* The line interviewers are smart people, and it's seen as a good first job after military service. In other places this might be seen as a dead-end or undesirable job.
* The atmosphere in Ben Gurion is very calm because everyone feels safe (or at least I do).
* The only time I've seen any mild panic was due to my (late) great-aunt. She was a neurosurgeon, but could be alarmingly absent-minded in daily life. She'd taken my sister and I to the airport for our flight back to London, back when we were both in our teens. For some reason, my great aunt had a kind of small suitcase on wheels with her that day, and when my sister and I stood in the queue, she left it next to us and went off to find the bathroom. The line moved forwards and the suitcase didn't. The security guards spotted this fact within about 30 seconds, and started asking whose the bag was. We didn't realise it was my aunt's, and after nobody claimed it they started ushering us all back and making radio calls. When my aunt came back we all got an earful from the security staff.
You might get a bit more attention as an Israeli Arab, or as a foreign national, but the profiling is mostly behavioural. They might have a look through your things, but then again they they gave my dad's luggage a load of attention on a recent trip and he's an air force veteran.
It's also more or less impossible to distinguish (visually) Israeli Arabs and Sephardim/Mizrahim. You're not going to get hassle for having darker skin. I've got a hunch you haven't been to Ben Gurion or Israel, but if you did and had a hard time then that's a shame and I hope you have a better trip at some point in the future.
(And siculars I'm not an Israeli Arab, but valid question. I don't want to clog this place up by discussing politics, so I'm leaving it here.)
The screeners have no problem distinguishing Israeli Arabs and Sephardic Jews. 30 seconds of conversation -- if not simpler cues such as clothing -- will resolve any ambiguity.
Israeli Arabs might not always be hassled, but they are certainly lined up for "increased scrutiny" more often. A lot more often. I have enough friends who can attest to this experience.
I cannot count the number of times I've flown via TLV -- let's say that I've departed a few hundred times over the course of my life. How many times have I been taken aside for any kind of additional screening?
Zero. Never. Ever. Every time I have flown, I've received the abbreviated white-jew-boy questioning about my bags and whether they've been out of my sight. That's it. Nothing about me, ever. Obviously, they deem me to be inherently safe, else it would be wise to randomly subject me to extra screening once in a while.
Without getting into the advisability or ethics of racial profiling, we do it unabashedly in Israel, and that's a fact. Unlike the US, the threat profile is relatively narrow: Arabs and/or Muslims, and the one-time Japanese freelancers. Ergo, it makes practical sense to invest the majority of your screening resources in one place.
As harmless-looking, pasty-white, computer-geek Israeli Jews, we feel the touch of the security apparatus more lightly than everybody else. Don't let that fool you into thinking that everybody has it as good as we do.
As a fellow pasty white computer geek I've had my bags looked at on a number of occasions and some equipment swabbed, same goes for relatives who live in Israel. A British-Asian friend of mine went on holiday to Israel this year and didn't get any hassle at the airport. This is all the data I have to go on. I'm not doubting your account at all, but neither is mine "BS".
(Anyway, didn't mean for that to sound so aggressive. Drop me an email and we can get a beer next time I visit and talk airports and code.)
(For those not aware: Israel got caught cloning passports of Brits travelling through their airports for identity theft purposes, despite the fact they had made an earlier promise not to do this again)
Specific statements which I am refuting:
"but the profiling is mostly behavioural" - behavioral profiling is secondary to the racial stuff. At the end of the day, a screener here is more likely to forgive some quirky behavior on my part because I am white and Jewish. Obviously, I have no hard science with which to back up this claim. My anecdotal sampling of friends indicates that their skin color and racial origin played a pretty immediate part in their scrutiny, since they tend to be geeky and harmless just like me.
"It's also more or less impossible to distinguish (visually) Israeli Arabs and Sephardim/Mizrahim." - As I said in the post, this isn't true. Even if it were true strictly on a visual basis, there are other cues to go by beyond skin color. And regardless, the screeners know the difference as soon as a conversation begins -- so what's the point of this statement?
"You're not going to get hassle for having darker skin." - again, no way to directly prove/disprove, but my anecdotal friend-experience says otherwise.
You are correct about the self-fulfilling aspect; if I was an Israeli Arab flying out of TLV, I'd probably be worried that they're gonna gestapo me in a closed room. Particularly so if I know that I'm not any kind of terrorist, and have no fondness for interrogations.
