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Israeli Palestinian Guilty of ‘Flying While Arab,’ Humiliated by Shabak at Ben Gurion

by Richard Silverstein

21fa49866020792896640360no.jpg

Hani Almi, Palestinian high-tech entrepreneur, degraded by Shin Bet at Ben Gurion


November 21, 2013

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.



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:: Article nr. 102780 sent on 23-nov-2013 22:53 ECT

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