‘The bra is a security threat’: Harassment and interrogation at Ben Gurion airport

Israel/Palestine
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ben-gurion-airport

Anonymous is 21 years old and lives in Berkeley, California. Her father is a Jordanian Palestinian and her mother is a British Jew. The following trip took place in September, 2013.

I took a deep breath and looked around at my surroundings. I mostly kept tabs on the other people who I had been in line with. While most went through the baggage scan machine and straight to their ticket desks, the other members with yellow stickers on their luggage like myself had all been cleared after a 10-15 minute bag check with only one or two of their bags being searched. I was the only person left at the checking tables. The thin bald man in the suit came over once again.

“What do you have in your pockets?” he asked me. “My passport, my visa, and my phone” I told him.

“Fine” he said, “she will escort you to security.” He pointed to the young blonde.

I reached for my bags. “No no. They stay here. You go with her.”

“Who will watch my bags?” I asked him. “They will be here. Go with her.”

The blonde woman and I walked through the airport.

“How old are you?” she asked me. “21” I said, “and you?”

“23” she said.

We stopped before a big white door. She swiped her id card and typed in a code. The door unlocked, to which I entered a white room with a baggage x-ray machine and a white table that looked like a dental chair. Curtains hung in the near right corner. She pointed to that corner with a foam chair and metal legs.

“Sit there” she said. I sat.

A young man appeared, he was in a plaid shirt, jeans and a pair of white Adidas. Undercover police for sure. He lurked on the other side of the curtain that the young blonde partially drew. “Stand with your arms at your sides” she gesticulated. I watched the man’s white sneakers stop on the other side of the curtain, facing towards it. I took my shoes off and my phone was placed in a grey tub. I eyed my passport and visa on the shelf in front of me. She did a general pat down and then pulled my pant waist far from my body and checked around between the gap where my underwear and my belt would have been if I had been wearing one. She sighed and told me that I was finished and should take a seat. Somebody else came through the white door on the other side of the curtain and began laughing with the plain-clothed guard. I could tell by the voice and by her black shoes under the curtain that she was a woman. The young blonde woman left with my shoes and my phone in the grey tub. I eyed my passport again on the ledge in front of me and stuck it into my pocket.

“Are your pockets empty?” Another blonde woman came through the gap in the curtains, the undercover guard moved to the table across from the gap and viewed in. I took my passport out again and held it in my hands. “Yes”.

She had large round eyes and appeared older than the first blonde woman who had checked my bags, maybe she was 26-29. Her hair was wavy and limp against her head. My phone beeped again, probably my family calling me to check on why I had not notified them about my status through the airport as we had agreed.

I guessed at the time. It was perhaps around 6:45. I had been in the private security room for roughly a quarter of an hour. “I am the security supervisor here and I have some questions for you” she told me. She asked me again as to the purpose of my trip, to which I gave the same generic answer of Holy Land sights, friends and family visits.

“Who’d you stay with?” I gave some names. “And the addresses?” I gave one address of a friend in Jerusalem who I’d stayed with for a block of time. She questioned me more on the details of the residents in the flat and how I knew them. She asked me why I’d stayed there and how I could be friends with the people who I mentioned. All had Jewish names.

“We just are” I told her. She stared blankly. “Ok…” she paused.

I said nothing, just looked up at her face. “And who paid for this trip?” she demanded. Her tone was hostile and her body language was on edge as she stood above me and looked down at me in my chair. “My mother.”

“Why?”

“So that I could visit the sights, friends and family” I repeated.

“You are going to London now.”

“Yes I am.”

“Why?”

“To visit family.”

“You are always visiting family” she commented in a teasing tone, the corner of her mouth in a slight snarl, “Why is that?”

“Because I am. Any other questions?” I told her flatly.

“What do you do?”

“What do I do?”

“Yes in the USA or wherever you live what do you do.”

“I work. I recently graduated college.” She asked for the details of what I studied and where I worked. I gave her one-word answers.

“What are your family names?” she again demanded.

“T(Palestinian) and N (Jewish).”

“N(Jewish)?”

“Yes N(Jewish).”

“And your other name is T(Palestinian)?”

“That’s right.”

“Your father was born where?”

“Jordan.”

She repeated my name. “That is my name.” She paused, confused.

“You told another security person that you are Jewish but really you’re just a Palestinian.”

“I am both” I told her.

“What do you mean both?”

“I am Jewish and Palestinian. My mother is Jewish and my father is Palestinian, do you want my family names again?”

The undercover guard was still sitting on the table swinging his legs. His face twisted.

“So if you are both, where is your family in Israel?”

“Jaffa and Tel Aviv” I told her. She was frustrated. “But who…you’re going to England?”

“My mother was born in Britain, why I am going to England and who I will see is not relevant. Do you have any other questions?” I asked her.

This was the first emotional rise that she had gotten from me and, though it was mild, I reminded myself to calm down. I did not want to spend any more energy on this process than I had to. The goal is to end this and go. End this process and go. I reminded myself.

She paused. “Ok, were you told to bring anything onto the plane?”

“I am just bringing myself and my luggage”

“Yes but were you told to bring anything with you?”

“I don’t understand your question”

“Were you told to carry something onto, you know, the plane”

“I still don’t understand your question. I am attempting to board this plane in order to leave Israel and I am hopefully bringing myself and my luggage”

“But there is nobody else?”

“No? I am by myself” She turned around to leave.

“Excuse me, what is your name please?” I asked her. “My name?” The guard smirked.

“Yes your name.”

She and the guard exchanged glances. He sniggered. She laughed. “What do you want my name for?”

“You know my name so I would like to know your name.”

“It’s Hilda.”

“Hilda what?”

“Hilda Ma…” She mumbled the rest. “What was your last name again please?”

“I’ll spell it out for you later if you want. Ok?”

“Yes thank you.” She tossed the curtain aside.

I sat in clear view of the guard who exchanged some words and guffaws with Hilda. He raised his eyebrows at her and pointed at me, his tone of voice said, “can you believe that? Who does she think she is?”

Hilda imitated me and they laughed again. She then disappeared to the other side of the room where I lost visual contact with her. The guard watched her speak with the young blonde woman who then reappeared in the curtained area. She pulled the curtains closer together behind her. The white shoes stood on the other side of the curtain, facing towards it. She motioned for me to rise and hold my hands away from my body.

“Are you going to check me again?” I asked. “Yes” she said.

She scanned me with a metal detector, paying close attention to my chest where my underwire was making the machine beep (which anyone who wears a bra can tell you happens routinely in a check with a handheld metal detector). She lifted up my sweat-pant legs and checked around my calves.

“What’s in your hair?” she said, pointing to my poofy bun on top of my head.

“Nothing, it’s just a hair tie” I said. “Ok can you take it off” she told me.

I took my hair down and she sifted through my curls. “You have a lot of hair” she told me.

I put it back up into a bun and said nothing. Then she left through the gap in the curtains.  The man walked to the gap in the curtain and again turned to face me. I sat down and looked at him. His feet were swinging and his eyes mocked me.

The young blonde came back with the same probe, with a flat head and a cotton pad, that she had used to check my luggage earlier that morning. “Ok stand up again” she told me.
“What is that?” I asked her. She looked shyly at me. “This will um go around your chest and your bottom area”

“My bottom?”

“Your waist and yes like that” she said. “For what purpose?”

