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Israeli Border Police Shoot US Student's Laptop 929

Posted by kdawson
from the no-less-no-more dept.
zerothink writes "American student Lily Sussman, 21, upon entry into Israel from Taba (Egypt, Sinai) caught Israeli border police in grumpy mood — after two hours of questions and searching through her belongings they decided to put three bullets through her laptop. Explanation? 'I'm sorry but we had to blow up your laptop.' Haaretz also covered the story." All three bullets missed the hard disk.
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Israeli Border Police Shoot US Student's Laptop

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  • by jhoegl (638955) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:42AM (#30455486)
    Soooo... they nerdraged her puter?
    Seems a little odd they would attack her puter. Feels more like they were little babies because they didnt agree with her on some subjects so they hurt the only thing they could. School playground antics from grown ups, awesome.
  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:43AM (#30455492) Journal
    So they had to shoot down her laptop. With three bullets. Missing her hard drive. That really makes sense now.
  • Backup! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jojoba86 (1496883) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:46AM (#30455524)

    What.all my client case notes and testimony, writing, pictures, music and applications. Years of work. NO!!!! What?? Are you insane?? What were you thinking? THAT’S ALL MY WORK!?

    What? There are a million and one things that could happen to a nice shiny laptop while travelling, if your data is that important it's pretty stupid not to backup, especially before travelling.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:48AM (#30455536)

    Good thing she didn't visit the US then. That would have bought her an extended stay at Hotel Guantanamo Bay.

  • by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:55AM (#30455582)

    Of course. Everyone knows that terrorists will do everything they can to draw attention to themselves while setting up a plot.

  • by VShael (62735) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @06:56AM (#30455586) Journal

    She had the following on herself -hand drawn map of downtown Jerusalem -Arabic stickers on laptop -"Fuck Star of David" pic on phone
    -passport stamps from Arab countries -various Arab publications -photos condemning Israeli military action in Gaza

    Unless her name was Ms. McGyver, I don't see how posession of any of these items is a threat to anyone or anything.
    And unless there was a good reason to shoot the laptop, these folks were simply acting like dicks with too much power and too much paranoia. (A common complaint amongst guards the world over, mind, not just Israel.)

    If you can't tell the legitimate threats, from the bullshit ones, then you're going to fuck up your job sooner or later.

    And in their case, a fuck up means people could die.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:02AM (#30455622)

    Selfdeclared? There WAS resolution of UN which allowed its creation. Most countries recognize Israel, even if they dont recognise Jerusalem as its capital.
    How about "selfdeclared" state of US? Or "selfdeclared" state of Syria? Or "selfdeclared" state of Spain? Or Iran ... or all other states of world?

  • by darkeye (199616) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:05AM (#30455634) Homepage

    armed thugs stop the travellers on a regular basis, and demand all sorts of things from them, at gun point. like removing clothing, penetration of clothing (tap search inside pants), stealing items like water bottles and knifes, or destroying property as here. in worst cases they can even enslave you (called arrest and inprisonment now, or rendition)

    this is not much different from the middle ages, where bandits would stop travellers, and demand all sorts of things from them at the threat of physical violence. at least, at that time one could prepare and fight back.

  • Mobility problem! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zolf13 (941799) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:07AM (#30455644)
    Clearly, the iMac was not mobile enough comparing to the bullets.
  • by furball (2853) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:09AM (#30455654) Journal

    Security at its finest!

    I'll play! When was the last time someone managed to bomb or hijack a plane originating out of Israel? Now how about the US? UK? India? Germany? France? Spin the globe. Pick a random country.

    Bonus trivia question: How many aircrafts have been hijacked originating from an Israeli airport in the entire history of Israel?

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:09AM (#30455662)

    Half of those are covered by her living in Egypt, half of them by her being a journalist. Either of those in isolation or combination strike you as a bomb threat?

  • by hashax (1190057) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:14AM (#30455700)

    She had the following on herself -hand drawn map of downtown Jerusalem

    Geography students in Israel better start wearing kevlar soon.

    -Arabic stickers on laptop -

    If you're one of the 530 million people speaking Arabic, here's some news - knowing a language could be a crime.

