Dov Hikind charged that it's "insane" to look for bombs in the bags of "75-year-old grandmothers," adding, "The FBI and authorities have a good idea of who is going to commit terrorism. They all look similar, but everyone is terrified of using the word 'racial.' "
"There is a terrorist profile for a potential suicide bomber, and it's not the 75-year-old grandmother . . . who has an oversized tote bag firmly tucked under her arm" said Hikind, who called random searches "insane." Instead, he argued, police should be stopping and searching "people of Middle Eastern descent," with particular focus on young men and women. "Every case of recent terrorism has been committed by individuals [from a] Middle Eastern country," he said.
The NYPD response:
"Racial profiling is illegal, of doubtful effectiveness, and against department policy," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
It's illegal - because of bad law [which Hikind plans on introducing legislation to change]; against department policy - because of poor policy; and how could it be of doubtful effectiveness if it hasn't yet been tried? Current policy in New York City is to check every fifth person. Not about one in five people, but a literal every fifth person. This is absolute idiocy. Any half-aware terrorist can see from afar who has been pulled over, and make sure to be of the group that does not get checked.
Even if purely random checks were performed, the security officials are more likely to miss a terrorist than catch one. If one out of every five people gets checked, then about one in every five terrorists should be caught. That's a terrible ratio, resulting in the deaths of thousands of lives because police did not want to make anybody uncomfortable.
But even many of those who would be likely to be checked and made uncomfortable seem to be in favor of profiling, even at their own expense. There was the well-written article in the Journal today (see previous post for discussion of this) and FoxNews has a quote from a resident who sums things up nicely:
Aditya Maharjan, 42, a Hindu immigrant from Nepal who works at Curry in a Hurry in Manhattan, supported Hikind. "If they can maintain safety, then we'll be safe, too," said Maharjan, even as he acknowledged that his skin color could single him out for such profiling. "Security is the most important thing."
What our outspoken Assemblyman should be calling for is an end to random checking. He should be calling for a policy that mandates all people to be checked, regardless of race, color, religion, etc.ReplyDelete
While there are many civil liberty issues that take root in the formulation of this policy, there are other, more logical reasons as well. For example, examine how the Israeli's do it. They check everybody. Try going into the central bus station in Yerushalayim. You will be checked, even if you have Tztizis that drag on the floor and you avert your eyes and wind up walking into walls (and people) because you don't want to see anyone not dressed immodestly.
The wisdom in this is twofold. Firstly, it prevents the terrorist from simply assuming the identity of people we would not suspect. For example, if Hikind has his way, we would only be checking Muslims, etc., and letting everyone else go by. Until of course, God forbid, the terrorist is not a Muslim, or at least doesn't seem to look like a Muslim - -think of how many times the terrorists have disguised themselves as Jews in Israel. Its gotten to the point where the IDF doesn't allow its soldiers to hitch rides because they fear that the nice "Jews" who are stopping are actually terrorists.
The second problem with what Hikind is saying is that it short sighted. What if a crazy "extremists and militant" Jew went and attacked the Israeli Embassy or consulate because he is against disengagement. What if he attacked the Muslim embassy or even the UN for not supporting Israel? Would then the police be justified in stopping only Muslims and Jews? I don't think Hikind would appreciate that and neither would I.
I don't have my head in the sand, we all know that 99.9% of the terrorists and Muslims. Young male Muslims. We all know that. But we also know that there objective is to disrupt our society and our way of life.
Instituting a policy of racial profiling will only give strength to our enemies, who will take solace in the fact that they have finally impacted upon us.
Check everyone. It is true that we probably don't need to be concerned with the 85 year old grandmother in front of me and that she could probably leave her shoes on the airport. But by checking her as well as everybody else, we maintain our freedom and sense of liberty, all the while knowing that the real enemy is probably the Muslim in front of me, who is also getting checked.
- -Don't say I don't comment!
Interesting outlook, but there are a couple of problems with it. Firstly, it is clearly impractical, costly, and annoying to search every individual all the time. The object of terrorism is to dirsupt society. Stopping everyone all the time (essentially turning it into a police state) means terrorism has been successful. Businesses and people would be nowhere near as productive if everyone was constantly being stopped. However, there is a neccesity to check people, as attacks disrupt society as well.ReplyDelete
Hence, we have a couple of factors: We must stop people, but we must do it selectively. If we are stopping and searching selective people, those people should be likely targets. We should not be bending over backward to avoid "profiling" so some people can feel better.
In addition, as I wrote, there should also be random searches of others, specifically for the reasons you stated - they can disguise themselves, others can be terrorists too, etc. But the majority of searches should be of Muslim-looking males, usually between 20 and 40 years old. This is an intelligent, practical way of allowing society to function [almost] as normal, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of terror attacks.
And okay, okay, you finally commented - how come anonymously? You write well rabbi!
"Hence, we have a couple of factors: We must stop people, but we must do it selectively. If we are stopping and searching selective people, those people should be likely targets. We should not be bending over backward to avoid "profiling" so some people can feel better.ReplyDelete
In addition, as I wrote, there should also be random searches of others, specifically for the reasons you stated - they can disguise themselves, others can be terrorists too, etc. But the majority of searches should be of Muslim-looking males, usually between 20 and 40 years old. This is an intelligent, practical way of allowing society to function [almost] as normal..."
Unless of course you happen to be a Muslim who is not associated with Terrorism (granted, that seems to be a myth...j/k) - -then it would not be so normal.
But you still did not address my main concern, that selective racial profiling will cause the eventual disruption of society when the "group" being profiled becomes "Jewish," "Asian" etc.
