Taking airline security seriously

As a young man in the early 1970s, I worked in Israel. After about a year, I took a vacation flight to Europe. I had a Temporary Resident's card issued by the Israeli government and some local clerk at the airport copied the number down incorrectly on some additional paper issued to me. This caused no problem in leaving, but on my return trip to Israel, on my arrival at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the same airport that terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab boarded his plane for Detroit, a problem arose.

I arrived hours early at the airport and, in an unnecessary move, I volunteered my supplemental/additional temporary resident's paper from the Israeli Government, the one with the mismatched numbers. This got me taken aside for questioning as a potential terrorist. Remember, I was a young man in his 20s who would be of the age group for physically fit hijackers or terrorists.

I was asked where I stayed while in Israel, what were the names and addresses of my relatives in Israel. If that weren't enough, I also got "befriended" by a young Dutchman, probably a plainclothes policeman, who tried to size me up psychologically as a waited in the passenger lounge. Talking to him was when I recalled what probably happened with the miscopied Temporary Resident number on my paper. After the Israelis checked out my information, presumably by communicating with their records offices in Israel, I was allowed on the plane. If this procedure had taken longer, I'm sure the authorities would have had me miss the flight or worse. 

What I have hoped to show you, the reader, is a difference in mindset between the current ultra-liberal US administration and a country that knows there are people who hate them and want to do them great harm. I believe the Israelis -- and the Dutch of 1972 -- understood the world as it was and is, not as they hoped it could be. We all wish the world to be peaceful and loving, but we have locks on our doors and cars. And even Barack Obama travels with armed security agents. Come to think of it, the Dalai Lama has a similar security force.

As liberal actor Richard Gere might well agree, we should all strive to be as wise as the Dalai Lama.