    "Fuck Star of David" pic on phone

    I'm not one for nasty language, but I won't go popping bullets in things I don't like, Mr Columbine.

    -passport stamps from Arab countries -

    What's wrong with visiting an arab country? or do you believe in enclosing a race to their own land and prevent them from outside contact? Similar logic to that of a certain country, I must say.

    various Arab publications

    That sounds plain xenophobic. Education is not synonymous to English or Hebrew.

    -photos condemning Israeli military action in Gaza

    You should start getting trigger-happy with the U.N., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and a dozen other human rights monitoring agenices and governemtns, because they condemned military action in Gaza. I should not have to leave my opinion at the border when entering a country, if my opinion is not causing any harm to anyone.

  • by furball (2853) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:24AM (#30455772) Journal

    It isn't paranoia if they're out to get you.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:24AM (#30455774)
    They're military grunts, not PC repair men. Tell me, from looking at the case behind the LCD of a laptop, can you tell me where the hard drive is located?

    Do you know what the symbol for "Arm" is on the firing control mechanism for an M1 Abrahms main gun? I'm guessing they have a better idea than you, but then again you have a better idea of which symbol means "hard disk" on a computer case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:32AM (#30455818)

    Do you know what the symbol for "Arm" is on the firing control mechanism for an M1 Abrahms main gun?

    Wait... you mean the design of the main US battletank supposes that the operators can't read english? Or is this from some israeli knockoff of the Abrams?

  • Re:Backup! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:35AM (#30455840)

    What? There are a million and one things that could happen to a nice shiny laptop while travelling, if your data is that important it's pretty stupid not to backup, especially before travelling.

    I work while traveling so backing up before embarking on a lengthy trip is of limited value. If you are on the road you have three options for backup: You can use an external HD which you have to carry with you and while traveling and which these paranoid guards would have put another three bullets through so although that's a valid option it's no good in a situation like this. Also keep in mind that your backup HD stands a good chance of getting stolen right along with the rest of your luggage. The second option is cloud storage which can't be easy to access when you are on the road in war-torn palestine even if you have a GSM connector. It's a quite expensive option to use if you do manage to get a connection and if your data goes over a few megabytes (let's say you're a photographer) it's a totally impractical. You could also store your stuff on a flash drive or memory cards which is better than an external HD since you'd be likely to carry that in your pocket which makes it less likely to get lost when your luggage is misplaced or stolen. Of course that's assuming those paranoid Israeli border guards don't confiscate your flash storage devices and... oops... accidentally drop them under the tracks of a passing Merkava.

  • Stupid bitch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by soundguy (415780) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:37AM (#30455848) Homepage

    You have to be pretty goddamn stupid to fly into a fanatical military state like Israel from a Muslim country with a laptop covered in Arabic stickers. What's the next leg of her journey? From Israel to Iran wearing a star of David and demanding a kosher meal?

  • Re:Backup! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AbRASiON (589899) * on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:41AM (#30455884) Journal

    Do any slashdotters still have the recording of the customers voicemail regarding the lost data on his hard disk? I think it was to Compaq or maybe even Canon (?) it'd be over 10 years old and they replaced his hard disk without telling him and he went proper, proper insane in this voicemail.
    I haven't heard it in years, I do recall the line along the lines of "last 4 years of my goddamn fucking life" or something.

  • by Sun (104778) <shachar@shemesh.biz> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:44AM (#30455896) Homepage

    Admittedly, it does not sound as if shooting the laptop (and the display, of all things) was necessary, or even helpful. Having said that, the Israeli procedure seem to be:

    Our procedures are strict, but we try to apply them fairly. They HAVE saved life before. We do get it wrong occasionally, and then your property may get hurt. When it does, we apologize and reimburse you

    Contrast and compare that with the US customs, which says:

    Our procedures are arbitrary, and we do not commit to any specific policy. Most people go by unmolested, but if we do decide to molest you, there is nothing you can do about. Deal with it. If we took away your possessions, you will never see them again

    Even on sheer "friendliness", I'm not sure which I prefer.

    Shachar

  • by Griim (8798) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:45AM (#30455904) Homepage

    The reason they're shooting it is to *try* to make it go off.