“To check and then scan into the machine…it’s just your surfaces” she told me.

I withheld a shudder, feeling the situation slowly slipping out of my control. There was no one else in the room, only the four of us, Hilda, the young blonde, the young undercover guard, and myself. Hilda called the guard over to the right hand side of the room. I watched his white Adidas move back and forth as he rocked on the other side of the curtain. The young blonde stuck the flat-headed probe down my shirt and then around my bra. Then she pulled my sweatpants far away from my body and circled the probe around my waist.

“Can you pull your underwear down a little bit please?” she asked me. This was the first time that she had said please and I could tell that she was embarrassed. I stared at the gap in the curtain and pulled the top of my underwear down. I looked her in the face. Her skin was dewy. The woman swept the probe around my body again and then told me to lift my feet off the floor. She checked my soles. I heard my phone beep twice in its grey bin somewhere on my right by the white “dental” chair next to Hilda and the guard. The young blonde avoided my eye contact and left through the door.

About 30 seconds later, Hilda reappeared and swept open the curtains. The guard reappeared with her and moved to stand on my left by the curtain seam.

“Ok so I need to take off your underwear.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yes the machine signaled a problem with your shirt and underwear so you need to take them off”.

The guard stared me down. His eyes were mocking. “You want me to take off my underwear and then do what with them?”

“We will scan them and then you will need to put other ones on.”

“Other ones? I only have what I have on.” On cue the young blonde rolled in my red suitcase and pulled it into the curtain area.

“What did the machine detect exactly?” I pressed. “I can’t tell you that. You just need to remove your underwear and your shirt.”

“And then you want me to change back into them?”

“No you have to check them in with your luggage and wear something else.”

“But I don’t want to wear anything else. My other clothes are dirty.”

“You have to wear something else. The bra is a security threat.”

“My bra is a security threat?”

“Yes and so is your shirt.”

My mind buzzed as my emotions rose. I looked at the guard and he smirked back at me. “This is your punishment for asking Hilda’s name” I told myself.

The young blonde girl looked at me with my suitcase in hand, a surprisingly distressed look on her face. The expression was guilt. Only later did it strike me that the time between the probe test and Hilda’s decision that my underwear threatened security spanned an average of 30 seconds and that this was, most likely, a time too short to have actually checked the cotton pad on the end of the probe and communicated the next sequence of events between Hilda and the young blonde along with the organized retrieval of my suitcase from the terminal.

I unzipped my bag and popped it open. The inside was a mess from the first rummage through it and I had no idea where anything was. I calmed myself down, took deep breaths, reminded myself that this was all a power play with the intention of making me feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar. I fished out another bra from my bag and took the first shirt that I could find. I went into my underwear pocket but Hilda stopped me. “Why don’t you just wear the ones you have?” she said.

“You told me to change my underwear” I responded.

“No you can leave them. I just want your bra and your shirt” she barked at me.

I folded the two articles over my arm. “Give them to me” Hilda demanded. “I need to scan these before you put them on.” I handed them over to her while the guard watched. She disappeared, I don’t remember what she did. I was busy watching the young blonde woman who looked as uncomfortable as I felt. Hilda handed me my bra and shirt. I stared at the guard. Hilda caught my eye, “you have to change clothes now. No one will see you.” She left and drew the curtains behind her.

For the first time since I entered the airport, I was alone. I watched the guard’s white shoes, pointed towards the curtains. For good measure, I faced the wall and placed my passport in my pocket. I changed my clothes and replaced them with the ones from my bag. I went to my bag to fold them back in when Hilda pulled back the curtains.

“No don’t pack them yet I need to test them!” she barked.

“You already checked them. That’s why we are going through this process, correct?”

“I will check them again.”

I passed them to her right past the guard’s body. He had stepped very close to Hilda and myself. As I passed my clothing to Hilda, he stared down at the bra in my hand and then back up at me. I stood there. I took deep breaths. My eyes dared him to utter a word. He didn’t, he just stared at me.

The young blonde called me back to the other side of the curtains and closed them behind me. My whole body was vibrating with anger. She checked around my body with a metal detector for the second time. The young woman patted down my top yet again. My throat constricted and I could feel angry tears welling up somewhere inside me. I swallowed my feelings. I buried them. I reminded myself of my goal in this very moment and of the stubborn character that my family was so well known for. I made a pact with myself that I would not give them the emotional response they were pressing for. I would not let them compromise my dignity. “Focus” I told myself. “Just focus.”

Hilda brought my shirt and bra back from wherever she had taken them and I packed them into my chaotic suitcase. As Hilda and the guard joked and laughed together, the young blonde approached me. “This is all protocol you know” she whispered at my side.

“Oh really? This is protocol?” I said slowly. I looked her in the eye and she looked down at her feet. I hoped that she was ashamed of this process, ashamed of the actions that had been deemed “appropriate”, realized that she was a pawn in all of this but no less guilty in carrying out the policy of racial and specific group targeting that this whole experience was built upon.

The end of the process was sudden. The whole thing was surreal actually. Hilda left the room in one swift movement. The door slammed behind her. The guard kept tabs on me with the young blonde at my side. I closed my bag and pulled it to standing.

“You can put your shoes on” the young blonde said.

I looked around. “Ok, can I have my shoes please?”

“Oh yeah.” She brought me the grey bin with my phone and shoes and I slipped them on.

The girl pointed me towards the door and we walked through, the plain clothed guard disappeared into the hallway behind us. I did not see him again.

The girl and I walked back together, alone. “You know…” she began “I’ve been working here for 1.5 years and I have never seen them do something like that.”

“Do something like what?” I asked. She looked up at me with a crease in her forehead, “make someone take off their bra…”

“I hope it’s the last time” I told her. She looked ahead into the terminal. We stopped talking.

We reentered the large room that I had first had my bags checked through, the glass doors to the outside of the airport shone with the bright light of the sun. It was now morning. I smiled to myself that I had finished the process. “I get to leave now”, I thought to myself. My eyes adjusted to the light in the terminal where I clearly saw about 6-8 security guards rummaging through the complete contents of both of my carryon bags that now lay limp on the floor. Stuff inside grey bins, outside grey bins, on the conveyor belt, across on other tables; my things were strewn absolutely everywhere. It was chaos.

I appeared before the tables, covered in my things, as the plastic gloved hands continued the sifting process. Everything was separated and individually run through the little metal detector behind me.

A stern, balding, reddish haired man with a black kippah stood there with an earpiece on one side. His arms were crossed and by the way that the skinny bald man stood next to him and all the guards checked in with his appraising gaze, I could tell that he was the boss of this particular operation. Hilda had disappeared completely. She was nowhere in sight. I said nothing about the bags. I just breathed. “Excuse me”, I called to the skinny bald man, “What was the woman’s name who checked me in the security room?”

The man looked at me, “You mean Hilda?”

“Yes Hilda” I responded.

The man with the kippah turned his glance towards me. “What is her full name?” I asked.

The bald man opened his mouth to answer but first turned his attention to his superior. “We don’t give last names” the man with the kippah asserted. “I doubt that”, I thought to myself.

“Ok what is her title then please?”

“Hilda, Security Supervisor.” A woman with a clipboard appeared between us and asked the skinny man who I was. He pointed to my name on a short list, which she then highlighted in yellow and pink. The skinny man looked at me, “You will make your flight.”