My personal impression from countless times of passing via TLV is that the profiling is mostly itinerary based. That is, Israeli citizen going off to a 3 day business trip to Europe is less suspect than an American tourist with a very short length of stay.
I know a middle aged WASP lady (pasty white, dignified, looks like someone who might be related to the Kennedys) who had to endure questioning because she fit the latter profile. Not really "gestapo", though - from what she told me it sounded better than the normal treatment non-US citizens get at Newark. Many of my Israeli family & friends are dark skinned, never had any trouble.
I'm not saying I know better, just that my anecdotal evidence doesn't match yours.
In any case, this isn't really applicable for the US. TLV gets much fewer visitors than JFK, and they tend to fit certain trip profiles - few people just go for a weekend in Tel Aviv, for example. Also, many in Israel itself are unhappy with the breach of their privacy, and my impression is that security procedure are actually moving to more reliance on machines than humans.
That said, the people were truly polite. If TSA employees were more tactful and friendly, that unpleasant potion might at least go down a little easier.
I don't think they really suspected me of anything, as a white Jewish kid, but I'm not very religious and maybe my answers to their religious questions while claiming Judaism as a religion was a red flag.
I mean, apply some bayesian reasoning about the probability of someone being a terrorist _given that_ he looks like an Arab and/or is Muslim — and you won't be surprised some people are screened more thoroughly. Had the world evolved differently, they might be paying increased attention to white males with freckles and red hair.
The US for some reason likes to pretend that everyone is a terrorist with equal probability and avoids "racial profiling". This is kind of like sticking fingers in your ears and shouting loudly "can't hear you!".
The short answer to the source of the misunderstanding is that one usually forgets to take into account that there are far less Arab lookalikes than non Arab lookalikes. A common mistake is to go with the conditional probability rather than the posterior.
The probability that an Arab is a terrorist, strictly speaking, the empirical conditional probability is the number of Arab with an intent to blow up the plane divided by the total number of Arab in the population under consideration. For arguments sake let me agree with you that this is higher than the corresponding conditional probability for a non-Arab. Lets represent these quantities by pa and pb respectively.
The likelihood ratio that an Arab lookalike will blow up a plane is then
(pa * Pa) / (pb * Pb)
where Pa and Pb are the probabilities that a random sample from the population is an Arab vs non-Arab. What are known as the priors. Here we have Pb >> Pa.
In order to justify that Arabs be selectively screened it is necessary that
pa > ( pb * Pb )/(Pa).
So I suspect that if anyone is
sticking fingers in your ears and shouting loudly "can't hear you!".
isnt quite, as you put it, "The US".
There are other issues:
It is hard to argue that pa is indeed greater than pb, i.e. for random samples of equal size there would be more terrorists in the Arab sample than not. Its quite a radical statement and justifications should have been mandatory.
Also I disagree with your assertion that "Had the world evolved differently,..." things would have been different. My counterexample is that the Irish or the Catholics in US were not subjected to any of this on flights to Britain when the IRA were bombing away innocent civilians there. BTW this is not the only counterexample.(I also suspect that O'reilly's over the top assertion that terrorist = Muslim is a compensatory mechanism, conscious or unconscious I do not know.)
The logical explanation for the way the security response is playing out in the field of travel seems to be that people are afraid of unfamiliar people and all it takes to tone down that fear is just some superficial familiarity (such as skin tone).
So I am hopeful that this stage too will pass. Sooner the better, and I hope with no permanent scars.
The point about smart people & this being an attractive first job is a key one. It's also well-compensated and looks good on people's CV's. No one is looking at this as a career.
The other thing is that Israelis have more common sense about security than Americans do. We're used to having our bags checked at the movie theater and the mall and no one grumbles about it. We also don't leave bags unattended and report the ones we do see.
"Israel values its security, and pays for it. According to an analysis by Bloomberg News, Israel spends around 10 times more per passenger than the United States does."
A little more on that:
"[An analyst] estimated El Al's security bill at $100 million a year, which amounts to $76.92 per trip by its 1.3 million passengers. Half is paid by the Israeli government," Peter Robison wrote. The United States, in comparison, spent in 2008 $5.74 billion to monitor and protect 735,297,000 enplanements, or around $7.80 a passenger."
