Security in at TLV airport

Discussion in 'Travel Security' started by sfo1, Mar 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Just returned from a trip to TLV via EWR. I was always under the impression that going through security was really strict. After being asked a couple of questions prior to security which took all of less than a minute, I went to the conveyor belt put my belongs on it to be screened. I was not asked to take off shoes, nor was I asked to display the zip lock bag with my toilitries, everything went through the scanner, I walked through the metal detector and that was it. So what's the problem in the US and Canada?
     
  2. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    In short, it boils down to three things:
    1. Risk avoidance (TSA's MO)
    2. Risk management (Tel Aviv)
    3. Politics (the TSA making it appear they are doing everything they can, and to further bloat its bureaucracy)
     
  3. NYBanker
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    What's your religion?
     
  4. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    I don't think my religion has anything to do with it. I was never asked what my religion was and I don't think anyone would guess what my religion is unless they asked me, which they did not. When I left for TLV from EWR, I went through security, then into a secure area near the gate to be thoroughly searched a second time. It seems as though the US puts on a bigger show for some reason, even though as I said before I was under the impression that going through security in TLV was supposed to be very rigorous. But. as I said before it was a cake walk.
     
  5. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    You were luckier in TLV than me. They tore my bags apart twice. I really think it was because they asked me if it was my first trip to Israel. I answered honestly, "Technically, I think that it would be my second, since we went to Petra in Jordan for two days in the middle of the trip". The friend that I was traveling with just answered "yes" and they never said anything to her.
     
  6. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    At TLV, they ask all passengers a series of questions before your level of screening is determined. If you won't answer about your religion, would you at least say what color sticker you got?

    Whether you knew it or not, you are heavily profiled at TLV based on your religion and your apparent ethnic background. The screeners there ask a number of questions - never covering religion specifically - to determine the degree of screening you get. For whatever reason, it sounds like you got the green sticker.

    I am a Caucasian gentile. When I depart TLV with several of my more heavily orthodox Jewish business associates, they simply talk to the young' lady screener in Yiddish about me, and invariably, I get the green sticker. When I'm with other Gentiles, or solo, I get a higher degree of screening (and stickers other than green). Once I got a strip search there (solo).

    A colleague of mine who is of south Asia decent didn't even make it into the terminal there. He was stopped by plain clothes officers getting out of our car in front of the terminal and taken for private screening. We didn't see him again till shortly before the flight.

    While the agents will never ask your religion explicitly, that is one of the key things their pre-security questions are ferreting out. It sounds like you were profiled, but didn't know it! (The sign of good profiling!)
     
  7. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I've been through TLV and never asked about my religion. I was asked a series of questions about my visit that had nothing to do with my religion or the religion of the people I was visiting. I don't remember getting any sticker at all.

    -David
     
  8. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    I was asked how long I stayed, did I know anyone in Israel and did I visit anyone in Israel. A yellow sticker was placed on my suitcase. That was the only inter-action I had with anyone. Not a word said either at security or at passport control.
     
  9. NYBanker
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    Those are the standard first questions. Often a question about relatives in Israel is included in the q&a. Assuming you said that you didn't know anyone or didn't visit anyone, they made the decision that you weren't Jewish.

    The yellow got you slightly enhanced screening. Green is the lowest, generally limited to those of Jewish faith (or their nominees, in my case). The worst I've seen is red...or I guess getting pulled aside before entering the terminal!
     
  10. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Well don't know about enhanced screening, as I said, it was a cake walk, nothing said, nothing out of suitcase, no shoes off, it was a walk in the park. Anyway, as I said in my first post, I was quite surprised how easy it was compared to the US or Canada.
     
  11. NYBanker
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    The degree of screening intensity varies widely in TLV. Greens and yellows are categorized as low risk (or very low risk, in the case of greens), and get relatively little attention (by their local standards). If there was anything they couldn't identify in your bags from the x-ray, the officers wouldn't have hesitated to inspect further.

    I've been everything from green to strip search in TLV. (The latter on my first time through.) During the full search, they were going so far as to probe into the nail holes in the bottom of my shoes. Their sort of profiling (which would be lambasted by some in the US) saves the bulk inconveniences for those the security forces feel are the highest risk; you weren't placed in those categories.

    Even if you did slip through the perimeter defenses, you may have noticed a few extra people milling around the door to the plane. There are always two [plainclothes] security officers there giving everyone a final once over before boarding. Once, they pulled a guy a few in front of me out for some further questions. Purportedly, guards in a similar station caught a would-be hijacker at this late stage a few years back.

    Even if you made it past there, if you were on LY, there would have been multiple armed sky marshals on the plane with you as well.

    Considering the number of people who would quite like to blow up a plane full of Jews, it seems their security measures have worked pretty darned well.
     
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  12. sfo1
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    Yes, I did notice three men around the jetway, they were there about 45 minutes prior to boarding, sort of scruffie looking, the door to the jetway was opened and they disappeared down the jetway with their small rollerbags. I can guess who they must have been, did not notice any of the sitting in Business class, they must have had to sit in economy, after the fluff up about air marshalls riding in the forward cabins.
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Hebrew, presumably.

    Next time, just tell them LarryInNYC said you're O.K.
     
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