Appropriate disclosure: this is a biased report. We don’t particularly like Peter Beinart, and, as we discovered, many other Jews agree with us. But in depicting the attacks of many Jewish readers on Peter Beinart heroic account in the Forward, titled, “I Was Detained At Ben Gurion Airport Because Of My Beliefs,” we largely ignored those who agree with him. Go there yourself, if you’re curious.
Beinart detailed the harrowing hour he spent in the Zionist gulag, being questioned by a middle-aged Israeli official with closely cropped hair about a protest in Hebron Beinart joined last time he had been over.
“He asked its purpose and I answered that we were protesting the fact that Palestinians in Hebron and across the West Bank lack basic rights.
“He asked how I had become involved in the protest and I mentioned The Center for Jewish Nonviolence.
“He asked if the Center had incited violence, and I replied that, as its name suggests, it practices non-violence.
“My interrogator then replied that names could be misleading. The government of North Korea, he observed, calls itself a democracy but is not.
“I told him I didn’t think the Center for Jewish Nonviolence and the North Korean government have much in common.”
That was the extent of the interrogation – honest, it’s what Beinart himself described in detail.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has since apologized for the Israeli police brutality against the gifted American visitor, suggesting it was human error. Bibi, as Bibi does, was lying. A former Shabak agent went on Army radio yesterday and explained the process: Beinart’s participation in a protest conducted by an anti-Israeli NGO was entered in the database. When his passport was scanned at Ben Gurion, a yellow light started blinking on the border control officer’s computer. The officer followed protocol – as border control officers do around the globe – and alerted the Shabak guy on duty.
It’s how security forces fight terrorism and other crimes: they amass the data, classify it, and the system pops an alert whenever necessary. Most people realize that this is a necessary evil, and gladly, or begrudgingly, endure the experience. Very few—usually the marginal ones—view this as an assault on their civil rights.
So, let’s review some of the comments below Beinart’s brave report:
Adam: “Was Beinart hurt? No. Was he mistreated? No. Does he have any evidence that he was released because of white privilege? No. Was it a feeling? Yes. Is he a known very vocal critic of Israel? Yes. Has he supported BDS? Yes. Did he go to a provocative demonstration in Hebron? Yes. Was he allowed into Israel? Yes. Poor guy lost an hour of his very valuable time.”
Howard LonBecker: “I am sorry that you have such a low opinion of Israel that you think it should embrace someone who has made a career of exploiting an international forum to distort the country’s precarious position in the face of surrounding countries that openly call for – or attempt – its annihilation.”
Rachel Pancake Corrie: “The israeli security at the airport should have beaten the crap out of him to an inch of his life …. no more BDS for him.”
10van: “It’s not a question to whether Israel is not strong enough to survive a Beinart or BDS or the their likes.
It has a healthy and active opposition in Kneset that can cover all the ground that Beinart and friends have concerns about. The question is whether to give individuals or sub groups a voice in a country that is not theirs.”
Chaim Boermeester: “Well, I remember specifically being asked on my US visa application if I had ever been a member of a communist party. If I would have answered that question with a yes, I am sure I would not have gotten a visa.”
GB in TX: “Peter Beinart is a Transnational Elite and that’s why he feels he has a right to dictate to others. […] I’m an ordinary American and when in the lands of others I remember I am a visitor.
KaReN: “When I get interrogated at BG, I feel like crap but I try to keep the perspective that ‘they are doing what they need to do.’ Buck up and take it! (Imagine what goyim go through).”
AviS: “‘First, my interrogator never offered any legal basis for my detention.’ Can you think of a rational reason why he would do so? You might like to think you’re special, but to Israel, you’re just another rabble rouser. There’s enough going on here without importing trouble.”
Tyf: “Peter Beinart’s career is based on selling hatred of the Jewish state to Gentiles. Israel is right to view Beinart as an enemy, and it really takes epic Chutzpah for Beinart to literally make a living off of demonizing the Jewish state and then play victim when Israel takes notice of his hostility towards it. Hopefully next time his kids can leave dad home and discover Israel on their own.”
There are literally more than a thousand more. When you get a free afternoon, sit on the porch, sip an iced coffee and scroll through them.