Thanksgiving ushers in the peak season for travelers – and many of them are piqued indeed at having to go through full-body scanning or pat-downs at airports. They find both practices invasive and time-consuming, but most Americans object strenuously to one alternative, passenger profiling. First, it is a breach of civil liberties and second, it most likely would be ineffective. Terrorists are presumably smart enough not to don Muslim garb – and many Middle Eastern travelers who are not terrorists wear it as a matter of course.
Which brings us to the Israeli model.
Those who travel to Israel can testify that airline screeners at either end of the journey don’t perform profiling, except in the psychological sense. They give everyone a hard time, asking questions that may be more intrusive than a pat-down and far more time-consuming than a walk through a scanner.
And the scale both of travelers and airports is much smaller, as The New York Times pointed out on Tuesday. It would probably be impossible to screen, Israeli-style, the thousands of people streaming – or trying to stream – through America’s 450 airports.
Nevertheless, the Israeli model is worth exploring. Even if it does not lend itself to wholesale adoption, it may have useful suggestions to offer. Unfortunately, the terrorist threat is clearly real, and passengers will continue to be screened, one way or another, for the safety of all.
The BBC broadcast a documentary on Monday about a network of weekend schools for Muslim children in Britain run by a Saudi-affiliated group. According to The London Evening Standard, the schools, which are not state-funded, import their textbooks from Saudi Arabia and follow its national curriculum. The documentary found that children in those schools “are being exposed to anti-Semitic and homophobic lessons and taught about amputating limbs as a punishment.”
The New York Times, on Tuesday, published a grisly photo from one of those textbooks, which “showed where to amputate hands and feet as a punishment.”
The textbooks also say, according to the Times, that “Jews ‘looked like monkeys and pigs,’ and that Zionists set out to achieve ‘world domination.'”
One wonders what is taught in similar schools worldwide – and right here.