EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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
Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Jury Awards Ventura $1.8M in Defamation Case Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Senate Confirms McDonald As VA Secretary Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Fish Oil Plant Blast Kills One Two Huge Fires Burning in Northern California Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale
Latest World News
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Today in History for July 30th Raw: Aftermath, Artillery Shells Hit Donetsk Muslims Celebrate Eid El-Fitr Around the World Gaza Official: at Least 100 Killed Tuesday Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Today in History for July 29th Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Today in History for July 28th
Photos of the Week