ADC Concerned Over Israel's Denying Americans Entry at Airports
AP Story Says US Citizens Forced to Show Personal Emails to Israeli Officials
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | June 5, 2012 -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today expressed concerns over published reports that Israel has begun to force incoming airline travelers deemed 'suspicious' to open personal email accounts for inspection before being allowed entry into the country. ADC has called upon the U.S. State Department to investigate the claims of several American citizens who claim that they were denied entry into Israel after airport authorities forced them to log-in to their personal email accounts for inspection before they were ultimately denied entry into Israel and sent back to the United States.
According to a recent story in the Associated Press (AP), this practice of email inspection at Israeli airports seems to disproportionately target Arab and Muslim travelers and "appears to be aimed at rooting out visitors who have histories of pro-Palestinian activism, and in recent weeks, has led to the expulsion of at least three American women." The AP story continues to note that Israel has a long history of using ethnic profiling at its airports, and Arab travelers and anyone else seen as a risk are often subjected to intense questioning and invasive inspections, including strip searches.
Finally, the AP story also quotes Haifa University law professor Emanuel Gross who said that forcing international airline travelers to show Israeli officials their personal emails would probably be illegal as well. "In Israel, you need a search warrant to go into somebody's computer," Professor Gross told AP in their story. "I'm skeptical that the security guards asked a judge first for a warrant and I'm skeptical that a judge would give it."
“The recent stories of American citizens being denied entry into Israel after airport authorities demanded to read their personal email accounts is quite a disturbing trend," said Warren David, president of ADC, in a statement today. "While airport security for any country is an important part of a nation's well-being, it is somewhat puzzling that a country which says that it is the 'only democracy in the Middle East' would deny entry to American citizens simply because they do not share their political views."
CONTACT: ADC President Warren David: (202) 244-2990 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub: (202) 244-2990 or email@example.com