A young woman beckoned me to her box, I’m next. She opened my passport and stared down at the page. She stutters my first name. “Yes?”

“Ra…Ra…” I pronounce the rest of it for her. “What was the purpose of your visit?” I let out the same monotonous answer I had uttered all morning.

“You have friends and family here?” she asked. “Yes.”

“Ok where are they?”

“Tel Aviv and Jaffa” I said. She paused and cocked her eyebrows. “That’s the same place.”

“No no, I said Tel Aviv and Jaffa” I told her, thinking she had not heard me correctly. “Yes that’s the same place.” What she was implying hit me.

All morning I had been mistreated, combed out of the crowd and profiled, my time wasted and my dignity subsequently stepped all over without a second thought. I had been treated like a criminal for having an identity that I was born into, told explicitly in each of these actions that I did not belong here and had no place here at all as a person with Palestinian heritage. Harassed and picked out from the rest because of my name, my history, the assumptions that go with them, and my very intention to visit my family, many of who cannot visit me in the USA.

Here I was being told by a girl in uniform, very close to my age, that my town had no existence in the present, even as I had just left from it hours before arriving at the airport. The whole morning’s exchange culminated at this moment as a burning ember in my stomach. It was emblematic of the constant reminder that we Palestinians are being systematically forgotten and erased from public consciousness in every sphere of life, delegitimizing every root that we are attached to inside and outside of the Israeli state.

Tel Aviv, some of it built on two prominent neighborhoods of my town, much of the rest built upon the orange groves that sustained it, was swallowing up my very presence, right there in the middle of the airport. I realized that, to this girl I was already a disappeared part of “history”, excluded from her general consciousness, not even present in her own imagination of the past.

Yet here she was, looking right at me. I wanted to show her, to figuratively reach behind her glass case, that I was not a shadow of the things that were but a glimmer of the present and future of what is and what can be.

“They are not the same place” I tell her “One is north and one is south. One is a city and one is a town.”

“No, you were in one place. The name of the city is Tel Aviv – Yafo. Not Yafo. Same place.” She handed me back my passport and stared at me, annoyed.

“It is not the same place” I told her. “Is that all?”

“Yeah. Go.”

I hurried to my gate, through the final check and into the airport lounge area. I decided that the plane would not leave without me, from the beginning the airline had been notified about my ensured tardiness. I stopped at a candy and snack store on my way to the gate and chose a bottle of water. I brought it up to the woman at the desk. “Passport and boarding ticket please” she told me. I handed both to her. She looked me up in the computer in front of her. Her eyes fixed on me. “How long have you been in Israel and what is your final destination?” I was incredulous. I was being asked security questions by a candy vendor.

“Excuse me, I’ve already passed through security. How much are those tic-tacs please?” I grabbed the box next to me. She told me the total and I paid. She asked no more questions. I took my boarding materials from the counter. As I turned around, I noticed two plain clothed men with shaved heads watching me from their seats at the fountain. They had no baggage. I guessed who they were. I moved past them and walked briskly to my gate. I kiss the necklace around my neck as an act of gratitude and I know that I will be back. I also know that it will not be easy. It never is.

I hope that one day this story becomes a fairy tale of what was once the Occupation, in all of its arbitrary character and continual perpetuation of inequality, injustice, and illusion. For now, this experience as described above is just a minor example of the humiliation and daily challenges that Palestinians face on a regular basis when trying to cross checkpoints inside and outside of the West Bank and Gaza. It is just a minor example of the racial profiling that Palestinians with Israeli passports or Jerusalem ID cards go through on a regular basis when walking down the street or applying for a job. It is just a minor example of how the Occupation divides the Palestinian population into all of our different “statuses” and privileges while combining us all together into one essentializing package. It is an example of a situation where the oppression of certain groups of people has been completely normalized by the international community.

If we can start anywhere in deconstructing this Occupation, literally taking it apart, we can start by educating ourselves and our communities. I implore those who read this to learn about the history of Palestine, to learn about recent events on the ground, to talk to as many people as they can, to be curious and ask questions, to look at displays of military power and question the motives of those governments who support them.

Throughout all of this, please remember, that this is not a historical issue, it is a human one.

Peace, Justice and Dignity.

No Responses Yet

  1. gloriousbach
    October 13, 2013, 10:04 am

    What courage and psychic energy to have endured the ordeal. Although writing about the excruciating experience may not have been as difficult as living it, your narrative is stunningly brave and deeply appreciated. Immense thanks.

  2. seafoid
    October 13, 2013, 10:36 am

    It is based on the notion you are not welcome. F@#$ off and don’t come back. Shalom in other words.

    It is part of why Israel is so dysfunctional, why Israelis will never feel secure and why Zionism is permanently at war. Israelis have to live in a vacuum and have to feel everyone hates them. Birthright zionism is paranoia.

    • Abierno
      October 13, 2013, 2:28 pm

      The dysfunction here described is far from reflecting “dysfunction” – this incident, described in detail, reflects a sexualized humiliation and degredation that has significant voyeuristic and sadistic overtones. I believe I have seen reports of other such incidents on the web as well as a You Tube of a male IOF officer sexually harassing a blindfolded Palestinian woman. One would question whether these reflect an institutionalized pathology.

      • asherpat
        October 14, 2013, 1:40 pm

        @Albierno, regarding sexual harassment of a Palestinian woman, don’t you know that Israeli soldiers are so racists that they are not raping Palestinian women, cos they don’t see them as human!

        link to israelnationalnews.com

        That’s not difficult to see, Israel is evil either way!

    • Mayhem
      October 13, 2013, 7:12 pm

      Israel is so dysfunctional

      @seafoid, you only wish. I think its Arab neighbours have been demonstrating the true epitome of dysfunctionality for decades. The US is having a good shot at winning the 2013 award with its current debt crisis. Israel is chugging along quite nicely. When was the last time there was a terror incident on a plane flying to or from Israel? Or at an Israeli airport?

      • seafoid
        October 14, 2013, 11:23 am

        Israel is successful like chechnya is normal. peace justice decency are all absent.

      • talknic
        October 14, 2013, 12:42 pm

        Mayhem “Israel is chugging along quite nicely”

        For a pariah state in breach of International Law, the UN Charter and hundreds of UNSC resolutions Now with so many illegal facts on the ground it can’t afford to adhere to the law without being sent bankrupt, protected only by the US UNSC veto vote

        “When was the last time there was a terror incident on a plane flying to or from Israel? Or at an Israeli airport?”

        When was there one on a plane flying to or from New Zealand? Or at a New Zealand airport? They don’t use any of the draconian measures Israel employs.

      • miriam6
        October 14, 2013, 4:11 pm

        talknic@:

        Get real. You know perfectly well many airlines since 9/11 have practiced pretty draconian security measures.

        No bottles containing more than 100ml of liquid allowed in luggage on British flights to the US for example. Even party poppers are banned as a possible security risk !
        link to heathrow-airport-guide.co.uk

        And you are forgetting about at least two plots to blow up passenger planes since 9/11.

        ‘Underwear bomber’ Abdulmutallab pleads guilty

        Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
        Says it was behind an attempt to blow up US passenger jet in December 2009

        link to bbc.co.uk

        A TERRORIST plot to blow up an American airliner timed to coincide with this month’s London Olympics has been uncovered by security agencies.

        link to news.com.au

        As it is the fanatical Tea Party Republicans in America are the ones posing the greatest threat to world peace and security at this moment.

