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Hi Will, I can definitely feel your anger about the procedure you’ve gone through, I am also sure it was unpleasant as you stated. But there is something you need to understand. In the last 40 years more than a few attempts were made against airports, airplanes and passengers all around the world. Up until 2001 most of those attempts targeted the Israeli airlines or Israeli destinations. But since 9/11 it as all changes since terrorists tried and in some cases succeeded in attacking American, British and more targets concerning aviation around the world: In 1972 Kozo Okomoto, a Japanese student entered Ben Gurion airport in Israel an alongside 2 others killed 25 people and injured 21 - In 1986 I young and naïve Irish women was sent by her fiancée to Israel with a suitcase full of explosives, the fact that she was pregnant didn’t bother him when he thought about killing her and the rest of the passengers in midair. Because of its Syrian connection and the fact that everything happened on British soil the British embassy in Damascus was closed until the early 90's. I can go on and on about these incidents, some of them you are aware of – 9/11 and the shoe boomer, some you're not – the reasons for lack of knowledge are varied – some are classified while others just didn't receive much attention over the years. But as you can see – the threat is real and as the machines become smarter so does the terrorists which means that somewhere there is a person who think about how to succeed in evading security and another persons who has to think of new measures with which they will catch that guy. Now before I continue I must say that I am not an American, and I have never gone through a TSA security search. I am actually an Israeli that was born to a reality of security and safety. I also worked in Ben Gurion airport, doing the Israeli security for all incoming and departing flights. I also have to state that we don’t carry this machine in Israel – religious reasons prevent the Israeli Aviation authority using this measure. And on a personal note I must say that I agree with you that this machine shouldn’t be operating. I understand that for you as a normal person, well known in some circles it is difficult to go through such a procedure, especially when you think to yourself that you are not a terrorist and that you will never jeopardize this flight or any other. But the TSA agents don't know that, and as uncomfortable as you feel about this situation they don't have any personal interests in touching your private parts. And the fact that you didn't hear about situations regarding aviation in the past few years doesn't mean they don't occur, it means we were lucky enough to catch them on time. The security procedure in Israel is a bit different and unlike the Americans we don’t act "randomly or totally" and there are things we don't do, but if you'll google Israeli security I'll bet you will find hundreds of cases where people complained about how hard it was for them, and that must have been hard as they stated, but it was also hard on their fellow travelers, and it also helped to make sure that the plane they are getting on is safe even if it meant violating some of the rights mentioned here. Someone said in their comment that we Israelis see the TSA as useless which in a way is true, mostly because you Americans tend to be hysterical in these situations and not rational. I agree with you that changes can be made, but at what cost? There is always going to be someone who is going to get offended by the procedures, in Israel for example the Supreme Court is dealing with this issue for the past few years. You should act against what happened to you, but not because of the security measures that were applied (even though the TSA should really learn more about how security works), you should act because of the simple fact the TSA agent didn't do his job – not right and not at all.
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Apr 9, 2011