Racial Profiling Doesn’t Work Says Israeli Airport Security Chief

January 14, 2010

In this National Public Radio piece, Rafi Ron, the former chief for security at Ben Gurion airport argues that racial profiling is not effective. Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv is Israel’s largest airport and has a generally excellent reputation for security.

In the piece, Ron squarely addresses the effectiveness of racial profiling:

“One of the problems with racial profiling is that there is this tendency to believe that this is the silver bullet to solve the problem. In other terms if you are a Middle Easterner or if you are a Muslim you must be bad. If you are a European and Christian, you must be good.

But back in 1972, Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv was supposed to be attacked by a Palestinian. It was never attacked by one. It was attacked by a Japanese terrorist killing 24 people and it was attacked in the mid-80s by a German terrorist with blue eyes and blonde hair answering to the name Miller.” Read the rest of this entry »


Media Coverage of Capitol Hill Briefing on Profiling

January 12, 2010

The Arab American Institute organized an excellent briefing yesterday morning on profiling post-Christmas 2009.

Here’s a news article on the briefing: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0110/011110cdpm1.htm.

During the briefing, the Coalition came out squarely against the new TSA policy singling out nationals of 14 select countries for extra scrutiny regardless of individual criminal culpability:

“Profiling is now the policy of our country. Let’s not mince words,” said Amardeep Singh

The TSA wrongly denied that it was engaging in profiling, stating:

TSA does not profile,” the spokesman added. “As is always the case, TSA security measures are based on threat, not ethnic or religious background.”

Its policy however would indicate that it is profiling. The Coalition will continue to press the TSA on the issue of whether it is engaging in profiling or not. Stay tuned.

(Note my title in the article is incorrect).

Capitol Hill Briefing on Profiling at Airports

January 8, 2010

If you live in the DC Metro Area, you are encouraged to attend the following briefing on profiling. The Sikh Coalition will be participating:


Targeting Needles or Adding More Hay?:

Airport Profiling, ‘Countries of Interest’, and American Security

Monday, January 11, 2010
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Room 1334 Longworth HOB

Perspectives and recommendations from experts on national security, civil liberties, and the ethnic American experience, featuring:

  • Michael German, Policy Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Jumana Musa, Policy Director, Rights Working Group (RWG)
  • Amardeep Singh, Director of Programs, Sikh Coalition

Moderated by Dr. James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute

To RSVP for this event, please contact Samia Makhlouf, AAI Government Relations and Policy Analyst, at smakhlouf@aaiusa.org