How Effective Airport Security Looks

With the controversy over TSA airport groping security not likely to die down any time soon, now seems like a good time as ever to see how effective airport security looks.

And here’s some details not mentioned by the above video but by this 60 Minutes report from 2002:

They run every name through. Every person who goes to the airport, they have already checked that name. “The moment that you buy the ticket, we have your name, we have your passport number, and we can check it,” Dror says.

They check you again when you drive to the airport in Tel Aviv. What looks like a tollbooth is actually a security gate. Guards with automatic weapons eyeball everyone. If you drive through too quickly, there’s another guard further down the road. And the rings of security tighten as you arrive.

Before you even enter the terminal, you’ve been through three rings of security. The minute you buy your ticket, your name is sent to Israeli intelligence and to Interpol, so they know quite a bit about you before you even get to the airport.

The second ring is a gate with armed guards inspecting your car.

The third ring: Men with jackets and sweaters, concealing their weapons, who will watch you come in.

Three checks, and you haven’t even entered the terminal yet – which is where the real security begins.

Update: And now for a humorous (and altogether inaccurate) look at Israeli airport security.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • Jim from Iowa

    The debate, such as it is, seems to be all over the place in this country. TSA is being sharply criticized by civil libertarians and tea party activists. The agency is being defended by some Obama administration people (Janet Napolitano and VP Biden) but also by Bush security expert Fran Townshend. Politicians do not follow strictly partisan lines when weighing in on the TSA. My view is that there has to be a better way to do airport security than by groping people's private parts. I think we need a whole lot more input from Israeli security experts to help us out in this country.

  • perat

    It's really not so much ethnic profiling as it is behavioral profiling. An arab citizen will also only get the two or three questions lobbed at him if he is not suspicious. But if a white religious jew comes in with shifty eyes, security will interrogate him for just a bit longer.
    As uncomfortable as questioning passengers are, it's exceedingly more preferable than being strip-searched and groped. Questioning passengers does not go against ones civil rights, strip searching does.

  • nanaloshen

    In all fairness, Israel is not dealing with the same volume of commuters that America is. We don't have one major airport – we have thousands of major airports, nor one major airline. Not sure how Israeli security will work here.

    • Shy Guy

      I've heard this argument over and over. Right now, you already have useless security procedures and personnel and useless expensive gadgets in all of the 1000s of US airports you've mentioned.

      Can you show me a single link with both a budgetary and a national financial impact comparison between the TSA today and all the bureaucratic baggage which comes with it versus creating an agency that follows Israel's methods?

      • nanaloshen

        Of course I can't. Can you come up with a way Israeli security can be instituted nationwide? If you could chances are you would have done so by now.

        • Shy Guy

          I don't know who "you" is but the general answer is that Israeli type security can be implemented nationwide in any country by implementing Israeli type security. Was that obvious enough for you?

          As to why it was not implemented like that in the first place, the answer has been obvious all along: the idiots in charge in the US think that profiling is a form of racism. America has become a laughing stock, with jokers – from the president down – at the helm!

          [youtube XSQTz1bccL4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQTz1bccL4 youtube]

          • Bubbe

            Not to mention that Israeli security experts have time and again, particularly since 9.11) worked with US companies on security issues and those who are in charge do not implement the needed (read: Israeli advised) changes that would make a difference. Again pc is killing the US.

            • juvanya

              Its not PC. Its corporate lobbyists, corruption, fascism, and police state mentality.

              Israel doesnt racially profile. It may seem that way, but what Jew or Christian will blow up an El Al plane? Thus, Muslims and Arabs are most likely to be flagged in high proportions.

              Its really easy to do this, but this is a stubborn country and corporations need to get pork.

          • Jim from Iowa

            (Gulp) I'm afraid Shy Guy is right on this one. I want to defend the administration, but I can't. We need more intelligent and selective screening at airports. Profiling that emphasizes behavioral attributes but also includes racial and ethnic factors have to be considered. I don't see why such procedures cannot be implemented in the US. Our current system is indefenseable and victimizes the entire flying public, is costly to airlines and doesn't really make us any safer.

            • Shy Guy

              I want to defend the administration, but I can't.

              Ask yourself why you involuntarily felt the need to write that.

              And I don't care which administration you're talking about.

              • Jim from Iowa

                It's pretty much the same principle as wanting to give an attratictive straight guy a deep tissue "sport" massage, but I know I can't. It's instinctive; part of the remnants of my reptile brain, I guess. But I bet you operate on the same instincts, Shy Guy. It's just that your reflexive response is triggered by different stimuli (e.g. attacks on Israel or when Dave posts pictures of large-breasted women). I'm not talking partisan politics here. I'm talking Survivor instincts my friend. It's survival of the fittest and who is the last one standing at the tribal council.

    • juvanya

      We also have more people to staff the security needs.

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