledge is power and an essential tool and therefore we should join forces between countries in several fields- in the military field as well as in the civilian intelligence field."
Explaining why collaboration on the intelligence front was not as advanced as it should be in her view, Livni went on to say that "the lack of trust and the fact that technological abilities today are not only at the hands of the governments effects the multilateral collaboration as [countries] fear that intelligence information will be exposed or leaked."
Looking forward to future improvement, Livni said that "we have to see how we can increase the collaboration while ensuring that information will be protected- because the radical, religious Islamist terror reaches everywhere and knows no bounds, and every country dealing with it separately is less effective."
Arik Bender contributed to this report.