Five Hours at Tel Aviv Airport: It's 4 a.m. at Tel Aviv Airport and this is the third time I've been questioned so far. My passport has stamps from various Arab countries: Dubai, Yemen and archenemy Syria. Finally I get my passport back and am allowed to enter. I save my complaint for the government press office in Jerusalem, where I go to pick up my press card the next day. "Security measures," is the explanation I get from the press officer, a tired looking woman by the name of Pnina Aizenman. "What do you think it's like for us, waking up each morning and never knowing what the day will bring?" she says, clearly referring to Palestinian suicide attacks on Israeli civilians. While Pnina's busy getting my press card ready, I take a look at the photos of children and a newspaper article on the wall behind me. The article is about a woman who lost her mother and er five-year-old child in a Palestinian suicide bombing. The name of the woman is Pnina Aizenman. I get the shivers. "That's you," I stammer. "Yes. Do you understand now what I mean by security measures?" she replies. I suddenly feel ashamed that I've just been complaining about being kept waiting for five hours when this woman's life has been totally wrecked by a bomb. (Radio Netherlands)Pnina Eisenman's mother Noa Alon and her five year old daughter Gal were murdered in the bombing of a Jerusalem bus stop at the French Hill Junction a few minutes drive from our home in 2002. Her tragedy is recounted in an online video here.
In 1972, three Japanese terrorists attacked the airport we now call Ben Gurion. Wikipedia says that "Because airport security was focused on the possibility of a Palestinian attack, the use of Japanese terrorists took the guards by surprise, and their commitment to a suicide mission simplified the planning. Kozo Okamoto, Tsuyoshi Okudaira, and Yasuyuki Yasuda had been trained in Baalbek, Lebanon." No further terror attacks against any Israeli airport have succeeded since then.