Israel checks everybody. It is true that things do not move as quickly getting into the Tachana Merkazit as they do in the Port Authority. But the Israeli's are used to it. We can get used to it as well.
--Who u calling a "rabbi"?!
Rebbe, one thing you should know about Ezzie(if you don't already) is that he's always right. So whatever he has to say, just agree with him! At least just agree with him to make him happy! I know this has nothing to do with terrorism but I was asked more than once (probably 100 times) to comment so here it is - wasn't told what it had to be about!! I saw you guys disagreed on this issue so I figured I'd comment! I'm finally yotzei!ReplyDelete
"But you still did not address my main concern, that selective racial profiling will cause the eventual disruption of society when the "group" being profiled becomes "Jewish," "Asian" etc."ReplyDelete
If each of these groups begins committing terror attacks, then society would be completely disupted anyway; every group would be suspicious and under scrutiny. But as things stand now, this is not the case - so why disrupt everything, when we know it is unnecessary?
"Israel checks everybody. It is true that things do not move as quickly getting into the Tachana Merkazit as they do in the Port Authority. But the Israeli's are used to it. We can get used to it as well."
The Tachana Merkazit in Israel is the central transit area in the country, much like a major airport here - where they check everyone too (to get into where most people are). In addition, important buildings here, especially government buildings, do require a security check already - and have since way before 9/11. However, there are differences between there and Port Authority, which also is a major transportation hub.
The Tachana has maybe a few thousand people go through it in a day - and they profile people on the way in. This means that even though they are checking everybody, they are taking special care in noticing those who are more likely to be a problem. Port Authority, on the other hand, has a few thousand people going through its doors every 20 minutes. It is not a matter of getting used to being checked - it is a practical problem if every person had to be checked.
As it is in Israel, when there are large lines waiting to enter the Tachana it is a huge security risk - though there are many security officials watching the crowd, scanning for suspicious people through profiling. To do so in the United States, among far larger crowds which are far more diverse, and do so safely, is impossible even with profiling. It is a neccesity that crowds constantly keep moving - not only for the practical nature of society being able to function, but also as a security function.
"If each of these groups begins committing terror attacks, then society would be completely disrupted anyway; every group would be suspicious and under scrutiny. But as things stand now, this is not the case - so why disrupt everything, when we know it is unnecessary?"ReplyDelete
- -Why do you say its not necessary? As I mentioned above, the IDF has already instructed its soldiers not to hitch, for fear that the "Jews" are really terrorists. How many of the homicide bombers have been dressed in the garb of a Jew and not a Muslim?
You make a good point along the lines that most terrorists are indeed Muslims. Agreed. But that doesn't mean that they will always be looking like a Muslim.
This is just plain logic. As far as your contention that we should profile while still watching for others, I don't see why we cant do that - as the Israelis do (a point you mentioned) - simply check everyone while paying extra attention to those who warrant it. This was we provide security for as many of the scenarios that we can possibly protect against. Furthermore it alleviates the problem of Racial Profiling.
As far as it being a waste of resources, the Israelis don't think so.
- - -btw, to "the other anonymous" how come you we have to listen to Ezzy? Maybe I am also smart!? Who are you anyway?!
Actually, just a small percentage of them were dressed up, but that really is not the point. To date, none of the attacks outside Israel have included terrorists who were dressed up. In Israel, they started to dress up because Israel was profiling.ReplyDelete
Now, you may argue that profiling here will cause the same problems as there. There a number of reasons why this is not a problem: Firstly, even with profiling, the majority of attacks were by terrorists who were not disguised. Second, many of those who were dressed up were caught specifically because they did not 'fit' the dress they were wearing - it is one thing to dress as another ethnicity, it is quite another to act like one. Third, most of those carrying out the attacks are somewhat 'off' mentally - while fervor and fundamentalism are quite strong pushes to push someone to terrorism, it often takes quite a bit more to convince someone to do so in a suicidal fashion (especially when suicide is against their beliefs). Therefore, often times the attackers are drugged somewhat or mentally off. Being forced to also disguise themselves makes it that much harder to act 'normally' and not cast suspicion upon themselves (as evidenced by the numerous times in Israel they have been caught). Granted, catching every terrorist is impossible - but we must be smart about how we do it. At the same time, sending society to a slow crawl is [in a different fashion - not equating morally but on a societal level] almost as bad as numerous terror attacks.
On a simpler level - you say, "You make a good point along the lines that most terrorists are indeed Muslims. Agreed. But that doesn't mean that they will always be looking like a Muslim."
Granted - but most of the time they will, so why not focus most of our attention on it?
And everyone is allowed to state their opinion - if someone would like to side with me, that's fine; if not, that's also fine (they're just wrong! lol). What's wrong with a little disagreement here and there?
Your combination of targeted checks of Arab-looking men in their 20s and 30s with a lower percentage of random checks to keep the "bad guys" honest sounds about right.
There is nothing inherantly wrong with "profiling." It's the "racial" part that makes it a hot-button issue...
Profiling is just good police work. The vast majority of terrorists from 9/11 to Richard Reid to the July attacks in London were carried out by Arab men in their 20s and 30s. If a policeman or policewoman is forced to check every 5th person, then they aren't doing their job effectively.
It is very sad that men wearing Islamic clothing will be targeted through no fault of their own, but if someone who fits your description just robbed a bank nearby, you should expect to be questioned by a diligent law enforcement officer.
The only reason "race" comes into play is the unfortunate coincidence that people who fit a certain description have committed horrific crimes and now they are forcing crummy side-effects upon their look-alikes.