After the heavy Thanksgiving travel season, when all the talk was of the United States’s inefficient, intrusive, big-government, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad airport security, some noted that the Good Alternative was Israel, which more effectively and more confidently protects an ostensibly more threatened populace. At the same time, others noted the difference in scale—Israel has one international airport, the United States has 450—and cost—Israel spends $56.75 per passenger, the United States spends $6.93. Moreover, it was not clear whether Americans, even ones miffed at the touching of junk, would tolerate the level of profiling that is Israeli security’s standard operating procedure (and indeed, as this helpful Slate Explainer makes clear, its key to success).
Visiting Israel yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed the naysayers, insisting, “There are many differences in the United States system versus Israel. Part of that is driven by sheer size.” She did say she was impressed after receiving a security-focused tour of Ben Gurion Airport—a good reminder that security expertise is likely to be an increasing Israeli export over the coming years. Just don’t expect the whole system.
Napolitano: Israeli-Style Airport Security Won’t Work for U.S. [Fox News]
Related: What’s So Great About Israeli Security? [Slate]
Earlier: Israeli Airport Security All the Rage
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.