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View Diary: Ever been through Tel Aviv's airport? (231 comments)

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  •  If you've ever read any of simone daud's (12+ / 0-)

    accounts of his experiences at Ben Gurion, you would know that the experience of Palestinian Israelis, occupied Palestinians and Palestinians from other countries is somewhat different to those of Jews, whether Israeli or non-Israeli.

    •  And how is that different from the U.S. airports? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zannie, unspeakable, hikerbiker

      I don't remember if it was when I was coming home from one of my pilgrimage trips or if it was when I was coming home from one of my research trips, but as the bearer of a U.S. passport, even when coming more or less directly from the Middle East, I have never gotten more than a cursory question or two about where I've been. The Muslim woman in traditional dress in one of the lines I was able to walk briskly past, however, was being given the third degree. I suspect that if I had been dressed in the male counterpart of her attire, I would have been treated similarly.

      Of the four most recent times I've had to re-enter the United States through an airport terminal (half of them before 2001 and half of them after), I don't believe the Customs folks have ever bothered even to look at the declaration forms they require you to fill out on the plane on your way back. I distinctly remember one occasion when the clerk literally pulled it from inside the passport I was holding, stamped it without looking at it, tossed it onto a pile of similar documents, and waved me through the barrier.

      You won't get that kind of cursory wave-through at Ben Gurion. Hell, even at Charles de Gaulle, on my last trip back from France, I got grilled at check-in, had to endure a complete luggage check, the application of about eleventeen dozen stickers to each pocket of my bags and my passport, and then got pulled aside for one of the random searches at the gate at the start of boarding, plus a further quiz on the jetway. (Though since I answered in French on that one, I got through far more quickly than those of my fellow-travelers whose French was either non-existent or less fluent.)

      •  I hope you understand then, (7+ / 0-)

        how it sounds to Arabs who've have to deal with this type of profiling, I include myself in this (it happened in Israel), that the Israeli way is the best way.

        Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

        by unspeakable on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 09:49:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The salient difference being, at Ben Gurion, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          everybody gets questioned, all bags get opened and searched, and nobody gets a wave-through (in my experience). In the U.S., however, most people get a wave-through, hardly any bags get opened and searched, and while everybody gets questioned, the questions are all so generic and so scripted that their probative value is useless--unless you happen to look like you might be from somewhere south of the border or from the Middle East, in which case the assumption seems to be that you are automatically a terrorist or here illegally.

          •  See (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zannie, corvo, sofia, Fire bad tree pretty


            Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

            by unspeakable on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:03:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's just not true. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zannie, Johnny Nucleo, kyril, unspeakable

            First, if you are an Israeli citizen, with a passport, you get a wave through.  If you are an orthodox Jew, or dressed like one, you get a wave through.  Anyone else gets the usual cursory questions.  If you are a woman traveling alone, you get pulled aside for a make up and birth control search.  Unless you get in their faces, in which case you also get a wave through.  I got the full treatment once, never again, from from then on, I was the bitch from hell, and I got a total wave through.  Because you know, no criminal would ever figure that out.

            Republicans want to take our country back; Democrats want to take it forward.

            by DrJeremy on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:44:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is in my experience (0+ / 0-)

              I've never seen anyone get waved through anything at Ben Gurion. Nor did any of the women in our party ever report any kind of a makeup search such as you describe on either of my two trips to Israel. And I find it both counterintuitive and hard to believe that "getting in their faces" is going to get you treated better. It usually works the other way.

      •  Did I say it was or wasn't different? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, corvo, sofia, kyril, hikerbiker

        I was responding to the point hikerbiker made that

        It made no difference to them whether or not I was Jewish.  Rules are rules.

        I just pointed out that it actually does make a difference if you're not Jewish - particuarly if you are Palestinian Israeli non-Jewish.

      •  Weirdest customs experience I've had (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, hikerbiker

        was in Rome. We literally walked through some gate and there was nobody checking us at all. We just waltzed right on through and looked around puzzled.

        It wasn't even just because we had flown from another EU country because when we'd made a transfer in Vienna to get onto the flight to Rome they made us go through customs there, and we'd just come from Munich.

        Starboard Broadside: Firing all guns at the Right since September 2008!

        by Cpt Robespierre on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 10:33:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wanted a stamp on my passport in Rome (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cpt Robespierre

          they didn't want my passport at immigration -- we were flying from Atlanta.  No stamp.

          I haven't flown El Al for 25 years.  But when I did I had a stamp in my passport from Egypt.  They asked a lot of questions, of course.

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