Two days ago, we were standing in line to go into the central bus station in Be’er Sheva. I hate standing in that line, because there are always, always, people smoking right beside you. But that’s off topic.
At any rate, someone five people ahead of us went through the metal detector, then went back through it, and then went through it again.
He got wanded over and he got a pat-down – pockets, stomach, legs, arms. The security guard didn’t find anything, and in the end, the man got an apology, too.
I hadn’t been paying too much attention, so I just figured he’s beeped on the metal detector, and hey – he fit the profile, so why *not* check him?
As a sort-of apology for holding us up, the security guard then let five people through without even a blink: a man and a woman who looked like American tourists and turned out to be a couple, Yizchak, me, and this skinny Arab guy with slicked back, black hair, who was too busy talking on his phone to even notice his surroundings. He looked to be about 20 years old. And me? I think he should’ve been checked over. Talking on the phone doesn’t mean you’re not a terrorist.
Well, I’m not a security guard, and the guy had already gone through, so I kept my mouth shut. We found out that we’d missed a bus by three minutes, and found a place to sit and wait for the next one.
And then . . .
From the other entrance, we see three policemen escorting a handcuffed Arab guy of about 20 years old. Two policemen on each side, and one behind him, carrying an assault rifle at the ready.
And we realized that that over-done pat down and apology (we’ve never seen such a pat-down before, at least not in Israel – in America and Canada they do it all the time, to innocent, non-threatening people, because security there is stupid) were both given because the security guards were looking for someone.
They were looking for this guy, that they just arrested. And this other guy was mistaken, wrongly and undeservingly, for the guy they arrested. Was he a would-be terrorist? Or a wanted criminal? We’ll never know.
Because this story, like so many others, never made the news.