|Five women – Palestinian, American, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish –
tell stories of humiliation and harassment by Israeli border guards and
airport security officials. Israeli officials have been regularly
strip-searching children for decades, some of them American citizens.
While organizations that focus on Israel-Palestine have long been aware that Israeli border officials regularly strip-search men and women, If Americans Knew appears to be the first organization that has specifically investigated the situation. In the course of its investigation on searches of women, If Americans Knew was astonished to learn that Israeli officials have also been strip-searching girls as young as seven and below.
According to interviews with women in the United States, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli border officials periodically force Christian and Muslim females of all ages to remove their clothing and submit to searches. In some cases the children are then “felt” by Israeli officials.
The strip searches appear to be illegal under numerous statutes. The Geneva Conventions, to which Israel is a signatory, prohibit: “Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” and specifically emphasize: “Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honor...” Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states: "No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy..."
Since American taxpayers give Israel over $8 million per day, the Council for the National Interest, a Washington DC-based lobbying organization, is organizing a campaign to call on Congress to demand that Israel end these policies.
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Produced: 2007, Episode: AW-IAK-ET,
12:46, Category: Education
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