There are some disturbing reports coming out of Israel about what is happening to people traveling there. If you are a traveler this might impact you and if you aren’t a traveler, you should probably still be concerned.
The most recent move by the Israeli government is to randomly force travelers arriving at the International Airport, to log into their personal email accounts as they pass through passport control. If you refuse, you are then detained and deported back to your point of origin. Reports indicate that people who are detained are refused the right to contact their Embassy. This last point is standard practice among countries and why Israel wants to flaunt this is anyone’s guess.
It just isn’t that they require you to log into your personal email either. Once inside the email account, THEY read your stored emails. Reports also indicate they jot down names of your friends and contacts, presumably so they can be put on a list or be subject of a computer hack later on.
Several Americans have been deported back to the States under this practice. This includes people who were on tour groups. Like I said if you are traveling, this is a matter to take seriously and you should have a plan in place should you be selected. However, it seems that most of the travelers being singled out are people who have traveled to any Arab country, or of Arab heritage, or who have contacts or been to Africa and India.
I’m not sure why Israel continues to isolate itself from the rest of the world and especially those that would be their friends. I also fear for the safety of my friends who live there since totalitarian regimes (and that is what Israel is becoming) like this eventually start to eat their own. Israel is tossing both rule of law and the moral high ground to the wayside. I am not sure what it will take for it to get those two things back.
I am glad I got the chance to spend the time I did there. But I also fear if the country keeps down this path, I may never get another chance to go back. I do know one thing, they won’t be logging into my personal email.