This is a disturbing story. Since the piece above is a commentary on the story I looked up the original to get more facts.
Lynsey Addario, a photojournalist for the NYT, entered Israel from Gaza. She was pregnant and her doctor told her to ask to avoid the X-ray machine and get a hand inspection. Israel’s Defense Ministry says her request to by-pass the X-ray machine wasn’t properly relayed. So Israel made a mistake on that one. But why did she agree to go through the machine? three times? Why didn’t she ask to wait and straighten out the misunderstanding?
The next problem is the stripping and feeling. The summary of the incident above makes it sound as if that was being done in public by male guards. But she was taken to a private room and asked to remove her pants and shirt by a female guard. She wanted a inspection by hand originally and I guess this was it.
The remaining outrage is the guards who were above and laughing or “smiling triumphantly” depending on the story. (I am linking the three describing the incident from her Wikipedia bio.)
Israel’s Defense Ministry apologized to Ms. Addario and to Time Magazine.
Israel does prioritize fertility and prenatal care in Israel; but not just for the Jewish Israelis. The Christian and Muslim Israelis get the same good care and West Bank Palestinians also use hospitals in Israel for fertility treatments, to save sick babies and perform difficult deliveries. Even people from Gaza get into Israel for fertility treatments and infant care at the same hospitals used by Israelis.
I know there are some people who are willing to believe that Israeli border guards are the worst, most cruel border guards in the entire world. Yet Israeli border guards have saved the life of an at-risk birth by a West Bank Palestinian woman who was rushed to the checkpoint by religious settler EMTs.
Only months before the Israeli border incident, Lynsey Addario was kidnapped by Qaddafi forces in Libya and held for six days. They tied her feet with her own shoelaces, punched her in the face and laughed, her breasts were grabbed, she was felt over her whole body, and threatened with death. That is actual brutality.
There is nothing in the Addario incident which suggests Israeli border guards are “monsters” or “inhuman”. Lynsey Addario was told to go through the machine even though she said she was pregnant. It was a mistake by the Israeli guard to say it, and by Ms. Addario to do it. She did get the inspection she requested by hand in private. And some Israeli soldiers either laughed or smiled.
It’s possible to blame the IDF for bad judgement in the airport without concluding that ALL Israeli guards have lost their humanity.