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Security hurdles a weak excuse for trip cancelation

Dear Editor:

It is disingenuous to claim a November VSB trip that has not reached the minimum number of participants within a month of the flier being sent out is a no-go – particularly since even 37 or so Muslims an/or Palestinian-Americans would apparently have gone but for the claimed problems with Israeli security checks.   Why didn’t Martingayle mention the low number of reservations  in the first e-mail go-around?  Does he really think we can’t see through that?

The possibility that a Palestinian-American has a suspicious security record is not everyone else’s problem.  There is nothing in the State Department Advisory that claims Israeli exclusions of tourists are “‘arbitrary and capricious”.  If Palestinians want to visit family in the West Bank during the VSB tour, they can take a very short flight from Ben-Gurion Airport to Amman, and enter via the Allenby Bridge.  What exactly is the particular sentence or paragraph in the State Department warning that VSB objects to?

And if someone – anyone – is delayed or rejected upon entry, why does the VSB  assume it would not be for good reason?

I face “delays” every time I go to the airport and have to go through TSA security.  This is primarily because 19 Muslim hijackers flew airplanes into US buildings and killed 3,000 Americans. The fact that innocent, peaceful Muslims now have to go through the same delays, or that the delays occur in going through US security, rather than another nation’s, makes it no easier for me.

Does the VSB refuse to fly anywhere else because of these burdensome security delays unfairly imposed on us because of the actions of others?  Or to nations that do not respect our view of First Amendment rights and freedoms? Of course not, because these delays and limitations are ‘understandable’ in context, in other nations.  Only when it comes to Israel are potential security delays a problem for the VSB.  No place else.  And that is the essence of the problem, and the perception of political correctness at work.

Neil Kuchinsky
Colonial Heights

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