    Typically this would be put in a bomb pit somewhere nearby. From reading the comments this is fairly common practice there. This one nailed it pretty well:

    "I know many Jewish Israeli people who had their bag shot just because they left it unwatched for a couple of minutes. Yes, this is the unfortunate reality that Israelis live in, where Palestinian terrorist would do anything (such as put bombs cowardly hidden in laptops) to intentionally hurt innocent civilians. These are precaution measures intended to prevent loss of innocent lives (yes, sometimes at the cost of a cherished laptop because of a possibly careless border officer)."

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:47AM (#30455920)

    I think she trolled them and they used their enormous discretionary powers to teach her a lesson.

    A more sinister view of it is that someone sent her through with (from her blog)

    Security had never asked for my password. Was it my peeling Arabic stickers on the keyboard? Or something else during the questioning which set them off?

    Toward the beginning of the search an officer began clicking through the photos on my camera. She froze on a picture of graffiti, which read “Fuck” scrawled next to the Jewish star of David. “Why do you have this picture?” She asked me rather aggressively. “Because I was disturbed by it too,” I answered. She didn’t press the subject but continued clickingpresumably looking at pictures from a photo exhibit about Israel’s January attack of Gaza.

    The security guards then asserted their AUTHORITAH by shooting the laptop. Now their will be an outcry. The terrorists can now send someone who looks and acts like her with a bomb on the offchance that the outcry will cause the government to damp down the security response. Fat chance of that working though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @07:51AM (#30455940)

    And in their case, a fuck up means people could die.

    I don't think Israelis count Palestinians as people.

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:02AM (#30456036)
    And she entered with her nice little laptop 'puter with the star of David on it and some stickers about how Allah was a faggot and the Iranian president a ninny. I wonder what would have happened? I wonder when Americans are going to wise up to the fact that in some countries they don't have the sense of humor about criticism that we do here. That it can be dangerous to travel abroad with a smug sense of superiority and invulnerability.
  • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:08AM (#30456084)

    "I know many Jewish Israeli people who had their bag shot just because they left it unwatched for a couple of minutes. Yes, this is the unfortunate reality that Israelis live in"

    Not to belittle their situation, but anyone who's travelled much at all on public transport in London will be aware that they must not leave their belongings unattended "or they may be removed and possibly destroyed by the security services".

    I'm not aware that it's happened to anyone I know, but the threat is there. Of course, we lived with a couple of decades of terrorist attacks ourselves long before Terrorism was the new bogeyman.

  • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:17AM (#30456134) Journal

    You quite obviously have the luxury of living in a place where completely random things suddenly exploding isn't a regular occurrence. The border agents in Israel do not have that luxury.

    When Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and all the other local terrorist groups stop stuffing bombs into everything they possibly can in order to blow up buses and nightclubs full of civilians, Israeli border patrol agents can stop testing suspected bomb containers by shooting them as a matter of policy. Until then, if it were my life and the lives of my friends and neighbors on the line, I'd be plugging holes in anything being carried across the border that I thought could even possibly contain a bomb if I had even the slightest thought that something wasn't right.

    This snooty little cunt knew exactly what she was doing and she went there with every intention of stirring up trouble. What she didn't count on was the fact that - unlike where she's from - the government in Israel takes all potential threats seriously because they've been taught to do so by decades of cleverly hidden bombs blowing up their citizens at random. And the reason they questioned her for two hours is because they've learned from vast amounts of experience what to ask and when to figure out what someone's really up to.

    She was packed to the brim with anti-Israel crap and had maps and directions to a public bus station and a hostel in the heart of Israel. She couldn't have looked more like a foreigner coming to do harm if she'd written "TERRORIST" on her forehead in red lipstick. So they decided her laptop could be a bomb and destroyed it the simplest way they could; by shooting it. And after all that? They gave her the info so she could be compensated for the damage done to her property. That's right; they're paying for the damage because it turns out she wasn't a terrorist carrying a bomb; just a snooty cunt carrying a big chip on her shoulder and a lot of attitude.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:19AM (#30456142)

    Well, that doesn't play. If you really thought the laptop was a bomb you wouldn't give it back avec ou sans bullet generated ventilation holes.

