American student Lily Sussman, 21, likely has a new appreciation for our TSA personnel after encountering the Israel Border Police. Israeli officers allegedly interrogated her after she entered Israel via Taba, Egypt two weeks ago and ended up shooting her Apple laptop computer. It appears that the Border Police are PC people.
Sussman says that officers demanded to know about any boyfriends and whether they were Palestinian or Arab. She was asked why she was visiting Arab areas and not Israel. They went through her personal photos and her personal journal. They then shot her Apple Mac computer. As a Mac user, I find this last point deeply disturbing. It is one thing to shoot a PC (which deserve whatever they get), but a Mac? That is over the top. Of course, given the difficulty that I had getting the warranty honored on my IPhone (here — they eventually did replace the phone), I think that Sussman may have some difficulty at the Apple store when she asks a “Mac genius” to look at problems that she is having with the laptop.
If I were the border patrol, I would be much more concerned about Steve Jobs than any Jihadi. Jobs is known to show no mercy when people mess with the Mac (here).
Sussman said that she was given no warning about the computer execution until a voice came over the public announcement system that said “Do not to be alarmed by gunshots because the Israeli security needs to blow up suspicious passenger luggage.”
She says that an officer then came up to her and said “I’m sorry but we had to blow up your laptop.”
That certainly makes TSA look a look more reasonable.
While Israel obviously faces more severe threats from terrorism than we do, this story is one of many concerning abuses by border personnel. There appears to be no limits or restrictions or balancing in these decisions by border personnel. There has also been no record of a formal objection from our embassy on the treatment of one of our citizens.
For her account on her blog, click here.
For the full story, click here