About Ari Bussel
In the series "Postcards from Israel,” Ari
Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to
join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two
sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from
home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two
countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this "point
- counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part
of our lives.
Coexistence: Building Unsustainable Bridges
in a Snap: Will Israel Be Saved?
Audacity of Being
Ands & Buts
Middle East Mirage
Absurdity of Existence
War: Outside the Walls of the Temple Mount
Holy War: The Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount
Delegitimization from Within
Slaughter of Israel
Would Stand By Israel
Well Coordinated Attack
& Speak Out
Bunch These Jewish People
They Burned Books
Indicators of Our Time
Candles of Darkness
December 1, 2009
Palestine, Stand Proud Israel
for Israel, But Why?
Blaming the Messenger
for Our Country, Fighting for our Lives
Let the People Suffer
December 2, 2010
Elected officials seem to be exempt from what we, commoners, have to endure.
They have their own health plan, and will not subjugate themselves or their
family members to what they force down our throats.
They will not be patted down at airports, for they go via security points
But you and—more often than not—I have to endure long waits at the airports and
unpleasant TSA officials who do not think – the extent of their training is to
They are not allowed to profile, i.e. common sense is out. They will stop a
person who triggered an alarm (because of a metal embedded due to surgery inside
the person, or tubes collecting urine or other liquids, or even an implant that
releases a chemical on a regular basis as part of chemotherapy or other
Exactly these people need to undergo a humiliating search, "for the safety and
security of our country.”
Some people feel uncomfortable with their own doctor, whom they have known from
childhood, when it comes to undressing or undergoing certain checks (prostate
for men, gynecology for women).
But now it is all about to change: We are supposed to feel comfortable allowing
typically untrained and mediocre "professionals” touch us in our most private
areas. It used to be "take your belt and shoes off, laptop out and turned on.”
Now it will be: "Form a line and get ready to undress. No laughs, giggles or
jokes – you are next!”
Did any one think these pat-downs would be offensive to Muslims, when men and
women are together?
In Israel, screeners look at the facial expressions of a person, the automatic
response to simple, seemingly innocent and unrelated, questions, sweat or other
nervous signs or odd behavior.
Normally, very young children, the elderly and high-ranking officials are not
scrutinized as closely as would an Arab male between the ages of 15-30.
Irrespective of who is being screened, it is done with the utmost
professionalism and purpose, in Israel that is. It is not done to humiliate or
entrap, nor is it a favorite pastime and a source of stories to be told later.
Rather, it is a very serious mission, to protect those entering a certain
location, be it a shopping mall, an event with the Prime Minister, a hotel, a
restaurant, an airport or a plane. Its purpose: To keep terrorists out. This is
the last line of defense.
If one were to listen to the TSA or the Secretary of Homeland Security, invasive
pat-downs will continue. Much like all previous steps, from preventing access to
confiscating sharp objects and liquid containers (like bottles of water or baby
milk), they are completely unnecessary and ineffective.
Terrorists normally do not go back to "tried and tested methods.” Instead, they
devise and think of new, simpler-than-before ways to inflict terror. This was
the case on September 11th, later with the shoe bomber and most recently with
the express courier shipments. In between there were even envelopes laced with
some white powder and a sharp shooter on a very busy freeway that almost brought
the country to a stand still.
Notice, the common denominator is simplicity. Things that are readily available
or instruments one did not think about before – a pencil, a utensil, a bottle of
water. Copycatting is not for terrorists, rather for lunatics.
So we superimpose protective systems that do little if anything and
predominantly make our lives more complicated, and unnecessarily so. In the
meantime, almost without exception, the terrorists who pray for Allah and are
part of what the US President calls a "Peaceful Religion” are working on the
next attack, bigger and more devastating than any before.
So they win. Because to thwart terrorist attacks we need to read the signs,
recognize the threat and react accordingly. We need to be in Mosques and listen
to chatter. We need to infiltrate their very compartmentalized structures and
try to destroy them. We need to have a swift, immediate and severe punishment
for those caught and those who harbor and assist them.
We do none of the above. Not when the President and his Homeland Security
apparatus are concerned with "what would the Muslims think” and "how will they
react?” Not when Napolitano blames us for opting out of long lines and delays
while she advocates pluralism, tolerance and acceptance at a news conference
overlooking those being searched unnecessarily. Certainly not when political
correctness outweighs human lives and safety.
It is time to subject our elected officials and the Administration to the very
same treatment we receive. Electing them was not an exemption-from-reality card.
Maybe then those at the helm will understand how futile their efforts are. In
the meantime, the terrorists are laughing until it hurts: These stupid
Better yet, let us wait until the Islamists, those "fringe, abnormal, miniscule
minority of Muslims,” view the pat-downs as offensive to their religion. Will
the President then rush to apologize and change the system? Will they be allowed
to opt out of the screening procedures? The irony is overwhelmingly hilarious.
We must not, after all, offend our Muslim brothers and sisters, those members of
the peaceful religion known as Islam.
Once the vast majority of Muslims realize they are in danger too, things may
change. When our enemy becomes their enemy, a new order will emerge. Muslims
will not be offended by profiling or standing like the rest of us in long lines,
they will understand the extra scrutiny and encourage it. They will cooperate
and volunteer to identify suspects from within rather than hinder the efforts of
those trying to protect us.
Most importantly, excusing Muslims for all the wrong reasons will become null
and void – forcing all of us, from the President on down, to take the threat
much more seriously.
Until then, get ready to take your clothes off, be touched in all places private
and be told it is all for your own security and that of the traveling public.