      • seafoid
        October 15, 2013, 4:52 pm

        Heathrow has special interrogation procedures for jews. So does schiphol. You can never have enough security.

      • miriam6
        October 15, 2013, 5:57 pm

        Heathrow has special interrogation procedures for jews. So does schiphol. You can never have enough security.

        Sarcasm does not help.

        Anyway – a lot of security has become necessary as a result of the way the Americans chose to overreact in the wake of 9/11.

        The 7/7 bombings and the Madrid bombings would not have happened without the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

      • talknic
        October 16, 2013, 6:05 pm

        @miriam6 LOL another fail

        No I have not forgotten and; I cannot find ANY examples of the draconian harassment described in the article anywhere else in the world

      • talknic
        October 16, 2013, 6:08 pm

        @ miriam6

        a lot of security has become necessary as a result of the way the Americans chose to overreact in the wake of 9/11

        Harassment is a security measure?

  3. seafoid
    October 13, 2013, 10:53 am

    It will never be exclusively jewish land. Their aggression and ignorance emphasise the point. If they were confident about their right to the land they would be open and welcoming but they can’t be. They know how fragile their myths are. The airport process is about insecurity rather than security.

    • davelight01
      October 13, 2013, 11:51 am

      Concise, excellent summary statement Seafoid!

    • bintbiba
      October 13, 2013, 12:48 pm

      Goose pimples and tears… What a tragedy and disaster…. from a truly artistic, brilliant, rational, talented , individuals, they have turned themselves into crude ,rude, and pathetic people. But there do remain some sublimely wonderful exceptions!

      “They know how fragile their myths are. The airport process is about insecurity not security” . So very well said, seafoid.

      • seafoid
        October 13, 2013, 1:49 pm

        11 million people only half of them jewish and they make sure there is only one international airport (atarot is closed and gaza was destroyed) and that it is run by and for the exclusive benefit of sneetches.

      • seafoid
        October 15, 2013, 4:51 am

        What I like about this site, bintbiba, is all the material from the Jewish pov.
        I was in a taxi once from the airport to East Jerusalem and it was one of those sheruts where they have lots of different passengers. And we ended up in the settlements – Gilo I think- and someone got out. And I remember thinking how criminal that person was to live in a settlement. And nobody said anything. Like it was no different to living in Israel.

        Same sort of feeling walking around Beit Jala looking over at Jebel Abu Ghneim one day wondering what kind of society could legalise such theft. It has all been internalized. Sometimes it seemed too late. I spoke once to an old man in Nazareth who told me Palestine was dead. But I wasn’t sure. The memes worked on him. But they have to keep on working.

        And reading all of the stuff on here- Israel is the sick party. It is not a normal country. It will never be.
        And justice will come.

    • miriam6
      October 14, 2013, 2:15 pm

      seafoid@;

      Their aggression and ignorance emphasise the point. If they were confident about their right to the land they would be open and welcoming but they can’t be. They know how fragile their myths are. The airport process is about insecurity rather than security.

      There goes seafoid B.S pseudo – analysing the Israeli psyche yet again.
      No, – it is mostly security concerns for the Israelis.

      Israelis just don’t fancy getting blown up by terrorist bombs seafoid !
      Fancy that! How dare those Israelis take measures to prevent such things!
      Who knows how many terrorist attacks the Israeli security measures may have prevented?
      It would be better for visitors to endure such security rather than have lax security and be caught up in a terrorist attack.
      Also- Americans are pretty tough with their security too let’s not forget.

      As it is – the experience of our ‘anonymous’ witness to the difficulties of getting through Israeli security makes clear she got off very lightly compared to the fate of those foreign visitors to Egypt recently..

      American Found Hanged In Egyptian Police Cell. Officials say retired Army officer James Henry committed suicide in his cell after being held in Ismailia for more than six weeks..

      On Friday, two Canadians who had been held in an Egyptian jail after being detained while on their way to Gaza to make a film about Palestinian doctors, revealed they had been badly beaten in prison.

      link to news.sky.com

      • seafoid
        October 15, 2013, 4:30 am

        Insecurity, Miriam, and neediness.

        Zionists are so needy

        ” Look at us! Please give us money! Give us your veto! Send us weapons ! Of course, we can’t pay for anything . We are special ! ”
        And then “Fuck you”. Repeat ad nauseum.

      • heartbeatt
        October 15, 2013, 6:20 am

        dear Miriam, thank you once again. We are all aware of how badly Egyptians and others are beaten and we know how badly Palestinians are beaten by Israelis. So, your endless comparisons, denial and talk of ‘security’ is tiring, fruitless and actually rather horrifying…”she got off very lightly compared…”.
        If Israel had not created a ‘security’ problem, they would not have one. Full stop. If Zionists had not blown up British and Palestinians and erased Palestinian villages for a ‘right’ that is rejected by the rest of the world, we would not have had to bear the chaos in the Middle East that this has caused. Yes, I blame Israel and the might exerted by the US to keep it alive in good part for this chaos. Deposing democratically elected leaders and artificially implanting unwanted states creates chaos and dissension.
        Amira Hass and others have spoken so eloquently on the right to resistance and the right to security. The vast majority of Palestinians are not interested in blowing up Israelis. In fact, they wish to be self-determining and live in peace, bring up their children in freedom on their land and if their neighbours behave like decent human beings, live with them too. But if they are crushed, humiliated and every detail of their lives determined by a brutal occupying force, there will be some who seek revenge. It may be hard to imagine if you have been conditioned to think otherwise, but it is worth looking at historical material that clearly shows you are on an invented track.
        Go out and get to know some more Palestinians instead of using ‘security’ as an excuse. Give them security.

      • eljay
        October 15, 2013, 7:46 am

        >> Israelis just don’t fancy getting blown up by terrorist bombs …

        …and yet, for some mysterious reason, the supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel absolutely refuses, among other things, to:
        - end its 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder;
        - withdraw to within its / Partition borders;
        - honour its obligations under international law;
        - enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

        Aggressor-victimhood is a tough gig, but Zio-supremacists can’t seem to stop – or don’t seem to want to stop – playing it.

      • seafoid
        October 15, 2013, 4:54 pm

        Pathological narcissism.

      • miriam6
        October 15, 2013, 5:52 pm

        Not wanting to get blown up counts as Pathological narcissism.?!?

        What about security at American airports and tourist sites?

      • seafoid
        October 16, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Do americans deny entry to religious groups en masse? No, judistan does. Pathological narcissism. Israeli airport security is about pretending the land has always been and will always be exclusively jewish.

      • talknic
        October 16, 2013, 6:15 pm

        @ miriam6 “Not wanting to get blown up counts as Pathological narcissism.?!?”

        No. Unnecessary harassment IS

        “What about security at American airports and tourist sites?”

        What about it. Do they harass unnecessarily.

      • Keith
        October 15, 2013, 5:16 pm

        MIRIAM6- “No, – it is mostly security concerns for the Israelis.”

        No, it is mostly intentional harassment. Is there more than one person commenting under the “miriam6” handle? A week or so ago, you made a couple of decent comments not in keeping with your standard fare. Now, you seem to have returned to form. Pity.

      • Cliff
        October 16, 2013, 3:35 pm

        All the Zio-trolls have rotating shifts.

