High Court of Israel rules on racial profiling at Ben Gurion International Airport

After many years before Israel’s High Court of Justice, the current civil rights case was dismissed, but allows future petitions if necessary.


The High Court of Justice on Wednesday carved out a middle ground in one of the most important recent cases to be decided on the issue of racial profiling, with the particular case relating to security at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Entry into security check at Israel’s Ben Gurion Int’l Airport – Photo: REUTERS

On one hand the court dismissed the petition which had an ultimate goal of complete elimination of racial profiling and partially accepted the state’s argument that it could not completely change without heavily burdening all travelers, a change which would have been disproportionate.

On the other hand, the court reimbursed the petitioners, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) NIS 30,000 for their legal fees, recognized that the petition had already gotten security to be less discriminatory and the dismissal was only procedural, leaving the door open to ACRI to file a new petition in the future if necessary.

At a November 2013 hearing, ACRI told the court that since the petition was filed in 2007, security at the airport has continued to humiliate Israeli-Arabs non-stop with what it called numerous problematic stories emerging.

The court seemed to suggest that ACRI accept the state’s request to push off a decision on the issue until March 2014, when the state hopes to have a new technological system in place which it hopes will avoid and alleviate some of the current friction.

But ACRI rejected this suggestion, listing a history of past similar state promises over several years, each of which was broken with a new promise about improving things down the road.

It was unclear when the court would rule, but ultimately the court gave the state more time since the state argued that the delay was not its fault, but the fault of a private European company which had failed to meet its contractual commitments.


View original The Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/High-Court-rules-on-racial-profiling-at-Ben-Gurion-Airport-393592