The TSA system is a production line - hire cheap unskilled labor, and train around a process and manuals.
In the USA the Israeli version would be very difficult in addition to very costly.
That doesn't even take into account the question of the uproar the system would cause with the suggestion of racial profiling.
This is the big thing that popped out at me from reading the article. The personnel described sound highly experienced and trained. I wonder how long and how much it would cost to bring your standard TSA screener up to that level.
I am not an expert, but I imagine that given the primary mission of the IDF in dealing with Palestine, they probably receive training and some experience (depending on where they are assigned) in how to spot potential terrorists using behavioral profiling. So when they leave and join airport security, they hit the ground running.
US soldiers on the other hand probably aren't given much behavioral profiling training. We seem to specialize in blowing stuff up, steamrolling it with tanks, then randomly throwing money at it afterwards. If any military or ex-military know differently, please correct me.
Gen. Petraeus may be slowly improving that SOP, in Iraq and Afghanistan at least, but I'm not sure how much his work there is getting rebased to general boot camp and officer training programs. Eg, are these kinds of soft skills percolating throughout the US military, or are only the Special Forces and other groups specifically tasked with winning hearts and minds in Afghanistan getting this training?
So the question remains, would filling the TSA ranks with military veterans and paying them higher wages provide a more Israeli-like airport security force? Dunno. Certainly worth considering, but there are some significant differences.
The US military has much, much wider requirements--it has obligations to South Korea, Japan, NATO, and the entire Western hemisphere, which demand a strong conventional warfighting ability.
Every Israeli adult is ex-IDF, except for those adults who are still in the IDF.
I wish it were true, but it's not. Many people are exempt from service on racial, religious or just ideological reasons. Mind you, it's not always easy to be exempt, but some sectors of the population have an automatic "pass".
I'll bet those numbers change if you include the cost of a pair of world trade center towers and the associated expenses of that incident.
"Cheap and ineffective" != "inexpensive"
1. Costs: I think the value of preventing a terrorist attack greatly outweighs the $76/passenger cost of screening. Besides, it contributes a lot of value to the economy by (a) reducing the long lines we have in our airports today and (b) eliminating the unnecessary intrusive procedures
2. Racial profiling: Behavioral profiling is not the same as racial profiling. Besides do you really think that the low-paid unskilled TSA workers don't currently do any racial profiling ?
76 dollars per passenger is an obscene amount of money: look at the dollar totals. In terms of lives saved, the TSA is already a gigantic waste of money. You could save a lot more lives per dollar by doing hundreds of other different things.
In terms of lives saved, the TSA is already a gigantic waste of money. You could save a lot more lives per dollar by doing hundreds of other different things.
No question. In fact, TSA has probably on balance killed people by encouraging marginal travelers to drive rather than fly. But on the assumption that the general public isn't going to be receptive to a rational cost/benefit analysis, I'd rather pay more for security that (1) might actually be effective, and (2) doesn't involve naked photographs or sexual assault.
I would gladly pay an extra $38 per flight if it meant going through a sane, competent, and, if not pleasant, at least not overtly hostile system.
Ticket price plus a 38 dollar "treat me like a human being" tax.
I'd pay it.
I think they don't do much racial profiling. As a young guy of middle eastern descent with an obvious arabic surname, I've only rarely gotten extra screening. If the TSA were serious about racial profiling, I'd expect to get extra screening more than half the time I fly rather than on only 5-10% of trips.
(Yes, I am making the dubious assumption that all time saved will be spent working. The economic benefits drop even further if you don't assume this.)
Granted reducing wait times is not going to get directly translated into extra working hours, but the current system also cost travelers more than just their time spent in line.
It sounds to me like the Israelis are the ones that have a process and who are devoted to their manuals. Every horror story we hear about the TSA seems to involve TSA agents not having a clue how to behave like civilized people, let alone effective security officers, in even the most mundane situations.
I think it's a bit disingenuous to quote the previous statement without this one.
Profiling is inevitable. If you don't know who is threatening you and pay special attention to those people then you are a fool. But most of those people aren't threatening you and will feel aggrieved, this is how resentments grow and fester. EDIT choosing who you pay attention to is obviously key, casting your net too widely is what ticks people off.
These are not easy problems to solve without removing the cause of the discontent which is making people threaten you in the first place.
