An Expert’s Opinion On The American TSA

Ben Gurion Airport

I make frequent flights from Israel to my homeboys in Canada. Usually I’ll find a good cheap flight to and from my destination, but with one catch. Somewhere along the way, I have to land in the United States of America. At this point I will stare at the options given to me by Walla Travel and pick the more expensive no-USA option.  Why? Because after 30 hours without changing my underwear, the last thing I want to do is put up with American airport rent-a-cops who think they’re making a difference.

Yesterday, Rafi Sela, former head of security of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, or as we locals affectionately call it, “Nutbag” posted a very entertaining article on Cracked. Go here to check it out.  The best was his anecdote on the laser pointer (#5).

Yes, many visitors coming into Israel face additional questioning, applying extra care to who comes in and out of the airport, but here are a couple things 99.9% of people travelling through Ben Gurion Airport never need to do:

  • Throw out their water bottles, shampoo, contact lens cleaner
  • Remove their shoes
  • Remove their belts
  • Have their private parts outlined by that cancer inducing thing they used in the movie “Contact” to communicate with aliens.
  • Deal with military style verbal attack-laden communication with security personnel
  • Many other completely unnecessary security “precautions” that do absolutely nothing.

For example, can someone explain to me why in most European airports, when making a connection, we need to go through a metal detector and throw out our water etc when we LEAVE the airplane? And then if we were foolish enough to pay 8 euros for a water bottle while in the terminal, we need to throw it out AGAIN when boarding your flight?

Although written on a comedy site, this article should be taken seriously by airports around the world.  He speaks from the experience of protecting the most threatened airport in the world from 50-70 incidents a day that it is possible to screen people, without racial profiling.  That Israel doesn’t dumb down security by applying the same rules to every single person that flows through the terminal.  And “tfoo tfoo tfoo” Israel’s airport has been safe for many years.

So here’s the whole thing. Read it. This is one of MANY things the world can learn from Israel.

About Deebo

I'm a Canadian Israeli, Aliyah Class of '10. You may know me as tweeter AntiIsrael Douchebag (@notantisemitic) but here I'll tickle your Zionist bone in other ways.


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  • tom

    Oh my, finally someone bringing up this topic.
    I also had to taste our baby’s water six years ago while going through a British airport.

    The best thing happened in Hong Kong: We had to buy water bottles (coming from Europe, no liquids allowed) and since we were in a rush we didn’t even have time to drink them. The guys from the ground staff at HK airport searched all passengers’ bags before baording and said we can’t take drinks (we bought from the friggin’ duty free shop) to the plane.

    I always ask the security folks if they scan each bottle of coke, sprite, etc. before bringing them to the duty free shops and what do I get? A weird misunderstanding look, like I’m the fool…go figure.

    This is the most ridiculous law there has ever been at airports.

    Talking to an American friend, he told me there’s no racial profiling in the US, since a 90 years-old grand-mother is just as dangerous as the next muslim who’s 25 years old.
    When I told him that 99.5% of all terror attacks on planes were done by muslims, arabs, etc. he said “racial profiling is forbidden in the US”. (the 0.05% were I think from RAF – German left wing terrorists – who hijacked a plane in the 70′s or 80′s, can’t remember)

    Leaving Israel I always take all my wine, spirits, etc. bottles to the plane, since there’s no real weight limit on hand luggage and yes, LIQUIDS CAN BE TAKEN ON THE PLANE!!!
    A lot of folks traveling from Israel don’t even know this :-)

  • juvanya

    Im pretty sure they made us throw out our liquids and bottles when I flew from Natbag in January 2012, but I did not test it personally. On the other hand, I once got 18 fluid ounces in suspicious pouches (Capri Sun) thru the TSA. But they got my shampoo on another trip…even tho I couldve stuffed it in my large pockets and they never wouldve known. I miss Israel, but I think the only way I would fly there is from Toronto now, altho JFK wasnt bad when I went there.

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