    And bombs aren't shot to disable them. Good grief: the result is totally unpredictable. Would it trigger: maybe, maybe not. Would shooting disable a bomb: maybe maybe not. Certainly, the laptop with holes would be a conversation piece with security at the next border crossing no matter where that was ;-)

    The only reason to shoot it was to intimidate and to display arbitrary power.

    Was that the right thing to do? Maybe: I don't live there and I haven't seen the things that a border security person has.

    Seems to me that if they were suspicious of her it would be more prudent to seize the laptop and to either turn her away or to put her on a watch list.

    I think the guards were pissed at her and meted out some self satisfying punishment.

  • by gladish (982899) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:23AM (#30456172)
    Apparently you've never served in the military. Most people are in their early to mid twenties. Hardly "grown ups".
  • by PjotrP (593817) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:24AM (#30456184)
    your point being that Israel and Iran are comparable in how they handle criticism?
  • by sturle (1165695) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:24AM (#30456188)
    Evidence!? What evidence? Photos, a hand drawn map and stickers making it possible to write in arabic? The latter is evicence for normal use of the laptop. Certainly not bomb markings. WTF?
  • Re:Priorities (Score:2, Insightful)

    by easyTree (1042254) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:28AM (#30456218)

    I know - thankfully Slashdot readers have our priorities in order!

  • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:35AM (#30456266)

    The bottom line is, the only way shooting the laptop makes any sense is if they believed that there was some kind of explosive hidden within it that needed to be safely discharged away from people and given the context, even that sounds like bullshit given that they saw the computer working.

    It makes more sense to me that they felt she was anti-Israeli and abused their powers to teach her a 'lesson'. I don't know how you can only draw the conclusion it could be only some truly legitimate reason.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:36AM (#30456268)
    More specifically, the stickers are on the keys of the keyboard. As labels.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:41AM (#30456318)

    And that is the only UN resolution that Israel has ever followed. (Hint:Israel has failed to comply to more UN resolutions than Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan put together)

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:44AM (#30456330)

    They didn't clear the area, and there's no reason to believe they brought in a robot, given that they shot it in earshot of the rest of the travellers. If they did think it was a bomb, they were obviously keen to do as much damage with it as possible.

  • by Dodgy G33za (1669772) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:45AM (#30456334)
    Would that be the same UN that Israel has been ignoring for the past 20 years or more, for example security council resolution 452.
  • by fastest fascist (1086001) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:50AM (#30456358)
    Is that really the common way to do it? Shoot a potential bomb and hope it blows up?? AFAIK the usual method involves a very strong container and some real explosives.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:55AM (#30456390) Homepage Journal

    Sounds like a typical college twit with a chip on their shoulder who saw nothing wrong with purposely baiting authorities. We only have her side so of course she wants to come off as clean and pristine, yet the items and such on her point to either someone incredibly stupid or someone intentionally trying to cause a scene.

    The problem is, you don't cause scenes where people put their lives on the line every day. I don't care what stupid tripe you think you know or learned at home. The real world is a whole different place and it don't care what you think. In some areas of the world the last thing you want to do is bring notice to yourself. Check points are the last place in the world I would want to screw up.

  • by Kyrene (624175) * on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @08:56AM (#30456396)
    She's not Jewish. She even says herself: "They quizzed me on Judaism, which I know nothing about" Read the Ha'Aretz article.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:11AM (#30456486)

    Unless her name was Ms. McGyver, I don't see how posession of any of these items is a threat to anyone or anything

    Last I checked there are female suicide bombers and terrorists that don't look like they will do anything dangerous but do. I'm not saying she would have but they are out there.

    If an arab or anyone from from an outside country came into the US with an image of our flag burning or fuck the US things like that wouldn't you be a little worried about them?

  • Stupid Slashdotter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:17AM (#30456542)

    Arabic is one of Israel's two official languages. Why is it stupid to have Arabic stickers on your laptop? Because you're an ignoramus, would be my guess.

