Israeli Palestinian high-tech entrepreneur Hani Almi, often flies abroad for business meetings involving his investments in high-tech ventures in both Israel and Palestine. He’d planned to fly to Paris for such a purpose a few days ago. Hani is used to the security rigmarole the Shabak puts Palestinians through at Ben Gurion and came early. But he wasn’t expecting the abject humiliation (Hebrew with video) he faced that day.
…During security check, agents opened his suitcase and checked inside, as they usually do. “They said to me that I can’t take my laptop charger, shaver and other objects on the plane.” He added that agents told him the items would have to be packaged up and put in the hull of the plane, and not in his handbag.
Almi didn’t argue, but was then taken to a back room, where he was asked to undress…Security agents told him he couldn’t board the plane with his shoes because there was something suspicious about them. When he asked if they wanted him to walk in the terminal halls barefoot, he was told he would be given flip-flops, and that his shoes be stored with the rest of his baggage in the plane’s hull.
“I didn’t agree to a humiliation of this sort,” he said; “to board the plane with flip-flops. Then they told me that if I didn’t want to, I could just not go on the plane.”
…Furthermore, Almi said he was not allowed to board the plane with his handbag, watch, wallet, cellphone, or even money.
…The finale to the nightmare came when the security officers decided to attach an escort to Almi until he boarded the plane. “Even when I went into the bathroom he came in with me and said he has an order not to leave me for a second.” He stood behind him the whole time until he entered the passenger boarding bridge to the plane, Almi said.
The response by airport officials and the security services is always entertaining in these situations. Nor did they disappoint:
“This is an examination that is done in order to ensure that a passenger won’t reach the plane with objects on his body or in his bag that are capable of putting the plane and other passengers at risk.
“In regards to this specific check, dissimilar to other baggage checks done in the public hall, the physical check is done in a separate room. The examination is there in order to, as much as possible, protect the modesty and privacy of the passenger.”
The authority said there is no examination procedure where a passenger will receive flip-flops or any other type of shoes. “These courses of action have responses to safeguard the comfort and integrity of the passenger, while providing an operational and professional response that will prevent danger during the flight.”
No word from those security mavens how Almi’s wallet, credit cards and smartphone would endanger the security of the plane.
All you liberal Zionists out there who boast about Israel, the “start-up nation,” whose high-tech industry is raising all boats, including Palestinian: note that Almi is the guy Israel should be showering with praise. The guy who should receive royal treatment. Yet even he is degraded. I tell you that this security regime disguised as a state offers no hope for tolerance or co-existence. None. I say to any liberal Zionists who may be out there: Abandon hope all ye who enter the gates of the national security state.
A real danger to the Jewish State of Israel.
Palestinian Telecom Entrepreneur Pays $10.5 Million for Israel’s Alvarion
Almi — being the savvy successful hi-tech entrepreneur he is — offends common Israeli ethos by his mere being.
A good Zionist on the minimum-wages at airport security wouldn’t miss such opportunity to remind this uppity boy who’s the boss and who should “go bring the hummus”.
I was strip searched and degraded at Ben Gurion Airport
(for being a smart-ass with the no nonsense security chick), and
I’m a Jew. I bet there’s more to the story.
Richard Silverstein says
The difference is that you behaved like a smart ass. If Almi had behaved the same way he’d have been beaten to within an inch of his life & jailed. But you don’t see the difference, do you?
Departing Israel, the security chick asked me if I’d met any Israelis during my two weeks stay. I denied meeting anyone although I’d had one or two dates with some girls I’d previously met online. Security chick went through me carry on and found an open pack of condoms. She sent me to the strip search room (with the Arabs and Africans).
My tone with the security chick was insouciant and I had got caught in a small lie. So off I went.
There is always more to these stories than gets reported.
Richard Silverstein says
No, actually there isn’t always more to these stories than gets reported. You’ve offered no proof that there is and if you have any do so. If you don’t, don’t speculate because no one here is interested in your type of groundless hasbara speculation. I’m interested in evidence. I’ve reported about 10-15 blog posts on Palestinian and foreign travellers treated like shit by Shabak at Ben Gurion. Go back and research all/any of them and if you can find one piece of evidence to justify that treatment for any of those people, then I won’t treat you like the joker you are.
BTW, do you know something about Nora or her daughter that Shabak ought to know? What more is there to their story?
Well, there is more to this story than has been reported;
the story from the airport security personnel themselves. Of
course, that never happens, because work and life go on and the
world really does go on, even if an airline passenger gets treated
shabbily. “If Almi had behaved the same way he’d have been beaten
to within an inch of his life & jailed” BTW, Richard.
Where, in any of your past posts regarding passengers treated like
shit, has a passenger been ‘beaten to within an inch of his life
Richard Silverstein says
Israeli Palestinians know better than to do the stupid things you did at the airport. That’s why you won’t find examples of Palestinians beaten to a bloody pulp there. Also, the Shabak knows it can’t get away with such buprutality in a modern international airport like it can in Palestinian villages or in their holding cells. At Ben Gurion, you’ll just find thousands of Palestinians deprived of their dignity, humanity & right to travel.
But if you want to find “uppity Palestinians” beaten to within an inch of their lives you can find examples regularly.
As for not hearing from the security goons themselves, that’s because the Shabak is afraid to offer them for interviews. Instead it relies on laughable statements like those I quoted from the Israeli news report, which are offered on behalf of the goons.
Ya Choe says
Thanks to Oui I looked up his high tech Israeli acquisition.
He did buy a company in bankrupcy but I beleive he is a sharp businessman and I plan to buy 5,000 shares on NASDAQ.it is now a penny stock but I beleive he will turn it around.
As to his security experience he went through at Natbag it went to a way off the wall ,level of outrageousness .
He expected a stringent security check so gave himself adequate as would be appropriate. And I personaly don’t have a problem with profiling that Israel does. And he was expecting it as well.
However the overreach of security was absolutly stupid. To ban his money,watch,etc was way overboard excessive. I guess the security agent thought that he would hijack the plane by useing nice new banknotes and use them to paper cut a stewardess to death.
Nora Lester Murad says
In the last 10 years, I got the highest security category at Ben Gurion all but maybe 4 times — and I fly several times a year. I am a 5-foot tall, middle aged mother of three with a PhD BUT I have an Arab name. in ALL cases the conversation goes like this: “Hi. I see you’re American! Did you have a nice visit in Israel?” “Actually, I live here.” Then they open my passport. “Why is your name Murad?” “That’s my married name.” “One moment please.” And they go away and I get a red sticker, or a 6, or whatever code they’re using at the time to designate the highest security. My bags are thoroughly checked, including my personal items spread for all to see in a plastic container for x-ray. Sometimes they take items to be checked (they often take baklavah, but I must say, they pack it very well and it’s never damaged). Then I go with a woman to a private room so that she can feel all around my bra, up and down my legs, around my hairline, etc. and then she walks me all the way through security (I’ve come to like that service). One time I got escorted all the way to the plane. This is the same treatment my 16-year old daughter got when she flew alone for an educational trip — and no adult was allowed to go with her to her strip search. The treatment Hani Almi got is the NORMAL treatment for Arabs or associates of Arabs at Ben Gurion.
Thanks for sharing Nora.