I’m sorry but we blew up your laptop (welcome to Israel)

[lilysussman.wordpress.com] I
was sitting on the deck overlooking the Red Sea. Israeli security
officers (most who looked around 18 years old) had completed around
two hours of questioning and searching me. They had pressed every sock
and scarf with a security device, ripped open soap and had me strip
extra layers. They asked me tons of questions–where are you going? Who
do you know? Do you have a boyfriend? Is he Arab, Egyptian,
Palestinian? Why do you live in Egypt? Why not Israel? What do you know
about the ‘conflict’ here? What do you think? They quized me on
Judaism,which I know nothing about.

Then they asked me to wait. Since they had asked for friends and
families phone numbers I assumed they might be calling to verify my
answers to questions or confirm I really had extended family in Tel
Aviv.  An announcement played over the sound system, interrupting my
break in the sunshine. First in Hebrew, then Arabic, then in English.
It was something along the lines of, ” do not to be alarmed by gunshots
because the Israeli security needs to blow up suspicious passanger

I went inside to check on my bag. I had left it unattended, where they instructed. It was still there so I went back outside.

Moments later a man came outside and introduced himself as the
manager on duty. And then, “I’m sorry but we had to blow up your
laptop. “

What….all my client case notes and testimony, writing, pictures,
music and applications. Years of work. NO!!!! What?? Are you insane??
What were you thinking? THAT’S ALL MY WORK!?

After much yelling, crying and frantic phone dialing (don’t be
alarmed if I called you repeatedly this morning), he took me outside to
see the wreckage. It turned out it hadn’t been quite blown up, but
rather shot through with three bullets. We were able to extract the
hard drive, seemingly unscaved. Thank goodness…

Security had never asked for my password. Was it my peeling Arabic
stickers on the keyboard? Or something else during the questioning
which set them off?

Toward the beginning of the search an officer began clicking through
the photos on my camera.  She froze on a picture  of graffiti, which
read “Fuck” scrawled next to the Jewish star of David. “Why do you have
this picture?” She asked me rather aggressively. “Because I was
disturbed by it too,” I answered. She didn’t press the subject but
continued clicking…presumably looking at pictures from a photo exhibit
about Israel’s January attack of Gaza.

Though I usually delete all my pictures when uploading, unluckily I
had clicked save rather than delete when uploading this set and never
got around to manually deleting on my camera. Whoops…

Among other suspicious item; an Arabic phrasebook, a journal entry
that mentioned a Palestinian(yes, they even flipped through my
journal), stamps from Syria, Qatar and the UAE, Palestinians in Palestine guidebook,
and a map a friend had drawn with a main street in Jerusalem, the
central bus station and my intended hostel. “Who are you meeting
there?” They asked me.

Anyway I am in Jerusalem. Years of my life and my RLAP work is not
destroyed. *sigh*. Insha’allah I will like Israel better tomorrow….

Source: http://lilysussman.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/im-sorry-but-we-blew-up-your-laptop-welcome-to-israel/