      • miriam6
        October 16, 2013, 6:29 pm

        Keith@;

        Well – I do not believe I was condoning the ‘harassment’ as you call.
        For one thing – I simply pointed out in one of my comments on this thread- in the interests of balance – that if the claims of beatings suffered by those two Canadians held without trial in Egypt were true – then arguably visitors to Egypt have come off far the worse than this ‘anonymous’ visitor to Israel/Palestine.
        One American held in detention in Egypt for six weeks apparently killed himself earlier on in the week. Who knows- he may have suffered ‘harassment’ going through Israeli security but I would bet he would still be alive..

        link to news.sky.com

        Anyway for a more nuanced critique of Israel’s security obsession’s;

        link to spiked-online.com
        link to danielbenami.com

      • heartbeatt
        October 17, 2013, 6:47 am

        The problem is, these comparisons and attempts to equivalate are useless. They are practised by Israelis and supporters or apologists constantly. A great way to detract from the matter at hand. We should really concentrate on the fact that this woman was treated in such an abominable way. Basta.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 17, 2013, 8:49 am

        That’s a strawman argument, miriam. You’re picking two dissimilar things and comparing them.

        “Anyway for a more nuanced critique of Israel’s security obsession’s;”

        “Nuanced”… is that the word you use in place of “half-willing to accept the zionists’ crazy racism”?

      • Keith
        October 17, 2013, 11:17 am

        MIRIAM6- “For one thing – I simply pointed out in one of my comments on this thread- in the interests of balance – that if the claims of beatings suffered by those two Canadians held without trial in Egypt were true – then arguably visitors to Egypt have come off far the worse than this ‘anonymous’ visitor to Israel/Palestine.”

        Yes, thank you for pointing out that now that Israel’s friend and ally General El Sisi has taken over the government of Egypt, things have taken a sharp turn for the worse.

  4. eljay
    October 13, 2013, 11:01 am

    Mmmm…the sickly-sweet smell of supremacist “Jewish State”.

  5. eGuard
    October 13, 2013, 11:10 am

    I wonder, what if she missed the plane? Would she need to buy another ticket, is there any cooperation from the airline?

  6. Taxi
    October 13, 2013, 11:20 am

    Bra nazis.

  7. heartbeatt
    October 13, 2013, 11:27 am

    Thank you for writing about your ordeal. Every day more people learn about Israel and the sickness that pervades the land.
    If you compare what human beings are capable of, Hilda could easily have been a guard at a concentration camp and the young blond a German during the Nazi era, ashamed, yet complicit in inhumane behaviour. The tragedy is, that in every era people repeat the past in different forms using different justification.
    I blame the Israeli government, parents, fundamentalist religious groups and the education system for turning innocent and fundamentally decent children into hateful, hating, fearful, racist beings.

  8. davelight01
    October 13, 2013, 11:50 am

    I am so disgusted by the treatment of Palestinians by airport security at Ben Gurion.

    Is this account a lie? Some Jewish activists claim that Mondoweiss cannot be trusted. That seems to be the typical response to any reports of the crimes of their Israeli government. Always back to their “homeland” story. There is NO homeland story that justifies the mistreatment of the Palestinians by the Jews. No wonder Netanjahu is despised the world over. Israel brings judgment upon itself. And then blames their fear-based tactics on everyone that is out to get them. To Netanjahu: Quit pissing-off the world and you won’t need to fear being attacked.

    I am NOT attacking the Jews. Mondoweiss is not attacking the Jews. We are disgusted by your government’s continual efforts to persecute non-Jews, especially Palestinians. Grow up and take responsibility for your actions and unsavory beliefs that you “deserve” to own the Middle-East.

    Make peace and you will survive and prosper. Continue your deplorable ethnic cleansing practices and you will most likely be destroyed by a world that finally says “enough” in a unified voice. May God open your eyes so that you can “see” the harrassment and atrocities for what they are.

    The Jewish people are 15 million people in the world. This is 1 in 500 people. You should learn to live at peace with the rest of the world. What if the Swedish people decided to take back Norway, their “homeland”? Not likely since they have learned the way of peace. Ask them to help you understand how to become peaceful without relying on super allies like the US.

    That said, Mondoweiss and any others that you might label “anti-whatever”, do not hate the Jews. We do not hate Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Republicans or Democrats or anyone! What we DO hate is religious or political extremism that results in injury and pain to any person or people that is out of favor with the oppressive regime of a non-world-power, or a world-power. Israel is not the only oppressor in the world of course.

    Oppression of those deemed to be of “weaker or inferior class” is world-wide. It must stop or the world will stop and then restart painfully. ISRAEL – be a world leader in peace! The majority of the world’s Jews are not militant “Zionists”. As always, it is the extreme minority that throws the world into chaos and suffering. Around the world, extreme Christians, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, etc. are bringing millions to their knees in pain.

    Who will bring peace and begin the end to harassment of Palestinian travelers and the end to torture and killing of innocent people around the world?

    May love, light and peace prevail soon!

  9. Shunra
    October 13, 2013, 12:48 pm

    I put a link to this story on Twitter, both in English and in Hebrew.
    The Hebrew tweet drew a comment from a woman who made the following claims:
    1 – She used to work at that job.
    2 – If you’re not used to it, it’s humiliating – but it’s actually normal
    3 – The same thing was done to her in the U.S.
    4 – The instructions come from the Shabak, not the employees, and there’s no point in getting angry at the individual harassers.
    5 – “The bad guys are the reason the good guys are investigated like this”
    6 – The instruction came from above, from the state.
    7 – “It’s such a pity that the party who’s really responsible is not criticized, and instead there’s a legitimation of wild attacks on children-after-the-army-service who are basicallyu working hard.”
    8 – “It protects us, too. I saw things that cannot be discussed.”
    and when I challenged her on item 8, she added:
    9 – “That’s how it is when I can’t speak openly.” and
    10 – That she’s not a monster, did not herself engage in any ethnic cleansing, and always treated people respectfully when she worked there.

    She was *very* upset when I told her that “trust me, I’ve seen horrible things that I can’t tell you about” only persuaded me that she thought I’m a stupid. It was apparently a very rude thing to say, and she felt personally attacked. (Meanwhile, she appeared to expect consideration for “children” after their military work – which is fully dedicated to maintaining and increasing an ethnic cleansing.)

    Just a random meeting with a random Israeli – who thinks I should trust her over my misguided impressions of reality.

    • Elliot
      October 13, 2013, 3:35 pm

      Dear Shunra (the “cat”?)
      “She was *very* upset …”
      You mean you didn’t take the word of Israel’s youngest and bravest at face value?! Shame on you, you self-hating Israeli, you!

      • Shunra
        October 13, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Well, yes, she (mistakenly) thought me to be a Jew and an Israeli, while I am neither.

        But even though I’m neither, I don’t hate Israelis (or Jews). I think Israel’s government is a disaster and a tragedy, but individual Israelis are terribly hurt and damaged by it, perhaps less obviously than Palestinians, but very tangibly.

      • Pamela Olson
        October 13, 2013, 11:26 pm

        Not Israel’s government — Israel’s governmentS. Every one since 1967 has built more settlements and supported more brainwashing. Their myths couldn’t survive otherwise, and their discriminatory, oppressive state (not to mention the occupation regime) couldn’t survive without the myths. (Arguably their myths could have lived longer without the settlements, but we’ll never know.)

