Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Nov 2010 22:34 UTC
In the News As none other I know how problematic it is to discuss matters related to politics on the web. However, every now and then, there's no way around it, and this is one of those moments. There's this thing going on at airports in the US, and while many will see it as a separate issue, the body scanner issue, and the sad stories it has spawned, are symptoms of a far larger problem that is a direct threat to everything we've fought for during and since the Enlightenment.
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Tel Aviv
by ngaio on Wed 17th Nov 2010 02:09 UTC
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Have any of you flown out of Tel Aviv airport? When I last did that a few years ago, they strip searched me the old fashioned way. Only the last possible piece of underwear remained. They may also go through every part of your luggage - and I mean every part, very thoroughly, subjecting them to various tests. The whole process takes well over an hour.

Perhaps they do this to me because I have spent time in the West Bank and Gaza (which is no secret) and because of my age, gender and marital status. Of course they profile passengers. Of course I have no idea what is on the files the Israel government keeps on me.

For flights in and out of Israel, the Israeli security services do seize laptops for inspection from people they consider politically suspect, such as activists for self-determination of Tibetans, etc. You may receive the laptop some days after you've arrived at your destination. If it is lost in transit, you may not receive any compensation. They blame the airline and the airline blames the government. You lose. What can you do about it if you're a foreigner? You probably have no rights.

The Israeli government points out they have no had a single plane blown up leaving Tel Aviv. Here they are correct. They have probably also had the chance to get good intelligence on a substantial number of activists, students and other people whom they fear as possible agitators for political change with respect to the respective situations of Israelis and Palestinians.

Personally I am much less concerned with the indignity of being strip searched. What is far more serious, I think, is their practice of seizing laptops. That's an absolute outrage and is an affront to justice and civilized norms.

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