Sunday, 29 November 2009

Flight plan

I have to fly through Ben Gurion International Airport next week. Oh Joy...

Quite seriously: The security checks are little more than an irritation these days - if nothing else, I find it vaguely amusing (albeit, if I am to be honest, also a little troubling) that the pre-pubescent security officials see fit to waste as much time as they do on me. One day, they may get to understand that crude ethnic profiling doesn't work...

A friend sent me this the other day. I'm not entirely certain that it is based on the Israeli Airport Experience, but it isn't far off...

1983 from Modi on Vimeo.

Why 1983? Because it is one year away from 1984, I suppose...

Elsewhere: Wired Magazine, via the blog of a young woman called Lily Sussman, report that the MacBook's hard drive is capable of withstanding gunshot damage. How do they know? Because the nice fellows in charge of the Israel's security decided that it was a security risk and put three bullets through it. Charming...(there's another report in The Marker)


Adam E. said...

Hillarious! I had no idea that was how they blew things up...I thought they took suspicious packages into an underground bunker and did something very scientific. The pic.s of the mac look rather arty actually. Im sure the Tate could do something with it.
And don't get too paranoid by Israeli airport security. I look about as Ashkenazi as they come, and they always give me a massive hassle.
Although that said, I think ethnic profiling does probably work, if you do it properly. Everyone seems against it, but when was the last time you saw a blonde haired suicide bomber?

Goy said...

Three things about ethnic profiling:
(1) It marginalises a huge number of completely innocent people. One might argue that that is a necessary consequence of the need to ensure security, but then
(2) If I were a terrorist, then I would probably look for a suitably non-profiled individual - an ashkenazi Jew without his or her wits about them, for instance - to us as a conduit for my unpleasantness. (There's an excellent demonstration of this in the book "Gideon's Spies.) Which leads me to my third point,
(3) The Lod Airport massacre of '73 ('72 perhaps? too lazy to look it up) was perpetrated by 'freelancers', Japanese members of the Red Army faction. Then, as now, they wouldn't be subjected to the level of scrutiny that, say, an Arab Israeli gets on a regular basis.

So that's why ethnic profiling doesn't make me feel any safer.

But, to be honest, it doesn't particularly bother me - and it probably wouldn't bother most people if the security consultants had the good grace to be polite about it.