      • Shunra
        October 14, 2013, 12:07 am

        To be fully inclusive: Israel’s entire Zionist movement, from the get-go, are what I have a huge problem with.
        But not specifically the individual humans who were born or conned into Israel.

        As to the survival of the myths – the Jewish religion has raised that to an art form. Myths appear out of nowhere and are cherished for generations. Zionism adopted the myth-maintaining practices, expecting to rid itself of (some of?) the inconvenient aspects of the religion. I don’t think that’s worked out quite as the originators expected it to.

      • ziusudra
        October 14, 2013, 4:34 am

        Greetings Shunra,
        …..Israel’s entire Zionist movement….
        ….But not the People…individual humans….born…into Israel……

        It was ne’er the People of Israel,
        It was ne’er the People of Germany,
        It was ne’er the People of the DDR,
        It was ne’er the People of the USA,
        etc. etc. etc.
        As the comrades of Ulysseus excaped the Cyclops,
        they fled by boat, braved the waves, frozen, hungary,
        landed, ate, slept & only then, in the morning,
        - did they mourn their dead-!
        It is us, it is the nature of Mankind.
        The People of Germany, DDR, USA are still there;
        so will the Israelis be after Zionism.
        Hence, like the herd of Zebras taking note of one of
        theirs being eaten by lions, not fully understanding
        will return to grazing shortly there after.
        It is us, it is the nature of Mankind.
        Our altruistic emotions only appear after our security
        individually or collectively.
        After Zionism, like Nazism or Totalitarianism disappear,
        the same People, all people awake out of a daze & go on grazing.
        ziusudra

      • Theo
        October 14, 2013, 8:42 am

        ziu, my dear

        They were not hungary, but HUNGRY, Hungary is a country.

      • Shunra
        October 14, 2013, 10:36 am

        That’s a wonderfully hopeful perspective (although, considering your screen name, I think of how easily Gilgamesh persuaded the young and alienated to go sack a city over an imagined insult and despair: another crop of hot-headed youngsters with a drive for adventure and nothing to lose will be ready in the spring. Every spring. And by the time they go through what it takes to meet up with your namesake, many new crops have come up and done their damage.)

      • amigo
        October 14, 2013, 10:44 am

        “But even though I’m neither, I don’t hate Israelis (or Jews). I think Israel’s government is a disaster and a tragedy, but individual Israelis are terribly hurt and damaged by it, perhaps less obviously than Palestinians, but very tangibly.”Shunra

        Hello Shunra.One salient point to remember before you feel too much empathy for Israel,s Jews.They elect their leaders.They get what they ask for and seem to be all in all , okay with Israel,s actions.

        Why else would the country keep moving further to the right.

      • Shunra
        October 15, 2013, 10:01 am

        Correct – and I still don’t carry a blanket hatred for Israeli Jews, as individuals.
        It seemed important to mention that because there’s always some fool who pops up when I say what I do about Israel and claims that I hate all Israelis – which is disturbing and untrue.
        Your comment is basically the flip side of that: you want to be sure I have *no* empathy for anyone, as long as they are Israeli. And that, too, is disturbing.

        It is my fortune or misfortune to have love for individuals on all sides of the situation. I can’t hope for the utter destruction of anyone. What I hope for is change. Which is why I support BDS, and hope it will swiftly work to push Israel *out* of its current, disastrous, war-bound course and into a reorganization which will make it lose the Jewish-supremacism and distribute resources (land, water, electromagnetic spectrum, political power) equitably among all the people who live there or were forced out.

        Sadly, at the rate things are going, Israel is much more likely to push things to a terrible, bloody war.

  10. Theo
    October 13, 2013, 1:05 pm

    And we should not forget that she, according to jewish laws, is jewish after having a jewish mother.
    Are those crazy zionists getting imbecile and go after their own?

    • eGuard
      October 13, 2013, 10:00 pm

      Theo: yes we should forget. The point is that she should not be discriminated for religion or parents.

      • Theo
        October 14, 2013, 8:36 am

        eGuard

        You misunderstood my point.
        I ment to say that when we consider this case we must take into account that she herself is jewish. Nothing else.

    • ziusudra
      October 14, 2013, 4:42 am

      Greetings Theo,
      …..Are those crazy zionists…… and go after their own?….
      Pssst, Theo. Check out how the vile priveledged squtter
      settlers treat other Israelis!
      Fiendish Menachim Begin knew what he was doing by
      propping up one group to control another.
      Welcome to 1984 & Brave new World.
      ziusudra
      PS So much easier to control you, my dear!

  11. Mndwss
    October 13, 2013, 1:32 pm

    Is Hilda a nazi?

    Why does she call herself Hilda?

    Is Hilda a name that is normal for a young girl in Israel?

    • Theo
      October 17, 2013, 10:44 am

      Mndwss

      “Is Hilda a nazi”?

      Why, do you think people with german names are all nazis, with the name Ivan or Boris all communist and with Giovanni all mafiosi, and with Manual do you think on hard labor?

  12. Justpassingby
    October 13, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Let them keep on, the more crazy they appear the more people will realize what kind of crazy regime this really is.

    • heartbeatt
      October 13, 2013, 3:43 pm

      No. Maybe not a common name but it should not be a subject for debate, just her behaviour.

  13. Elliot
    October 13, 2013, 3:27 pm

    Thank you for documenting your hard experience at Ben Gurion airport. You have a gift and your description is powerful and important. Please write more and stay strong.

    What struck me was how these brutalizing experiences are important for the formation of young Israelis. Participating in these humiliating tactics, under the careful tutelage of senior colleagues, conditions you to becoming part of the system yourself.

    The story illustrates among other things the role of social pressure in enforcing Israeli racism and mental barriers. A couple of years ago I was visiting Israel with my wife and we had to pay a visit to the ER. The young Israeli Jewish doctor asked me where I was staying and I answered matter-of-factly with the address of a local convent which has a B&B. She raised her eyebrows and repeated the address in a mocking tone and added: “really?!” (Be’emet in Hebrew). I was being censured as an Israeli for staying over there.

  14. W.Jones
    October 13, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing, dear writer. Many you continue to write and not be intimidated from writing.

  15. Taxi
    October 14, 2013, 12:39 am

    Israeli intelligence has determined that the impressively advanced Palestinian Military Complex has now developed a nano-sized suicide belt that fits neatly inside the cup of a bra. All female passengers, especially ones with ‘suspicious’ names, must be strip-searched to insure that no bomb has been stuffed between their jugs.

    • ziusudra
      October 14, 2013, 4:52 am

      Greetings Taxi,
      …. between their jugs…….
      Hey, Taxi don’t tickle me so early in the morn’.
      Love your Postings.
      ziusudra

  16. Sammar
    October 14, 2013, 2:49 am

    The same thing happened to me at the Allenby Bridge entering Israel. I am neither Arab nor Jewish. But I had been in Israel/Palestine several times before to provide humanitarian help for Palestinians.
    I was kept there for 7 hours, questioned twice by security ( Shin Bet?). I was strip-searched three times, although after the first time I had been under constant surveillance by security personnel. My luggage was also checked piece by piece with that little cloth-thing that they run through a machine to check for explosives. My things were thrown on the floor at times and at the end stuffed back in my bag in total disarray.