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@noSpAm.yahoo.com> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:18AM (#30456548) Journal

    Whether the Israeli military used white phosphorous when targeting civilians (the evidence suggests they were using it the way everyone else does, as flares at night to light up targets so the wrong building/person isn't shot) is irrelevant. As is the question of whether an errant bomb/missile hit a school in a war zone (mistakes happen and collateral damage is tragic, but it's not like it's done on purpose). The question is, have the Israelis have lived with random bombings in civilian areas long enough to justify extreme security measures with regards to unattended bags and suspicious cases crossing the border? I think the answer to that question is "Yes".

  • by lewko (195646) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:19AM (#30456552) Homepage

    Congratulations. You know fuck all about EOD and bomb disposal, but were so busy with your little tirade, you didn't bother doing the most basic research before trying to bignote yourself.

    It took me 10 seconds to find this video [youtube.com] of a bomb disposal robot firing a shotgun into a suspicious package in downtown Tel Aviv.

    That's about half as long as it would have taken you to write your clueless little rant about fascism and other irrelevant nonsense.

    "Please give me a single reference where in any modern world (modern being after XV century) police or military forces protocol, says that you should soot [sic] an object suspect of harboring explosive charges !"

    Fail.

  • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:23AM (#30456582) Journal

    Congratuations! If you actually do shoot a bomb, you'll probably kill yourself and do a significant amount of damage to your surroundings. If you shoot a chemical or biological or radiation agent, you've just dispersed it.

    Perhaps you should do a tad bit of research on bomb disposal methods prior to commenting further on the topic. Clearing the area, then firing shots into the suspected device is entirely common and appropriate procedure for securing such a device. We're not talking about nuclear ordinance here. The kinds of bombs that will fit in these kinds of packages having been assembled out of spare parts and pieces in somebody's kitchen will create a sufficient explosion to do significant damage only within a small, confined area. Sometimes various shrapnel is added to increase lethality. None of them will do much in wide open space.

    Probably most of the visitors to Israel carry directions to their public transport and the place they're staying. She cooperated fully with their questioning, to the extent that they were happy to leave her sitting out on the balcony enjoying views of the Red Sea while they dealt with her belongings. What makes her a terrorist suspect is the material she had on her, entirely consistent with her being a journalist travelling from a Middle Eastern country documenting the hate against Israel. Apparently living in one of Israel's neighbours, and showing an interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict, is reason enough to think you're a bomber. That's scary.

    First of all, she's not a journalist travelling from a Middle Eastern country documenting the hate against Israel, she's an American displaying hate against Israel with her own personal belongings. Add to that the travel to several Middle Eastern countries and a device which (when x-ray'd) looks a heck of a lot like a bomb (battery cells, etc) and you have all the grounds necessary in a place like Israel to declare the thing a suspected bomb and destroy it. News flash: when you cross a nation's border, said nation has every right to detain you for as long as they wish, question you about anything they wish, destroy anything of your's that they wish, with or without reason. In this case, we've got a country constantly under seige by randomly exploding things in public places whose agents spotted an individual displaying a serious hate for the country and what could (in the world of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc) be a hiding place for yet another clever bomb.

    All-in-all, if I were an Israeli citizen, I'd much rather have these guys standing between terrorist groups and my family than you. You're looking for reasons not to inconvenience people entering the country. They're looking for potential threats and dealing with them best they can.

    Your attitude would directly increase the chances of more people being blown up in bus bombings.

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@noSpAm.yahoo.com> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:26AM (#30456622) Journal

    Israel was proclaimed an idependent state by Israel May 14th 1948.

    The United States was proclaimed an independent state by the United States on July 4, 1776. Does that mean we don't exist, either?

