12apr15. Belfast, Northern Ireland.
As a follow-up to my last post, https://jacquelinemhadel.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/stripped-leaving-israel-a-love-story/and after having time to reflect on my overall experience, I have to say that, even though the security measures felt extreme, they were pretty justified from their perspective. My reaction to the experience was much more riddled with surprise at the lengths the interrogation/confiscation went, and my post was intended more as a warning for people to be prepared for that if they ever visit Israel.
From our side of things, it looks excessive because I’m obviously innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever, so it seemed like a huge waste of time. I happen to love Lebanon and like to be there, as well as, I love the idea of visiting the Holy Land during Christmas and New Year’s. Innocent enough. Fair enough. In a perfect, peaceful world.
The reality: Israel is ‘officially/unofficially’ at war with Lebanon, so it will naturally raise red flags to them if I visit there more than once in a calendar year, travel alone, and carry-on all of my belongings, plus, head for Cairo next. And the more I think about it, and the real point of all of this, is that I hope that they don’t miss the real threats, and that they are actually preventing any threats from being carried out and people being harmed.
It still remains disconcerting to receive a threat level number of ‘5’ on a scale of ‘6,’ but they don’t know me at all and they’re just doing the jobs that they’ve been entrusted by their government to do, in order to protect their country, as well as the lives of other tourists/travelers.
I won’t be visiting again, as it still remains a really tough experience to have gone through, but, I do encourage others to visit at least once, and to keep in mind what can happen if you visit countries they’re in conflict with…they won’t make it easy for you, but, it’s what they have to do.