    I think they didn’t make me take off my bra and underwear because when they took me for a body search for the third time I offered to undress completely and they could check all my clothes to their hearts’ content. I told the woman who was taking me that I did not want to feel anyone’s hands on my body anymore. I guess the fact that I am of advanced age and that they would have to look at my sagging, naked body scared them and there were no more strip searches after that.

    I was fingerprinted and photographed before being taken to interrogation. The guy had a file on his desk with a few pages with parts highlighted in yellow. No idea if the file was really on me or just meant to scare me. He asked about my ancestry. Sorry, not a single Arab or Muslim in there. He wanted to names of my children and where they lived and what they did for a living. He asked about the purpose of my trip. To visit friends. Where do they live? I told him some lived in West Jerusalem, and some in East Jerusalem. That seemed to make him angry and he raised his voice:
    “There is not East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem, there is Yerushalyim and its all ours.” That is what he said, literally.
    Anyone having crossed the Israeli border before does indeed learn that it is better not to antagonize and to just bear it and get through. So I told him I was sorry, I was speaking geographically. Like in the US they have the West Coast and the East Coast. He grunted and relaxed a bit.

    Anyway, at the end of the ordeal, when they finally decided that they would let me pass, I ended up with the immigration officer holding my passport. She asked me if it was ok to stamp my passport. I asked her not to, as I wanted to be able to travel to Beirut in the future. She smiled at me and put a big fat Israeli stamp in my passport. Then she smirked and wished me “yom tov”.

    I went to my consulate in Jerusalem the next day and wanted to file a complaint. They told me that I could do that, but that it would only end up in the waste basket of the Israeli foreign ministry and that no action would be taken. They said they had lots of complaints about people being harassed at the borders or airports.

    Anyone who is suspected to have any sympathies for the Palestinian people – even if they are Jewish – are considered security risks and/or enemies of the Jewish State.
    And while most Western nations go to great length to protect their citizens in foreign countries, it seems in Israel they wont lift a finger to help. Why is that????

    • heartbeatt
      October 14, 2013, 6:59 am

      It is a very interesting question. As far as I understand it, besides US and European military interests in having a close ally in the Middle East (some call it the 51st state or alternatively an unofficial member of the European Union), the Christian fundamentalists and Christian Zionists that support Israel for their ‘return of the Messiah’ beliefs, increasing Islamophobie and general racist attitudes towards the Arab peoples, our governments and a number of their citizens are simply cowed by the level of misinformation and mythology, bullying, and browbeating with THE HOLOCAUST hovering over them, that they no longer think straight. Many believe in all sincerity that they must offer the Jewish people extraordinary protection because of what they suffered (Germany’s Merkel even stated “This special historical responsibility is part of the Reason of State of my country” !), thus Israel, which however does not represent the Jewish people. This is obviously backfiring, because I see Israelis being endangered by their own successive governments who are thoroughly Zionist.

      From Adam Shatz’s review of Claude Lanzman’s autobiography in the London Review of Books: “Jean Daniel published a striking little book called The Jewish Prison. This prison, unlike anti-semitism, was self-imposed, and made up of three invisible walls: the idea of the Chosen People, Holocaust remembrance and support for the state of Israel. Having trapped themselves inside these walls, the prosperous, assimilated Jews of the West were less and less able to see themselves clearly, or to appreciate the suffering of others – particularly the Palestinians living behind the ‘separation fence’.”

      I believe these ‘prosperous, assimilated Jews of the West’ have managed to keep many of us captive in this prison as well. The more break out, the more intense the pressure to remain blindfolded and gagged inside.

    • amigo
      October 14, 2013, 11:25 am

      “Anyone who is suspected to have any sympathies for the Palestinian people – even if they are Jewish – are considered security risks and/or enemies of the Jewish State.”

      Whoopie.I have finally arrived.

      Having said that, I am not an enemy of the State of Israel as declared in 1948 and accepted by the UN.

      Just hate the supremacist land grabbing ethnic cleansing occupation Nation Israel has become.

      • heartbeatt
        October 15, 2013, 4:40 am

        Everyone keeps referring to the UN acceptance of the partition and State of Israel in 1948. I would like to remind you that partition never would have happened without incessant lobbying, bullying, browbeating, bribes and threats by the Zionist lobby. Truman called it the worst mess of his presidency. Not only were there not enough votes, which then had to be hustled, but the vote was postponed several times to obtain the necessary majority.
        Things haven’t changed.

    • AlGhorear
      October 14, 2013, 3:03 pm

      @Sammar. If you didn’t already know, the US government will issue a second passport to Americans who want to travel to Israel and other countries like Lebanon that won’t allow you in if you have an Israeli passport stamp. It’s only good for two years and I admit I was a little nervous having that second passport in my bag when I arrived in Beirut.

    • Denis
      October 16, 2013, 4:23 pm

      @Sammar: I am neither Arab nor Jewish.

      @Sammar: And while most Western nations go to great length to protect their citizens in foreign countries, it seems in Israel they wont lift a finger to help. Why is that????

      See it? You answered your own question. Isn’t MW where the story appeared about goy Americans getting stiffed by the US Embassy? If memory serves, the question the Embassy asked when help was requested was “Are you Jewish?”

  17. justicewillprevail
    October 14, 2013, 5:51 am

    Do Israelis have any conception of how spectacularly obnoxious they appear to everybody outside their zionist bell jar? Humility, humanity, common decency – I suppose conscription is the perfect tool to extinguish any of these lingering traits from its willing recruits, completing their ‘education’ in the Israeli way. How To Make A Zealot 101; Everybody Except True Believers Are The Enemy 102; Why You Shouldn’t Care About Anybody Else, Treat Them With Contempt 103.

  18. MahaneYehude1
    October 14, 2013, 1:24 pm

    Decades of hatred, years of demonization, continuous Incitement in all possible media, thousands of clashes in which Jew and Palestinian innocent people are killed, cycles of missile attacks and retaliations in which children and innocent people are killed in both sides, terror attacks and killing of civilians of both peoples, make most the people here, Jews and Arabs, live in fear, distrust and hatred. They make many Israelis be fearful and test everything seems suspicious, even a bra of innocent woman. They make many Arabs hate us and see us as demons, not human being like them. They make many Jews afraid from Arabs and see them as terrorists instead of human being that want to live as a normal people.

  19. MahaneYehude1
    October 14, 2013, 1:34 pm

    @Walid:

    I would appreciate very much if you read the following interview with the Israeli-Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu-Toameh:
    link to hadassahmagazine.org

    • Donald
      October 14, 2013, 2:18 pm

      I’m not Walid, but WTF? That’s standard boilerplate hasbara, delivered by an Israeli Palestinian (or whatever the correct term is) who is apparently well known for presenting the Israeli viewpoint as his own daring contribution to the subject.
      Israel is wonderful, Palestinians suck, etc… We’ve heard it before.

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 14, 2013, 2:34 pm

        @Donald: I didn’t bring this interview for “Hasbara”. People who know Khaled, know that he is an honest journalist. He didn’t say “Israel is wonderful, Palestinians suck”, he just summarizes his view and criticism on the part of Arab society that continues with the incitement and put obstacle for peace. Same voices you can hear from Jews that criticize the Israeli government and society. I don’t think that self-criticism is “Hasbara” but a necessary step toward reconciliation.