  • by hughk (248126) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:30AM (#30456662) Journal
    The technique with a robot controlled shotgun comes from Northern Ireland. The concept is to disrupt any detonation mechanism. A bullet will likely as not pass straight through the explosive not detonating it or disrupting the comparitive small trigger mechanism. The laptop was apparently returned by the soldier thug to the student after the shooting. So she can recycle the explosive into another bomb? The soldier clearly shot at the laptop to cause inconvenience to the student not to disrupt any bomb.
  • by t0p (1154575) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:31AM (#30456666) Homepage
    In some countries, you know you have to be careful what you say, what literature or pictures you carry, etc, because you know the local police will arrest/deport/torture/kill critics of their regime. Such countries are usually dictatorships where no one has expectations of rights and freedom. Israel isn't supposed to be one of those countries. Israel portrays itself as a democracy, where concepts like freedom of speech are respected. If someone who disagrees with the current government's policies wants to visit a free democracy, she should be afforded the courtesy of toleration. Interrogating such a visitor for 2 hours is not very courteous. Shooting her laptop is extremely discourteous. The reason for this treatment: because she disagrees with the policies of a democratic country's policies, and presumably has sympathies with Arab Israelis (ie Israeli citizens) as well as Palestinians. There's nothing in this story to indicate that the border guards actually suspected her of being a terrorist. They didn't like her, and wanted to "teach her a lesson". So she's been/going to be recompensed for the laptop - so what? She's still gone through the trauma of its destruction and the inconvenience of being deprived of it during her travels. The guards responsible for shooting the laptop won't be punished - they were "just doing their job". It's just sad that in a so-called democracy, the duties of a border guard include traumatizing tourists who disagree with a government's policies.
  • by lewko (195646) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:36AM (#30456712) Homepage

    Exactly how was her speech restricted?

    Which prison is she currently rotting in?

    Which members of her family have gone into hiding?

    How long was she tortured for?

    Oh, wait. I'm thinking of what happens to dissidents in Arab countries. In Israel, you get an apology and a cheque for a replacement laptop. Do tell us more, about how eeeeevil the Jewish state is. Your objectivity is remarkable!

  • Re:Stupid bitch (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LS (57954) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:39AM (#30456752) Homepage

    Good point, Israel and Iran are both fanatical countries....

  • by Just Brew It! (636086) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:49AM (#30456846)
    If we take the blog post at face value, everyone involved behaved rather stupidly. Both the border police (for shooting up the laptop), and the student (for not having a backup copy of her "years of work"). Meh.
  • You can't win... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:50AM (#30456860)
    There are two possible kinds of answer to the question "How many aircrafts have been hijacked originating from an Israeli airport in the entire history of Israel?", but no matter what the answer is, it will always support this insane paranoia:
    • None => see, this paranoid security is efficient! Israël is right with being so locked-down, it has protected them from great harm!
    • This obscure incident in Entebbe, and maybe a couple of others => see, they really are out to get Israël. So it's not paranoia, but justified fear
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:57AM (#30456938)

    I defy her, you or anyone to start mouthing off at an Egyptian or Iranian airport and see where you end up. It won't be in a queue filling out paperwork.

    That's good. Israel should use that as a tourist tag line "Israel: we're at least as rational as Egypt and Iran". Makes me want to visit.

    Look, just because another government is more oppressive doesn't make their actions any less ridiculous.

  • by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:09AM (#30457066) Homepage

    Would it be possible to design a bombWould it be possible to design a bomb that goes off when shot? That way, you-the-bomber get around the most popular technique for defusing rather easily... that goes off when shot? That way, you-the-bomber get around the most popular technique for defusing rather easily...

    You do realize that that's the whole point, right ? Opening the bomb and attempting analysis is what's risky. By putting it in a safe place (against a wall and no roof over it) and then shooting it, you can make it explode safely, without hurting anyone.

    The object of defusing a bomb stopped being actually defusing the bomb a long time ago. These days the object of defusing a bomb is to detonate it at a time and place of your choosing, instead of the time and place of the bomber's choosing, as just about every security force in the world has lost too many body parts and lives to defusing attempts.

  • by nidarus (240160) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:11AM (#30457082)

    Over 300 comments, most of them about how the girl deserved it because she had some Arabic stickers, or how the Israeli police is stupid and evil.

    But the truth is: you don't know. You have no idea what happened there, what made the police suspect the girl, what she actually said to them, what they found in her luggage, or, hell, even if she was a terrorist, you'd have no way of knowing it.

    All you've got is a short news article, and a short blog post, both very light on details. Even the girl doesn't know why the police blew up her laptop. The reporter knows even less. And you, the average slashdotter, know jack shit.

    Seriously, people, get a grip.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:11AM (#30457086)

    I disagree with the emotive language implying that Palestinians are the only ones killing innocent civilians.

