September 19, 2002
I believe that your editorial "Israel Buffets an American" is quite unfair to Israel. It is, regrettably, only the last in a series of editorials that unjustly castigate Israel.
Undoubtedly, Israelis, who, through their dreadful experience have become quite knowledgeable in these matters, decided that Ms. Ramaha was more than just a tourist or a casual do-gooder. For their own good reasons, they decided that Ms. Ramaha was a potential security threat. The fact that she carried a US passport is really irrelevant in this context.
The pertinent authorities in our own country look very carefully at those who, regardless of what country's passport they carry, fit the "profile" of one who could do damage to us. The alert guard at the Canadian border, who discovered bomb-making material in the trunk of a car, is probably a good example of such vigilance.
Keep in mind the disturbing experience that Israelis have with their own Arab citizens, quite a few of whom have proven to be complicit in attacks against Israeli civilians and institutions. And also consider our own experience with American citizens of Arab-Muslim descent, such as those recently arrested in Buffalo, who conspire to wreak havoc in our country, in compliance with their twisted ideology.
Israeli authorities had probably pretty good information on Ms. Ramaha and good cause to act as they did. Their error, in all likelihood, was to admit her into their country in the first place. Surely, being bearer of a US passport does not give anybody automatically entry to Israel or any other country, for that matter. And I believe that The Chronicle's concern about Ms. Ramaha's travel problems are unwarranted and certainly did not deserve an editorial in your fine paper.