      • Donald
        October 14, 2013, 10:52 pm

        It’s hasbara–he doesn’t just criticize Palestinian society and the PA, he pretty much puts all the blame for the conflict on the Palestinians. For instance, he says “I don’t see anything that Israel can do under the current circumstances.” It’s rubbish. If you want self-criticism, you can read Rashid Khalidi’s books or maybe the output of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. I’m for Palestinians being self-critical, but not for Palestinians repeating the BS and self-justifications of the Israelis.

      • Sammar
        October 16, 2013, 1:55 am

        link to secularzionist.wordpress.com

        Khaled Abu Toameh is part of the list of great writers chosen by “secularzionist”. He is in illustrous company – Daniel Pipes, Elliot Abrams, Caroline Glick, Robert Spencer, etc.
        In 2009, he stated “”Israel is a wonderful place to live and we are happy to be there. Israel is a free and open country. If I were given the choice, I would rather live in Israel as a second class citizen than as a first class citizen in Cairo, Gaza, Amman or Ramallah.”

        I am glad that he is happy to live in Israel – I am not sure who the “we” is he used in that sentence, since this is HIS opinion and he should not speak for others. No wonder Zionists love him.

        It may be better to live in Israel than in Ramallah while Israel is still occupying the WB and certainly better than to live in the world’s largest out-door prison ( commonly called “Gaza”). And its certainly better to live in Israel if you say things like that and become a hasbara poster child.
        As regarding Cairo, I dont know, but I have many friends in Jordan who originally hail from Palestine. Quite a few of them have relatives who live in Israel and have visited there. They would not want to live under Israeli rule and they wouldn’t want to live under the current PA rule either.

        I dont think Abu Toameh is the right person to convince me how wonderful Arab life in the Jewish state is. Besides the fact that I have been there and spoken to quite a few Arab Israelis myself – people who thought that the notion of a “free and open country” may apply to Jewish Israelis but certainly not to Arab ones.

      • Shmuel
        October 16, 2013, 2:21 am

        In 2009, he stated “”Israel is a wonderful place to live and we are happy to be there. Israel is a free and open country. If I were given the choice, I would rather live in Israel as a second class citizen than as a first class citizen in Cairo, Gaza, Amman or Ramallah.”

        How about living in Israel as a first class citizen? Or does Abu Toameh accept the fact that, as a non-Jew and a Palestinian, second class is his rightful place?

      • MahaneYehude1
        October 16, 2013, 9:25 am

        @Sammar:

        “Besides the fact that I have been there and spoken to quite a few Arab Israelis myself – people who thought that …”

        I very glad to read this sentence in your comment. When I write that “I have met and spoken to many Palestinians that told me…” I receive many negative replies that I am not serious, my claims based on “impressions” only and I can’t back up them with polls or sources.

        About the issue: When I talked to Palestinian-Israelis I learn that many of them (not all, of course) are really happy to live in Israel. I don’t know if they have same opinions like Khaled Abu-Toameh, but they see the positive things in Israel and feel themselves as integral part of the Israeli society. Yes, there is a lot to improve in all fields but the situation is getting better with the time. I believe that real peace with the Palestinians in the OT will change the attitude of most Palestinian-Israelis toward Israel. Inshallah!!

      • James Canning
        October 16, 2013, 1:50 pm

        “Arab Israelis”. Meaning, Israelis who are not Jews. Even if they are not Arabs.

  20. James Canning
    October 14, 2013, 1:35 pm

    ‘Her mother is Jewish.” Doesn’t this mean she herself is a “Jew”?

    • amigo
      October 14, 2013, 2:14 pm

      ‘Her mother is Jewish.” Doesn’t this mean she herself is a “Jew”?James Canning

      True James but she is a self hating Jew.

  21. amigo
    October 14, 2013, 2:11 pm

    @Amigo Mehane 1 or 2???.

    Ah, there he is.Tough day at the airport Mehane.

    • Walid
      October 14, 2013, 3:35 pm

      Today it’s Mahane 2, the polite literate one.

      • amigo
        October 14, 2013, 5:05 pm

        Today it’s Mahane 2, the polite literate one.

        Yeah Walid. That sticks out like a Jews only “Illegal Settlement”on the Palestinian Landscape.

  22. Sammar
    October 15, 2013, 6:58 am

    And then there is the other side of the coin – or a new definition for chutzpah ;)

    link to haaretz.com

    “The former commander of the Israeli navy, Rear-Admiral (ret) Eliezer Marom, was questioned Monday morning at London’s Heathrow Airport immediately after landing in the United Kingdom, but his claims of being detained beyond routine seem to be unfounded.

    Following initial inquiries, none of the relevant British authorities, the Home Office, which is responsible for border controls, the London Metropolitan Police and the Foreign Office, are aware of Marom having been detained or questioned.
    Israel’s Foreign Ministry is continuing to look into the incident but at this stage, it seems that Marom was under the mistaken impression that the routine questions he was asked at passport control at Heathrow Airport and the slight delay he experienced were actually an attempt to detain him over war crimes allegations.

    Marom hastened to call the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem where a special team of lawyers was on call to deal with cases of senior Israeli officials who are charged or questioned abroad. A few minutes later it transpired there was no intention to detain him, and that Marom had nothing to be worried about. By that time, however, the story had already been leaked from the Justice Ministry to the Ynet website.”

    He got his panties in a bunch because he was asked a few questions? Wonder how he would have reacted if they had asked him to take off his underwear? Or treated him like so many visitors to Israel are “welcomed” by being harassed and humiliated for hours?

  23. Walid
    October 16, 2013, 3:40 am

    Sammar more of the same ” civilian-killers” logic from another former Israeli military officer:

    “Israeli General: We Cannot Defeat Hezbollah
    In a lecture at Bar-Ilan University in occupied Palestine, former head of Israel’s National Security Council Giora Eiland drew a grim picture of any future confrontation with Hezbollah, warning that the result will be much like 2006, if not worse.

    He added that fighting a force like Hezbollah can be very difficult, due to the fact that real-time intelligence is next to impossible, given their constant movement, rendering information about targets useless if action is not taken immediately.The Israeli military strategist attributed this to the fact that the Lebanese Resistance has greatly improved its tactical fighting abilities, while the Israeli military has done little to change its overall approach to warfare.

    … Eiland concluded, saying, “The number one lesson of the second Lebanese war is Israel’s inability to respond appropriately. We have to declare that all of Lebanon – from Hezbollah, to the government, to civilian citizens, to the Lebanese army – will be targeted.”

    link to english.al-akhbar.com

    For change, Sammar, an Israeli is being honest about targetting civilians to get the job done. Nice people those Israelis.

  24. Denis
    October 16, 2013, 4:18 pm

    Golly, what an unpleasant day. Well written story, but it has a dog-bites-man familiarity. I mean at least it sounds like you and your tic-tacs made your flight.

    Your story is nicely juxtaposed with that of Niels Gerson Lohman, who has written a similar abused-at-the-border saga — the US border. Lohman, who also has a Jewish mother, was crossing from Canada into New York enroute to New Orleans by train. He was busted for 5 hours and sent back to Canada. Why? Who knows? Maybe b/c his mom isn’t Palestinian. Maybe b/c of the Yemeni stamp on his pp. Border pigs don’t have to give any reasons, which is one of the things that makes them pigs.

    link to huffingtonpost.com

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