Dear Israeli government

Dear Israeli government,

it’s funny how security works. What it entails and means to different people. And that slight variation between security and safety, too…

I would like you to know that the security checks at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, last night, made me feel very unsafe. Despite the officers’ politeness and clearly professional manners, I felt unsafe seeing my laptop and shoes taken away for what seemed like a pretty long time; I felt unsafe having to wait for I didn’t know what; I felt unsafe being asked to roll down my trousers to the knee and being scanned with hands and with beeping machines. It didn’t feel safe seeing the contents of my trolley being examined one by one, either, and that’s why I decided to close my eyes and rest my thoughts rather than witness that – provoking giggles from the officers, which I think is never bad 😉

Now that I’m fully safe in my safe-feeling country again, however, I can finally say it all without feeding dark fears of mysterious terrible consequences: my luggage was fine, of course, and I really am no physical threat to you in any way…but nonetheless I lied to you, Israeli government! Or, well- I omitted stuff. 

You know when you asked my friend and I if we were Christian? I said yes and she said nothing. Luckily the vast majority of your conscripts is well-trained, perhaps, but way too young and unexperienced to notice certain details. Breaking news for you: she is not Christian. And I myself am Christian in my own way, for that matter – but you didn’t need to know. I just wonder: what would have happened if we gave you a different answer? 

Oh, another one: at the entry checkpoint you, Israeli government, wanted to know if we were going to visit the West Bank. Then it was my friend who said no, and I’m so glad for that because I never would have managed; we lied, we lied because even though we hadn’t booked anything in the West Bank we knew we wanted to go there for sure. But what would have happened if we gave you a different answer? 

Similarly, at the airport you also made that guy with the cool three-letter name interrogate me in what probably wanted to be a subtle way (he wasn’t that subtle; I knew exactly what he was hinting at). I succeeded in making it sound like I had only been to Israeli places plus Bethlehem, which I supposedly visited for purely religious reasons. BIG LIE, dear Israeli government! Biiiiig omission. And in a few days, some time next week, a nice article in Italian will come out by my name that will tell you, if you pay attention, about just some of the Palestinian cities I visited and the Palestinian people I extensively talked to. You also could’ve read my blog to begin with, yes; but I understand that might be a tiny bit harder to find on Google 😛 And then again – what would have happened if I told you the complete truth?

You know what part was absolutely true? I very honestly study Arabic because I love it and because I want to work with Syrian refugees in their own language, oh yes. You also asked if I have friends in Jordan? Yes, now I do. You bet I do. And I hold them dear. 

Thank you for your lovely message that I found in my suitcase at 2am this morning when I was looking for my pajamas, by the way. Adorable surprise – veeery appreciated. It seems to me that you didn’t understand the criteria by which I separated clothes in different sections, but at least I trust you didn’t mess with my underwear. I kind of hope you opened the dirty sock bag because that would have treated you right for invading my privacy so thoroughly and unnecessarily

So long, Israeli government. Till our next encounter,

Security Jane

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