In the US, we would need to pay market rates for airport security personnel. In Israel, they can pay far less since much of Israel's domestic security is provided by forced labor.
And airport security work is not by soldiers anyway, it's regular employment.
As for airport security not being done by soldiers, my mistake. I only visited Israel once, but I was under the impression the airport guys were IDF. I guess I'm misremembering the uniforms. Thanks for the correction.
Certainly it doesn't behave according to standard "market" rules though, even in a situation where they abolished the "forced" part and left it to culture to enforce service from 18-21.
That's not exactly true. Conscription is necessary (consider that Israel is a tiny country, but has a lot of enemies.) The symbolism is important too, but it's not the root cause, it's just a nice added benefit (there are a lot of other benefits to this, by the way.)
That said, I don't think you can consider it forced labor. Soldiers are paid a salary, which is tiny, but they get a large amount of money at the end of their service. Plus, they theoretically get every expense paid for by the army (theoretical because most soldiers do go home to their family, either every day or every few weekends.) Soldiers who do have a hard time economically (no family, or a family with a hard time supporting them) get a lot of other benefits, which range from higher salaries, paid-for living quarters, and having lots of time off to go work at a second job and make more money, if they need it.
Unless the salary they pay you is sufficient to induce you to join the army regardless of other penalties, it's forced labor. You are forced to perform labor you would not otherwise perform.
Just to back up my version slightly, here are the first two definitions when you Google "define: forced labor":
"[...] a generic or collective term for those work relations, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will by the threat of destitution, detention, violence (including death), or other extreme hardship to themselves, or to members of their families"
"Work which one is compelled to perform against one's will, especially in a condition of involuntary servitude as a prisoner or slave"
[Emphasis mine in both cases.]
Neither of these really fit when talking about Israel's army conscription. There are some societal problems with not serving in the army (people look down on not serving, and sometimes people who haven't served have a harder time finding jobs,) but there's nothing approaching the level of what's talked about in those definitions I quoted.
Libertarianism (for example) argues for a particular zero, communism for a different one.
Different governments disagree on where it is appropriate to set this zero. Israel has chosen its position, and although somewhat unfortunate for Israelis, I don't believe this is a terrible choice.
As for the wages for soldiers, the soldiers actually get a lot of economic benefit from it. People with previous military experience are far more desirable to employers, and there is a very large income boost from it. You can think of it as a form of internship.
Every time the TSA pulls another ridiculous stunt in the name of "security", these Israeli airport security consultants get interviewed to death. Here we go again!
As before, every article on the subject stops short of highlighting the uncomfortable truth which precludes the TSA adopting the Israeli model: a lack of brainpower among TSA screeners.
The article correctly points out that the Israeli model is more about evaluating the person and less about evaluating their luggage. Problem is, evaluation implies good judgment -- a quality demonstrably lacking in enough TSA agents as to make a generalization accurate. The TSA does not employ the quality of manpower that it needs to in order to base its operations on subjective character evaluations.
Even if the TSA were able to foot the bill and hire/train such manpower, it would still be unpalatable to enough people in the US that such a system would fail. Evaluation is inherently subjective and discriminatory. There is no impartial way to say "I'm deciding whether or not you represent a threat." Some agents will let their personal views influence their judgment. Some passengers will inevitably feel persecuted for their skin color, rightly or wrongly. Several lawsuits later, the system would be neutered to the point where agents are no longer free to exercise their judgment, and we're back to square one.
Finally, it's worth noting that the security expert in the article is spinning a rose-tinted tale of airport efficiency experienced mainly by Jewish passengers. Ask an Israeli Arab and you'll likely hear a tale of exasperating interrogations and adversarial, dumb agents -- much like the TSA.
I wrote more on the subject a few months ago, in a comment for a similar article: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1025173
Feel free to ask me questions, I'll answer to the best of my knowledge.
"First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.
Second, all the screening areas contain 'bomb boxes'. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation."
I mean... you gotta admit. That just makes so much sense.
Does this still make sense?
If they did treat every water bottle as an explosive, then yes, this procedure would make a lot more sense than evacuating the terminal.
So the bad guys will just find another way to get their precursors through security. TSA's focus on things just forces the bad guys to adapt; instead, it should focus on the bad guys themselves.
