Israel’s Welcome Wagon

Saturday, September 4, 2010, in Ben Gurion Airport, Israel.

British-born Palestinian Hip Hop artist, Shadia Mansour was surrounded by airport security and “intelligence officers” armed with guns.

Ms. Mansour was told to return to her luggage after a usual baggage xray and multiple searches, when eight agents ran towards her, weapons drawn and pointed, they aggressively kicked away her bags and surrounded her. The eight agents had their guns pointed at Ms. Mansour while having her stand in the same position for one hour in suspicion of a bomb being planted in her microphone which they had in their possession for ten minutes already. Ms. Mansour assured the agents the microphone was used for recording music and was then asked by an officer to sing her lyrics to him, they screamed at her and asked “who she worked for, who bought the microphone, what does she sing about” and as the agents and officers shouted over one another she was also told, “we have found something planted in the microphone” all this transpiring while airport goers observed the entire ordeal. Although standard for Palestinians to be strip searched upon departure of Israel, Ms Mansour was made to lay down on her back as female agents pushed aggressively into her joints and neck. Once the female agents finished searching her the microphone was returned and Ms. Mansour was directed to her flight en route to London as though nothing had happened.
Ms. Mansour told us “For a few minutes I really thought they were going to take my life, the way they handled the situation literally made me feel like I was an attempted suicide bomber that had just been captured or something”. No legal action has yet been taken.

Please contact: Nancy Leigh at Shadiamanagement@gmail.com