Brussels Did the Israelis control airport security?
Jews all over the world are celebrating Purim, the happy festival of disguise. Every year they outdo each other with the most imaginative costumes - and with black humor. Israel's comedian Avi Nussbaum contributed the blackest on Tuesday. Shortly after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, he tweeted in the direction of Europe: "It looks like Europe is disguising itself as Israel on Purim this year."
Terror, like the one Europe has only experienced for several years, has known Israel for decades. A whole security industry employs tens of thousands of people in Israel. Nobody is surprised by terror in everyday life. Even the most recent knife attacks by Palestinians fail to break the equanimity of many Israelis.
Israelis sacrifice small freedoms without revolting
Instead, in Israel one wonders: When will Europe finally wake up? This question has been hotly debated on all television channels and on the radio since Tuesday. All military and terror experts who speak in the Israeli media almost every day agree that Europe must end its slumber as quickly as possible. The unctuous speeches of European politicians are of no use as long as their words are not followed by deeds. The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz wrote on Wednesday that Europe must finally understand that it has to sacrifice some privileges of data protection and freedom - in order to get a plus in security.
It is natural for Israelis to sacrifice small freedoms in the shadow of the daily threat of terrorism. You do it without grumbling. Without complaint, they open their bags in front of every shopping center, they can be searched in front of every cinema entrance, and they sometimes have to put up with long queues in front of Tel Aviv's international Ben Gurion airport. Israelis have realized that a little less privacy can bring them a little more security.
Terrorists blowing themselves up in front of a check-in counter like in Brussels is almost impossible in Israel. Travelers who drive to the airport have to ask heavily armed security guards several kilometers in front of the terminal where they are from and where they are going. If there is any suspicion, the traveler or the taxi must pull over, where another security check takes place. Heavily armed police officers are also standing at the terminal entrance. They also prevent passers-by from entering the terminal if there is any suspicion. The third check takes place in front of the check-in counters. In cases of doubt, it can be up to an hour, and some passengers even miss the flight - but that does not make anyone white with the exception of innocent tourists.
An employee from the security area at Tel Aviv Airport told SZ on Wednesday: "It is simply naive that Europe believes it would be enough to just keep celebrating after an attack. We in Israel will not let our lust for life be taken away , but that terrorists can just walk into an airport terminal is irresponsible. " The security concept of Ben Gurion Airport has such a good reputation that airport operators from the USA and, more recently, from Europe regularly seek advice on-site in Tel Aviv on how terminals can be secured.
Israelis can only be unsettled by terror for hours, if at all. When an assassin with a machine gun opened fire on revelers in a bar in the heart of Tel Aviv last December and killed several people, the following hours on a Friday lunchtime were eerily quiet in the Mediterranean metropolis and the neighboring suburbs. But the reluctance only lasted for a short time. That night, Israelis went dancing anyway - even though the assassin was still on the run. A barmaid appeared in a television report at the time who spoke for an entire nation: "We will not let life be forbidden."
In front of the bar, however, anyone who wanted to go in had to have their bags checked by a security guard. The bar operators hadn't done that for several years.
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