    It's a story about a fucking laptop, you twit. If there was ever a comment more deserving of an "off topic" mod, I haven't seen it.

  • by wmac (1107843) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:22AM (#30457204) Homepage
    OMG! Laptop of a U.S citizens was hit! ah, someone talked about Palestinians being hit by bombs and bullets. Forget it! Did the US owner of the Laptop became unhappy?!
  • by amosh (109566) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:25AM (#30457232)
    Because these are ISRAELI border guards. If they wanted to destroy a laptop that included sensitive information, they're smart enough to know to shoot the hard drive. See the million posts above on why the guards would have shot a potential bomb in this way.
  • by jonadab (583620) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:41AM (#30457378) Homepage Journal
    > Of course, we lived with a couple of decades of terrorist
    > attacks ourselves long before Terrorism was the new bogeyman.

    The UK only *thinks* they have terrorism problems. (The US too, for that matter.)

    Spend a few months living in Israel, and you'll find out how it really is.

    I'm not saying shooting the laptop was necessarily justified or the right thing to do. I don't know enough of the details of the situation to say that. But I will say that there are some security measures that Israel absolutely *has* to take, that would be viewed as unacceptably harsh in places with relatively low levels of terrorist violence. Israel really has very little choice in the matter. They're basically living in a war zone, all the time.

    Did I mention that the entire middle-east is officially not on my "places to be sure to visit" list? Call me a wuss if you want, but I prefer to live in an area where the word "terrorist" generally calls to mind news stories from several years ago and several hours' drive away. Small-town USA is good. Our town doesn't make the news much, and we *like* it that way.
  • by nidarus (240160) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:12AM (#30457830)

    Aah, that map again. The one where "Palestinian land" can mean "the part of Mandatorial Palestine (a British-colony-type entity, that included all of that area) that the author decided was more "Palestinian" than the rest", "a plan that was accepted by the Jews, but rejected by the Arabs", "parts of Jordan and Egypt" or "the first time the Palestinians had any kind of autonomy, ever".

    I won't try to deconstruct that moronic attempt at propaganda piece-by-piece - I'll just note that each step after 1947 could have been avoided if the Arabs accepted Israel's existence, instead of trying to take the whole territory by force.

    The Merkava tank, btw, was first used in 1982.

  • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:25AM (#30458018)

    Feels more like they were little babies because they didnt agree with her on some subjects so they hurt the only thing they could. School playground antics from grown ups, awesome.

    More likely that the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing.

    Fact 1: If you show up at an Israeli border crossing with a bunch of Arab stuff, you are going to be subjected to extra questioning.
    Fact 2: If you leave a bag unattended in Israel, it will be assumed to be a bomb (for obvious reasons), and will be destroyed.

    I'm guessing that when the guard saw all her Arab stuff, they told her to leave her bag and go get questioned. Then another guard saw an unattended bag and called the bomb squad, who destroyed it.

    It sounds from the article like Israel is reimbursing Sussman for her loss, and I feel that's appropriate. They shouldn't have shot up her laptop.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @12:27PM (#30459002) Journal

    Yes, they are. She mentioned them in her blog entry.

    my peeling Arabic stickers on the keyboard
    a picture of graffiti, which read “Fuck” scrawled next to the Jewish star of David
    pictures from a photo exhibit about Israel’s January attack of Gaza
    an Arabic phrasebook
    a journal entry that mentioned a Palestinian
    stamps from Syria, Qatar and the UAE
    Palestinians in Palestine guidebook [palestineonlinestore.com]
    a map a friend had drawn with a main street in Jerusalem, the central bus station and my intended hostel

    Furthermore, in her follow-up blog entry, she starts off with:

    First, I completely agree with Freitas’s comment. “These guys shoot every day at unarmed people, even children. Why so much surprise about a simple laptop?”

    If that is the sort of attitude she exhibited toward the border guards, combined with the stuff they found in her possession... added up, it was suspicious.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @12:27PM (#30459010) Journal

    Israel was created by a UN mandate. Had her neighbors peacefully accepted this mandate nobody would have been forced out of their homes. The original borders were largely drawn along the lines of where the Jews and Palestinians were already settled. Instead of accepting this mandate however her neighbors attempted to settle the matter with military force. Not once mind you, not twice, but three different times.

