EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Breaking News

World/National News

March 9, 2014

Stern Israeli airport security measures questioned

JERUSALEM (AP) — Jack Angelides was about to board a flight out of Israel’s international airport when he was given a curious choice that baffles him to this day. Traveling with a laptop and a stack of printed reading material, he was told to part with one or the other, due to unspecified security concerns.

The Israel-based British-Cypriot businessman says he negotiated a compromise in which he kept the computer and several pages, checking in the rest of the documents.

“It was a very unpleasant, very uncomfortable” experience, said Angelides, the general manager of the Israeli soccer team Maccabi Tel Aviv.

While standing in long lines, walking through scanners and removing belts and shoes are a fact of post-Sept. 11 travel worldwide, Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport seems to stand alone in the developed world with its security techniques, often leaving travelers dumbfounded. Though Israel denies profiling travelers, business executives, journalists and especially Arabs and visitors to Palestinian areas seem prone to being targeted with aggressive questioning, long luggage examinations and even strip searches.

The tough security is not new, but it is stirring debate. On one side stand those concerned about Israel’s good name, tourism potential and moral standing. On the other are those for whom security arguments can seem close to sacrosanct in a country hit with decades of attacks by Palestinian militants, a series of hijackings in the 1960s and ‘70s, and whose travelers abroad are targeted in terrorist attacks.

The issue recently burst onto the national agenda after an Arab schoolteacher who teaches at a Jewish high school was strip-searched at Israel’s airport in the southern resort town of Eilat during a class trip with her students. Israeli Arab citizens, including lawmakers and other community leaders, complain of frequent discrimination when traveling.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes Lunch Bus Delivers Meals to Kids Out of School Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson Raw: Police, Protesters Clash in Ferguson
Latest World News
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Today in History August 20 US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing Rockets Fired From Gaza, in Breach of Ceasefire Raw: Japanese Military Live Fire Exercise Today in History August 19 Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Crosses Into Ukraine Raw: Building Collapse in South Africa, 9 Dead Assange Gets Cryptic About Leaving Embassy in UK Raw: Pope Francis Meets 'Comfort Women' Kurdish Peshmergas Retake Mosul Dam WikiLeaks Founder Says He'll Leave Embassy Soon Raw: Israel Destroys Killing Suspects' Homes Raw: Pope Celebrates Mass in South Korea
Photos of the Week