> This begs a number of questions
No, it doesn't. It may raise a number of questions, but that's very different than "begging the question", which is a philosophical term for a circular argument. Please stop misusing this phrase and contributing to the general decline in modern English usage.
I know it's fashionable to profess a relativist/descriptivist approach to grammar, but when people use words and idioms in ways inconsistent with their historical meanings, the language is degraded: it becomes more difficult to express ideas that could formerly be expressed quite simply and clearly. When I'm forced to say "That argument assumes as a premise the conclusion it intends to prove" instead of "That begs the question" communication efficiency and accuracy are diminished, and we all suffer for it.
We do not apply a descriptivist approach to our children's language use. If they misuse a word or phrase, we correct them, because we know that their misuse will disadvantage them in pursuing the goal of language, communication. We use a prescriptive approach in elementary school, in middle school, in high school, and in college. There is absolutely no reason why that same prescriptive approach, the one that preserves the utility of language and respects its goal, cannot continue to be used by the world at large. Fashion be damned! Leave your descriptivist ideology in the linguistics department. I care for communication, not ideology.
In that case, I'm going to have to disappoint you about American politics by mentioning Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Springer, Clint Eastwood, Howard Stern, Shirley Temple, Al Franken & co. were all both. I guess I'm less sure about the "likable characters" part, and at least one of those failed to actually get elected (but became an ambassador instead), but even so, I'm only mentioning the more famous ones.
There are quite a few more:
From my anecdotal experience, El Al has security personnel that appears trained to a naked eye, but in reality is extremely ineffective, flawed, and unethical. I had the misfortune to go through El Al security four times. These all occurred in a span of two weeks, roughly in the same circumstances (I had to fly into Israel, fly out, fly back in, and fly back out). I can tell you that the outcome of their screening is heavily inconsistent and highly dependent on the prejudices of the particular agent doing the interview, and not necessarily on advanced training procedures.
I had the same answers for their questions every time. Two of the times the agents were Israeli jews who immigrated from Russia. Since we share a common background, both let me pass after very few questions because my trip details seemed perfectly reasonable to them. The other two times, I was interviewed by jews of clearly middle-eastern descent - both had no understanding of my cultural background, and both thought my trip details were extremely suspicious, subjecting me to a detailed search. So the outcome of the interviews was effectively random, which means they might as well perform random searches.
The interviews were highly unethical, inappropriate, and degrading. Even more importantly, they were completely ineffective, resulting in a random outcome highly dependent on each agent's personal prejudices. I don't know what good security looks like, but I can tell you that this most certainly isn't it.
Well, the data disagrees with you.
I'm white, male, as uninteresting as it can get (heh..). A little geeky perhaps, but I'm > 30 and every now and then have to prove that I'm > 18 for purchases or contracts. You know - the "Ohhh, you are really an adolescent?" type of guy. I shave every ~2 weeks and you probably cannot tell if I'm one week into the routine if we meet.
Still: Every single trip to IL ended with me being on the list of the suspicious people.
* I only did business trips and had a letter of the company that expected me (already crap on its own, but.. different thing)
* I travelled there several times and I'm sure they are good enough to correlate travelers from our german branch to our headquarter as being "probably genuine"
So.. A guy, plain as can be, fitting none of the discussed racial profiles (and no, I'm not shitting my pants during interviews either, so don't start the "you behaved erratic" thing), being targeted everytime: Another datapoint for the problems of the system.
I don't know _why_ I was targeted. I can only confirm that for me, every time I fly to Israel, these guys do waste time and money on me (and annoy me in the process, but let's ignore that for now), producing no result. Efficient? Not for me..
Maybe harassing you is white noise? (Pun mostly intended.) That is, to throw off attempts to analyze the security?
I don't know much about airport security either.
What I do know is that there exists lots of well financed organizations that want to blow up Israeli airports and airplanes -- with a bad track record during the last few decades.
So something is done right, which might be kept a secret. If not the interviews, what?
I witnessed a case, when a guy, who joked with the "profiling" girl, was escorted to his jet by security guard.
I second, that profiling is not by race, but behavior (and maybe accent). Their questions can be funny and sometimes even rude.
Still it's better than removing your shoes, posing naked and getting radiation.
They definitely do behavioral profiling, but racial profiling they do not: Arabs and Americans and Israelis, etc, could go through without minimal questioning, but there were obviously people security paid more attention to than others.
