This report in Haaretz details a highly disturbing account of how Israel’s Shin Bet security service interrogated American citizens with Arab backgrounds for hours and demanded access to their personal email accounts at Ben Gurion Airport. After spending a night in custody, they were denied entry into Israel in May. If these accounts are true, why has there been no formal and public objection from the Obama Administration?
Najwa Doughman, a 25-year-old architect from New York, was visiting Israel for the third time. She was traveling with a friend, Sasha Al-Sarabi, 24. Both women have Palestinian roots and were taken into custody for extensive searches and prolonged interrogation. They recount how security officials demanded to know why Najwa would return to Israel, whether she felt “more Arab or more American?” and whether she wanted to visit Al-Aqsa.
The security officials demanded her access code and proceeded to read out load her email conversations about Israel and other subjects.
The account details highly abusive treatment of Americans by a country that still receives billions in aid from the United States. That money comes from all of our citizens, including those with Arab backgrounds. If this account is true, there should be a public demand for answers from the State Department, but there has been total silence from the Obama Administration. The silence is as disturbing as the allegation, in my view.
The Israeli government has reported told the newspaper that everything was done in a perfectly lawful manner under Israeli law.