Jewishupdates's Blog

January 22, 2010

Op-Ed Behavior Profiling Not Religious Profiling

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 5:22 pm

Op-Ed Behavior Profiling Not Religious Profiling

Lately there has been much discussion about Racial/Religious profiling. Some people like to make it sound a tad more politically correct, but, it is what it is. In light of the attempted attack on the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, it sparked the conversation anew. There is even a bill that NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind wants to introduce to the state assembly calling for racial profiling. This is not only wrong, but also insensitive! While we are facing a faceless enemy who will try to do anything to destroy us, we have to, in some way, rely on our security system. If someone buys a one way ticket to America and pays cash, that should ring a lot more bells than the fact that his name is Muhammed. How many times were swastikas painted on our shuls or schools? How will profiling help them if chalilah, Neo-Nazis try to do something on a plane, bus or train?? All recent terror attacks were on the radar screens of the Intelligence communities. They have failed us miserably and we have to hold them accountable. To try and introduce legislation like racial profiling is not only not smart, but we let the people that supposedly take care of our security off the hook. Pregnant ladies, donkeys, children, and ambulances were used to perpetrate terror attacks. Profiling isn’t going to help.

What we saw yesterday on flight # 3079 highlights this point. A young 17 year old boy became scarred for the rest of life. What did he do?? He exercised his first amendment right, and because a flight attendant religiously profiled, look at what happened? He will now have this hanging over his head for the rest of his life!! Even if we put this aside for a minute, think about the tremendous Chillul Hashem that this caused. Is it worth it? Where is the outrage? If we do practice religious profiling, these sorts of incidents will get out of hand and will create a huge Chillul Hashem; and I can’t even imagine the travel delays this will cause on a daily basis.

We should take a closer look at behavior profiling. El-Al in Israel is the first thing that comes to mind. In a recent interview with CNN, Isaac Yeffet, the former security chief, said this about airline security, “It’s mandatory that every passenger — I don’t care his religion or whatever he is — every passenger has to be interviewed by security people who are qualified and well-trained, and are being tested all year long. I trained my guys and educated them, that every flight, for them, is the first flight. That every passenger is the first passenger. The fact that you had [safe flights] yesterday and last month means nothing. We are looking for the one who is coming to blow up our aircraft. If you do not look at each passenger, something is wrong with your system.” If they had a journalist posing as a passenger, slip through with contraband, they would be immediately fired and not given a two week suspension and the right to sue for their job back! I remember flying in and out of Israel, while being approached by security agents peppering me with all sorts of random questions. They didn’t care which yeshiva I learned in or what Parsha it was that week. They were simply engaging me in conversation to try to get a read on me. I must say they are B”H pretty successful. I think it safe to say that El-AL and Israel are the most targeted by terrorist. They practice behavior profiling and not religious profiling. They are the ones that have a proven track record! It is very simple and easy to provide a crutch for our security system to rely on. But it is only short term. It won’t work long term. For the sake of our safety, liberty, and freedom, let’s look and try to adopt a proven method.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

(David Lobl – YWN / Can be reached at


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