I also didn't feel like a criminal going through their airport, which, in stark contrast, I did as soon as I got back to the US and went through customs and then TSA again.
Or we can take naked pictures of children and grope people, taking hours to board planes, and evacuating the entire terminal at the first indication of trouble.
I really don't like my own tone of voice -- it sounds like I am ranting. But I'm not. At least I don't think I am. This is just common sense. Small, agile decentralized systems with an emphasis on layers and innovation are going to beat treating people like they were F-15s passing down the assembly line at a defense plant. This factory, top-down mentality has got to go.
I guess I'm just still amazed that we gotten this far out of whack. If you had told me we would be doing this, even right after 9-11, I wouldn't have believed you. Body scans? Invasive searches? Sure thing. Not a problem. Sign me up -- as long as its rare and happens on an ad-hoc basis. But what we have now? It's a total travesty. The lunatics are truly running the asylum.
(Ok, maybe I am ranting)
In the end I gave the guards the phone number of my relatives, and they talked to them, and that's how I got through the checkpoint.
So anyway, they do seem to focus on the person and their circumstances, and not on what that person is or is not carrying. Also, the guards were not the typical process-following types that you'd see at the TSA. Their job is to engage you in conversation, and make decisions without following a flowchart.
In spite of some erosion of liberties in US in the last decade or so, the American society continues to be orders of magnitude more open and free. I can confidently say that the way I will be treated by the American authorities does not depend on whether I or any of my family members were critical of American policy, neither is it dependent on places in US that are on my itinerary. Mention anything that remotely leans towards the UN view of the occupation to the Israeli security, or that you intend to visit any place in the occupied territories your experience will diverge dramatically (in its defense, personal anecdotal indicates that this may be regardless of whether you are Jewish or not).
It still would have been acceptable had that selective part of the treatment made the airport, the flight or Israel any safer. But it is not clear to me that the specialization based on the views of a traveller does. I am wary of copying a model that has a tendency for abuse unless I see convincing counterweights in place. All depends on the implementation details and the operational processes.
Because L-3 / Lockheed Martin / Haliburton / etc. don't sell training in behavior tracking / FACS? Isn't it all just a money-grab by the usual suspects?
The other problem is that Israel is a tiny country, they only have two international airports -- so they can focus all of their resources on those two airports. That's not the case here in the US.
But you can get into a smaller, regional airport securely by flying in from an even smaller airport. So you need to secure those too.
We have a lot of airports in the US that need to be secured.
The better response is to tell Americans that airplanes are a terrorist target, just like busses (which are bombed all the time in Israel, thanks to their stellar airport security making airlines a harder target), and to remain vigilant.
That is all. Taking off our shoes, submitting to naked photographs and (just for fun) radiation is beyond laughable. It seems people would rather be demeaned than live in (an irrational) fear. Sad.
Even sadder: more Americans will die by choosing to drive rather than fly. Somehow, I doubt Big Sis sheds a tear.
A guard was standing at the entrance with her hands crossed doing nothing by observing. When she saw me coming she made a few quick steps towards me and signaled me to stop and stand aside for questioning. I felt a bit uncomfortable, first because it was abrupt and I was being singled out, but also because she was behaving like a shepherd dog trying to seize my eyes (which I later understood why). She was very polite and dismissed me after presenting my ID and answering a few short questions.
This got me thinking about the silent perimeters, and how smart it is they were only engaged when triggered. The take home lesson for me was: smart earns respect. They were a step ahead of me and I was responding, not them.
But it doesn't scale,Israel has one single main airport, the US has dozens of points for international entry, and many more domestic. It is easy and fairly cost effective when you have one location you have to worry about.
People say this, but it makes little sense to me. Compare having one factory that makes a product, vs having a hundred factories that make that same product. The latter is much more cost efficient per factory.
Every time I get treated rude and unpleasant by security staff/goons in my own home-country airport for really no good reason what so ever, I think about this. I feel that a little manners & humanity would go a long way in getting support for security measures.
Befehlstaktik stands for "detailed order control".
It looks like Auftragstaktik is used in Israeli airports and TSA employ Befehlstaktik.
To quote an article about Auftragstaktik: "Ironically, since WW2, only the Israeli Defence Force seem to have come close to matching the Wehrmacht of WW2 in the exercise of command in this style".
