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June 20, 2016 12:59 pm

Israeli Minister Defends Use of Profiling Touted by Trump

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Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A top Israeli government official defended on Monday the profiling of Muslims as a necessary security measure, a day after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cited Israel as a model to emulate when it comes to detecting potential terrorists.

Speaking with foreign journalists, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, a veteran member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said security agencies must “build a profile of characteristics as to where the danger comes from and locate it.”

“It is not the whole population, but sometimes when there is a specific form of terrorism, you can seek out Islamic terrorism only among Muslims,” Katz said.

Katz also asserted that the US already engages in profiling. “The United States does do this, by the way, beyond the debate over whether they refer to terrorism as ‘Islamic’ or do not refer to terrorism as ‘Islamic,’” he said. “Contrary to the Europeans, who do not do either — some of them neither define (potential threats) nor take this action — the Americans do do it, and do know how to take action, and they do this activity.”

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Katz’s statements, which were made during a press briefing organized by The Israel Project, came a day after Trump told CBS’ “Face the Nation” program, “I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country.”

“You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully,” Trump noted.

Ben-Gurion International Airport and Israel’s national airline El Al are world-renowned for their stringent and effective security methods. In a December 2013 Daily Mail op-ed, Sunday Travel Editor Frank Barrett wrote , “El Al security experts scoff at the way that other countries think they can deal with terrorism merely by introducing the likes of full body scanners or getting people to take their shoes off. The only sure way of dealing with the threat is to talk to every passenger.”

Barrett was referring to El Al’s practice of having security personnel conduct a pre-boarding interview with every passenger.

Last month, CNN reported that Ben-Gurion International Airport was scheduled to host an upcoming international conference on aviation security, with around 150 aviation security officials from more than 40 different countries set to participate. The CNN report described the numerous layers of security in place at Ben-Gurion and called the airport “one of the safest in the world.”

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