US Consular car refuses Israeli inspection

A US Consulate car traveling to the West Bank this past November has created an international incident when it refused to show documents to Israeli border guards.

The Jerusalem Post reports that:

"Israel is also furious that one of the consulate cars was found to have transported a Palestinian without permits between Jerusalem and the West Bank."


"According to a detailed official Israel Police description of the incident obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, the drivers refused to identify themselves or open a window or door. The drivers, according to the report, purposely blocked the crossing, tried running over one of the Israeli security guards stationed there and made indecent gestures at female guards."

If this weren't enough, US regional security officer Tim Laas stated he didn't find the Israeli guards worthy of inspecting the papers of senior US officials.

Apparently Mr. Laas believes there isn't enough tension in the Middle East and he can do his job better by angering the Israelis.

The Jerusalem Post further states that:

"Laas claimed that the Palestinian woman who had been in the car served as a translator for Dayton and the consul and that she had been returning with the team to Israel. He said it was possible that there had been a mishap with her papers."

One wonders if we all can use Mr. Laas's line of thinking on our next visit to the US Capitol or to the airport. We can try to smuggle someone inside a suitcase and accost the guards, saying they aren't worthy of checking our documents. But, perhaps maybe not.

Mr. Laas works in a country where (I speak from personal experience) the Israelis inspect one's bags when one goes into a movie house or a supermarket. His sense of outrage at an inspection of documents rings hollow - as do many other things in the Obama Administration's foreign policy.