So, they just use their military training and applied it to another field. And people from military works as screening officers at airports, for that being very good first job after military. Very clever.
That is more likely the deterrent. So should the USA do that too for all our domestic terrorists?
[Joking, to point out how stupid such generalizations can be]
With an infinite set of previously unthought of plans, this is a system terrorists can game to their advantage. The Israeli system requires competent individuals trained to adapt to any scenario.
Sorry but what do heavy metals have to do with airport security? is this just typo or have I completely lost my understanding of basic explosives chemistry and other terror related topics?
The security is made of layers - just because they are checking for heavy metals doesn't mean that they don't know anything about (or are ignoring) plastic explosives or ceramic guns.
I've always though that heavy metals mean stuff like uranium and lead...
* Good luck with that.
Israel has 2 international airports. The US has quite a few more. So the solutions presented here may not scale well as there is no true "funnel."
Very interesting comments, bottom line "Israel model does not scale well".
Henry Ford did not invent car manufacturing nor did MacDonalds invent the beefburger, they just made mass manufacturing scale well. The USA needs a transport security system which works at American scales and doesn't tick people off.
Wow, this is an old article. Interesting how the idea seemed to get completely ignored by the MSM and government for the past year, while things just get worse at the airports.
"Can anybody share an invite for today's AA510 to DFW? KTHXBYE!"
Disclaimer/Disclosure: I plan to relocate to Tel Aviv soon (from Germany), the company I'm working for has its headquarter there. I like the country, try to learn the language etc.. But:
Every time I do the flight I'm nervous about the problems that _will_ come up. Coworker needed to strip to his underwear. Another one had his bag completely devastated several times. My (german, local branch) boss has probably more stamps from IL in his passport than anything else and does the trip routinely: I've never seen him getting through without problems, taking apart the hand luggage and asking lots of weird questions, sometimes for hours.
There are some procedures in place to make this easier in the future. For a while companies can now announce guests/coworkers etc. in advance and make their life easier by providing names, passport numbers and dates of arrival/departure in written form. But that takes time and sucks if you need to fly over "now".
Regarding the "safe" feeling: Nope, cannot confirm that.
In Frankfurt the normal check-in is like this:
* Check in and get your ticket
* Pass the boarding pass control
* Pass the security (think ~TSA) control
* Move to the gate and board
For El Al it's like this:
* Talk to a "Security officer" about your plans to stay and your luggage. Who packed it? Where? Did you leave it for a second? Did someone ask you to bring something to IL? etc..
* Get a ticket and a token with cryptic (probably: "Search this one, Yes/No") markers
* Pass boarding pass control
* Pass security (~TSA) control
* Go to the gate
* Pass IL security, taking that token (and, every single time I traveled) sit down and wait for an officer.
* Answer lots of questions, let them check your luggage (again)
* Move to the gate, guarded by security officers with submachine guns (remember: We're still in FFM, Germany at this point...)
In Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion, it's the same. The most upvoted post was from someone with an Israeli citizenship. Yeah - right. There are two lanes in Ben Gurion, Israeli and "Other". The latter is crap, takes ages, needs you to be there while they x-ray all your luggage (this is before you get a ticket, so you are present with your check-in luggage as well). Lots of questions. And, from experience, you end up at a desk where someone tells you to open your (check-in) luggage, to search your underwear and private possessions in front of you.
Seriously: This is _not_ better than anything you US guys are currently complaining about. And no, this does _not_ make me feel safe, at all.
Edit: Something I completely missed to mention: The article actually tries to tell you that the process is quick and effective. Maybe (not sure) it is for people with an IL passport. For me it means being at the airport 3 hours in advance, instead of 45-60 minutes. Otherwise I'm just not able to make it. My next trip is schedule to depart at ~3 am, I know that I'll be on the _german_ airport at 0:00 - for the sake of this efficient process. Same on the route back. What an improvement..
before you get anywhere near the terminal you are stopped and men with uzi submachine guns look in the car and ask a couple of questions.
these guys are razor sharp and know exactly what they're looking for.
you feel safe and nervous at the same time
But they are probably good at profiling curious tourists too.
Reminds me of when me and a few friends bicycled around Northern Ireland once in the 90s. If I made a querying hand gesture to military at checkpoints if we should get over for questioning, they laughed, without even hearing my non-native English... ("More stupid tourists that just want to get close looks at our bullpups.")