In the Arena

Israeli Thuggery

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My friend and colleague, the great war photographer Lynsey Addario, has been through a lot this year–kidnapped by the Libyans, difficult assignments in Afghanistan, Somalia and Gaza, and a much less taxing three weeks hanging with me on my annual road trip, all while pregnant…and now she has been utterly humiliated at a checkpoint by the Israeli army while on assignment for the New York Times.

Lynsey asked not to pass through the x-ray machine at the border, since she is nearly 8 months pregnant–and obviously so–but she was forced to pass through the machine 3 times while being verbally abused and then strip-searched for good measure.

This is completely outrageous, of course. It is another indication that Israel has been brutalized by its occupation of Arab territories since 1967. For those of us who feel strongly about the need for Israel to exist–especially those of us who love the place, warts and all–this incident is yet another reason to fear for Israel’s future.

ps–Lynsey e-mailed to say that she’s fine and even, in very un-Addario fashion, managed to control her “Italian temper” through the incident. I dare not tell her to cool it for the next few months, until the bambino arrives–but she really should.