Saturday, June 21, 2008

AnglicanTV: Gafcon diary day one

From Kevin at AnglicanTV:

Traveling to Israel for the first time is an incredible experience. As a Christian I have so many expectations of my trip to the Holy Land -- Expectations a strange flight cannot dampen.

As I alluded to in my blog post from yesterday, I had quite a time getting through El Al at the JFK airport. Somehow I got red flagged at the ticket counter during their screening interview and the next 3 hours of my life were pretty miserable. They downloaded an electronic background check, pulled all my equipment and clothes out of my luggage and then interviewed me about what they found online, in my suitcase, and for some reason had a lot of questions about the bandage and cotton ball sticking out of my right ear. It was clear during my second interrogation interview (about an hour after I first tried to checked-in) they had discovered AnglicanTV, my address history, birth place, parents names, Children names, my schooling and they figured out I was an evangelical Christian.

Immediately after convincing my two interrogators I was not a danger to the plane or the soventry of the nation of Israel, I was assigned a security detail. Well I am probably exaggerating a little bit here, but my assigned security escort was a 20-year-old female Israeli (whom had just finished her mandatory Israeli military service). I was not the only passenger red flagged on our flight. My new friend Azzis from Egypt received the same treatment. He is a businessman who flies into Tel Aviv for his work about once a month. He told he is red flagged every trip. I asked why they would red flag someone from Egypt. He told me the country was not the red flag. The name Azzis and his birthplace of Jordan was the red flag. He also told El Al will never tell you what red flagged you. . .

Read it all.

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