    You can't really place all of the blame for the current situation on Israel, much as though you may want to. There's plenty of blame to go around on all sides.

  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @12:32PM (#30459106) Homepage

    Your attitude would directly increase the chances of more people being blown up in bus bombings.

    And the attitude that any person who dislikes Israel should be treated like a criminal and denied basic rights does far more damage than any misguided kid's political views.

    There isn't much difference between Israelis complaining about Palestinian violence and early pioneers complaining about Native American violence. If you take someone's land and property with force, they will probably do whatever they can to retaliate. If you don't want them to use terrorist tactics, have the US give the same amount of weapons to Palestine as it does to Israel. I'm sure the two state solution would suddenly be vastly more appealing to the hardliners who still want to steal Palestinian land under the guise of security.

  • Two anecdotes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oren (78897) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @12:40PM (#30459234)

    First - My work place was on the 3rd floor overlooking a main post office. I remember a case where someone left his groceries when he picked up his mail from his mailbox. About 20m later, we saw the guy sprinting back a few blocks down the street. However, the bomb disposal people were at ground level... and their robot shot his bag before he could get close enough for them to see him. Veggies everywhere. So no, this isn't picking up on someone in particular. Leave a bag unattended in a sensitive public place, and this may happen to you - regardless of who and what you are.

    Second - I am sure this girl had a most unpleasant time. She is overlooking the fact that she wasn't a suspect as such. If you were a terrorist trying to smuggle a bomb into a high security area, a good way would be to plant it on some young, sympathetic, naive, idealistic western girl who is "obviously" not a terrorist - a profile this girl fit to a T. To rule this out you need to ask a lot of invasive, personal, seemingly irrelevant questions. If this sounds far fetched to you, read about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nezar_Hindawi [wikipedia.org] who planted a bomb in his pregnant Irish fiance's bag. I am certain she went through a most unpleasant time as well. I am also certain she appreciated keeping her and her baby's lives. I am also certain all the other passengers on her flight appreciated continuing living, too. And the crew. And all their families. And friends.

    The bottom line is that security in Israel is different from the USA. Instead of inflicting ineffective, mindless, low-level nuisance on everyone, it focuses on people who may (knowingly or unknowingly) pose a risk and gives them a thoroughly unpleasant, but effective, screening. This method works. And for most people, Israeli security is a much more pleasant experience than going through USA security. Of course, for the few who end up getting the 3rd degree, it is much worse.

  • by LizardKing (5245) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @01:26PM (#30460064)

    "Palestine" was part of the Ottoman empire. Not a discrete legal entity.

    So that justifies massacres and expulsions? This is the same pro-Israel disinformation that claims Palestinians are just Jordanians/Syrians/Lebanese (choose as per your particular prejudice), and therefore not worth a damn. This is despite them having a longstanding cultural identity that is different to their neighbours.

  • Re:Stupid bitch (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @02:11PM (#30460822)

    What language do you think they speak over there?

    "You have to be pretty goddamn stupid to fly into Mexico with a laptop covered in Spanish stickers." hurrr dur

  • by ryanov (193048) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @02:22PM (#30460976)
    Trouble is, most Jews I run into that speak out (apparently, like yourself) can't separate hatred of Jews from disagreement with retarded Israeli behaviors. I can think Israel is full of shit without hating the country or the people it. But, apparently, a ton of Jews can't figure that out and attempt to discredit people that disagree with them as anti-Semites. Frankly, pathetic.

    PS: sometimes, as with the US, there is a reason why people can't stand your country.
  • Re:Stupid bitch (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @03:24PM (#30461932)

    Good point, Israel and Iran are both fanatical countries....

    Yes, a country aiming to kill all jews and nonbelievers and one who is overly paranoid about security (partly due to the former) are truly morally equivalent.

  • by lennier (44736) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @05:29PM (#30464252) Homepage

    "she's an American displaying hate against Israel with her own personal belongings"

    Political protest is hate now? I must have missed the memo.

    I certainly missed the memo when I was out protesting the Iraq War in February 2003. Didn't realise I was actually arguing *for* bombing people by opposing the dropping of bombs.

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