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So why shouldn't we REALLY treat the Palestinians in a more humane way?

This is a question that we are often asked in the letters people write us after seeing our presentations - especially the one on anti-Semitism.

Here is a scenario that is not at all hypothetical -

A young woman, a mother of two young infants living in the Gaza Strip, arrives at the Israeli army checkpoint terminal. Each day this terminal crossing regulates the entry of 15-20,000 Palestinians into Israel. As this woman passes through the magnetic gate the alarm goes off. At this point the soldiers at the gate are instructed to do one of two things: 1) Not allow her to go through the gate, or 2) Take any precautionary measures necessary (including the use of firearms) in the event that they suspect this person is a suicide bomber.

In this scenario, the "person" is a woman. Women are treated differently (you can't ask them to lift their shirts up). The woman at the magnetic gate starts crying - saying that she needs to get to the hospital urgently for treatment. She explains that the reason the metal detector in the gate sounded the alarm is because she has metal plates in her leg.

Now, here is the dilemma. There is a woman at the magnetic gate. She has triggered the alarm. We know that in past months there have been a number of suicide bombings carried out by women. So what would YOU do in this situation? What would YOU do if you were the one who has to take this decision? What action would you take?

Here are your options: 1) Send her away - and prevent her from receiving the treatment she claims she needs - and, by so doing, eliminate the possibility that she can activate the bomb in Israel. 2) Accept her explanation, and accept responsibility for letting her through the checkpoint despite the fact that she has triggered the alarm, and ask her to accompany you to a special room where a female officer can make sure that she isn't carrying explosives (don't forget that the metal detector went off as she passed through).

So what would you do if you were the person in charge of the checkpoint?

The scenario continues. The person in charge, under instructions to make life easier for the Palestinians needing to pass through the checkpoint, and especially faced by a woman who claims she needs urgent medical attention (a mother of two infants, don't forget), decides to let her through and accompanies her to a room to be searched by a female officer. The woman falls over as she enters the room and, as people rush to help her up, the woman presses the button and activates the 5 kilos of explosives that she had been carrying on her body. She blows herself up, murdering 4 Israelis and wounding a dozen others in the process.

Now, here is the REAL dilemma. What should the soldiers at that terminal crossing do tomorrow morning? Should they deny entry to the thousands of Palestinians seeking work in Israel in order to provide for their families? Based on their experience of the previous day, should they deny entry to Israel to any person claiming that s/he needs medical attention? These people, with their crutches, wheelchairs, pacemakers, etc., are the ones most likely to trigger the alarm on the metal detector.

Or - should they put this incident behind them, and carry on risking their lives just because the rest of the world (which isn't present at this checkpoint) condemns them for not treating these people in a more humane way.

We would really like to hear your opinion on this matter. And please spare us the platitude that we shouldn't be there in the first place. If we weren't there, the suicide bombers would have absolutely free passage.

Udi