In Israel, we arrived three and a half hours early to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to Boston. There were six separate security checks:
1) The first checkpoint outside the airport where a soldier with an M-16 asks questions while you’re still in the car or taxi.
2) The first bag check.
3) The second bag check, in case one of your bags gets flagged and requires further inspection.
4) The check-in.
5) The body scanners.
6) When you finally arrive at your gate and begin to board the plane, there is the final boarding bag check and an asking-you-questions guard.
I’ve learned from being at the airport in Israel that, if I have the choice, I never go in a line with Arabs. This has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with trying to catch my flight on time. No matter who the Arab, the Israeli security will inspect their bags and bodies thoroughly.
Most of the Arabs here in this airport are Israelis who live peacefully among Jews. These aren’t jihadists who aim to defeat the West. These Arabs want as badly to disassociate with fanatical Muslims as the rest of us. What’s better, these Arabs want Israel to survive. And that’s something not enough Americans understand about Israel; Jews and Arabs live together and happily. More than 1.6 million Arabs thrive in Israel, and they thank God this stable government allows its inhabitants to live freely, whatever their religion.
With my mother and wife by my side, we stood in the first bag-check line. It took an hour to get through. My mother and I were patient because we’ve been through this before. But my wife, on the other hand, was visibly aggravated. This was only her second time in Israel and she didn’t remember it taking so long the last time she was here.
I tried explaining to my wife this was how things worked here, and that we’d definitely get to our flight well before boarding time. I whispered to her that for the following security checks we would avoid lines with Arabs.
Our bag was flagged during the first bag check. We packed a few items that, according to the most secure airport in the world, seemed suspicious: Dead Sea salts and a large tube. The Israeli security sees thousands of Dead Sea salt packages go through the terminals every day, but they look exactly like certain serious drugs so they are regularly flagged. The security guard flashed my packages of Dead Sea salts under some type of blue light and packed them back in my suitcase. Everything seemed okay to him. Our other suspicious item was a tube holding paintings that we bought at an open market. I guess it kind of looked like a mini pocket-rocket, so maybe that’s why they had to pull it out. As the security guard opened the tube and rolled out the paintings he didn’t even have the decency to compliment our wonderful taste in art. All he did was roll up the paintings and stuff them back in there… Asshole.
Getting out of a line is very exciting in an Israeli airport. Because you stand in them for so long, you almost feel like it’s a victory getting out; like when the Hebrews exited the Red Sea. That excitement got to my wife’s head. While I grabbed our bags from the second bag check, she raced like a child to the check-in lines. Looking for the shortest line, she found one that only had 15 people. All the other lines had at least 25.
I looked at the other long lines and thought, “Stupid Israelis. Why didn’t anyone go to this line?”
I looked ahead of our line. Everyone was Arab, and one of the family’s had NINE CHILDREN. If we stayed in this line it would take twice as long as any other line.
Before I could back up and choose another line, a group of dumb Americans – who clearly didn’t know the Arab rule in airports – came in from behind and blocked us in. Now we were stuck in this line for good. Cue the Price is Right sound, we were fucked
I watched the other lines as Israeli after Israeli swiftly passed through the check-in, passing off their bags and getting their tickets without hassle. It had been 20 minutes since I entered the line and the first couple of Arabs had yet to be allowed through. After them, there were still 13 Arabs to go.
My wife turned to me and asked, “I picked the shortest line. Why is it taking so long?”
I couldn’t remind her aloud why this line was so slow because the Arabs surrounding us would hear. So instead of saying it vocally, I wrote it down on my smartphone and showed her the answer.
“Oh shit… I’m sorry, baby,” my wife said.
It was the first time in a long time that she said ‘sorry.’ As a husband I’m used to everything being MY FAULT, so it’s nice to know for a change that it wasn’t this time.
My wife continued, “YOU should have picked the line. Now you’re going to make us late for our flight.”
…Just when I thought it was her fault.
At what point do I get the respect that my uncle, grandfather, and cousins get? Do I have to gain an advanced degree in medicine? Because it seems like almost everyone in this family is a doctor except me. Yet I’m the first of my cousins and sibling that’s gotten married. I’ll be the first to buy a home. So when do I get the respect I deserve? HEY, Family! Are you listening?!…
They never do. Forget it.
I wish I could tell you the rest of this story. But first I have to get out of this line…