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airport security

  • High Court greenlights racial profiling at Israel's airports

    High Court rejects petition calling for an end to racial profiling against Arabs at Ben-Gurion Airport, yet refuses to make a principled ruling on the policy as a whole. Israel's High Court of Justice rejected a petition by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), demanding an end to racial profiling at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday. The petition — which the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed in 2007 against the Shin Bet, the Transportation Ministry and the Israel Airports Authority — sought to eliminate the category of "Arab nationality" as a criteria for conducting special security checks in the…

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  • Israel aims to deport French photographer with 'Arab-sounding' name

    Following Washington's admission that Israel is being kept out of its  visa-waiver program due to discrimination against Arab-Americans, a French citizen is detained for three days under similar circumstances. French Embassy: 'We’re regularly in touch with the Israeli authorities about these issues.' A French citizen has been held by Israeli authorities at Ben-Gurion Airport for three days after being denied entry to the country. "M.," a 26-year-old photographer who hoped to finish a photo project on Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, had been granted entry to Israel for three previous work visits. M., whose family requested that her name not…

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  • When it comes to racist border policies, Israel has no leg to stand on

    The fuss 'The Jerusalem Post' made about its correspondent being denied entry to Saudi Arabia on religious, racial or national grounds is too much for one Arab-American journalist who was denied entry to Israel. By Anna Lekas Miller On Friday, United States President Barack Obama landed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was a whirlwind visit to reassure King Abdullah that even though the U.S. had backed down from intervening in Syria, had no intention of showing solidarity with the Arab world whatsoever and will continue negotiating with Saudi arch-rival Iran, Washington is still very interested in any oil…

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  • British activist detained entering Israel, facing 10-year ban

    Gary Spedding was detained after landing in Tel Aviv ahead of meetings with parliamentarians and activists. He says his phone was hacked and contacts extracted.  A high-profile member of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and a long-standing activist for human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Gary Spedding, was detained on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday and told would be deported and banned from the country for 10 years. Speaking from the airport, after being held for eight hours, Spedding told +972 that the interrogating officers hacked into his mobile phone, and copied email addresses and telephone numbers. He also…

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  • How Israel's security services turned me into a 'potential terrorist'

    When Yoav Haifawi joined radical left organizations in Israel, he had no idea that the airport security services would begin searching him for explosives. A true story about the security services' modus operandi. By: Yoav Haifawi (*) The following story is 100% true. It tells us a lot about the modus operandi of the security services, and not necessarily only in Israel. During the seventies, I was active in The Workers’ Alliance - a leftist organization. It so happened that I represented this organization in several meetings and conferences in Europe. In those days, the security services shared the left’s…

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  • 'No Falasteen for you!' Shin Bet banned me from Israel for 10 years

    'My suspicious ethnic identity coupled with my criticisms of Israel were enough to get me banned from Israel and more importantly, barred from being able to tell stories from the West Bank.' By Anna Lekas Miller "Do you think we are some kind of joke? Do you think you can start over with us?” The Shin Bet officer looks at me across his desk, his eyes seeming to pop through his glasses like I was some kind of insolent teenager cum social pariah.  I straightened my posture and tried to smile, although my eyes probably expressed more disgust than anything…

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  • Palestinian celebrity gets the 'Jewish sticker' at Ben-Gurion Airport

    On the one hand it’s obvious the young man has just made my life easier by putting on the sticker for Jews. On the other hand, it’s one of the things that it’s hard to say thanks for. I mean, thank you for not considering me a terrorist any more? -- Actress Mira Awad's tale of Israeli airport security. Palestinian Christian singer Mira Awad, a celebrity in Israel who has participated in the Eurovision, the Israeli version of "Dancing with the Stars" and is also known for her role in Sayed Kashua’s television sitcom “Arab Labor,” posted the following status…

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  • When racial profiling is a national policy

    Palestinian citizens have many rights in Israel, but they are not equal citizens. Only by removing all discriminatory elements from the legal system will Israel cease to be a democracy of racial profiling. Following one of his visits to Israel, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg praised last year the ease with which he underwent the security procedures at Ben-Gurion International Airport, compared with the long waits he experienced in U.S terminals. Racial profiling made all the difference: while Israeli Jews and many white Westerners – especially those with Jewish names - are rushed through the lines in Israeli terminals and gates, every person…

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  • Just another interrogation: My encounter with the Shin Bet

    For one Palestinian citizen of Israel, interrogations by the Shin Bet are a routine which include delays and harassment for no apparent reason. By Awad Abdel Fattah I was fortunate this week. I had a quick and easy crossing from Jordan back into Israel. No delays, no questions, no invasive body searches and no lengthy rummaging through my luggage. The border guard sitting next to the computer took my passport, opened it and looked at the screen, presumably to check for any special alert. Unlike previous occasions, she didn’t leave her seat and disappear into another room to take instructions on…

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  • Is Israel's search through visitors' email accounts legal?

    Recent searches into the email accounts of passengers arriving in Israel raises the question of how far the state can go in its airport security checks. It is one thing to search files located on a person's computer , but quite another to go through a person's cyberspace history.  By Jonathan Klinger News that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) searches the email accounts of those who travel to Israel (first reported on by Mondoweiss) is quite disturbing. According to the report, several activists who crossed the border in to Israel were requested to open up their computers, connect to the internet and log in to…

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  • Israeli interrogated en route home for activism in Palestinian cause

    The activist tells of her experience being held for hours, harassed and intimidated by Israel Security Agency officials - for doing nothing illegal or suspicious. By Leehee Rothschild I arrived at Luton airport for my flight back to Israel, after spending one month in the UK and France, participating in Israeli Apartheid Week and BDS events. That, along with my ongoing activism for Palestinian rights, made me a security risk of the highest level for the Israeli state. The troubles began at the Israeli security counter before check-in. I answered all the questions correctly: “Did you pack alone?” "Yes.” “Has…

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  • One more response to Goldberg's praise of Israel's airport security

    In his response to Jeffrey Goldberg's enthusiastic description of Ben Gurion Airport's security procedures, my colleague Noam Sheizaf makes some salient points about historical accuracy and racial profiling. Particularly resonant is the final point - that Jeffrey Goldberg, a Jew born and raised in the United States, is treated far better by Israel's airport security personnel than Israeli citizens with Arab names. Over the past few years, there have been several cases of prominent Israeli citizens with Arab names who were subjected at Ben Gurion Airport to humiliating procedures so egregious that they were widely publicized in the media. Sayed…

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  • Racial profiling is just racism: A response to Goldberg

    Jeffery Goldberg, one of the most well know Jewish American journalists, had an entry in his blog raving about Israeli security procedures at Ben Gurion airport. Ben Gurion (TLV) has no naked-scanning machines and you don't have to take off your shoes. Instead, security personnel use racial profiling, thoroughly checking Arabs in back rooms while exempting Jewish Israelis and tourists with a few standard security questions. "I find answering a series of questions about my travel less invasive than posing like a mugging victim in a machine that takes pictures of you naked," Goldberg concludes. A perfect example of self-inflicted blindness: As…

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