Halt Discrimination Against Arab Taxi Drivers at Ben Gurion Airport
This week we turned to Yaakov Ganot, the director general of the Israel Airports Authority, demanding an immediate end to the unacceptable discrimination against Arab drivers at Ben Gurion Airport.
Our appeal follows complaints received from Arab taxi drivers. They said that each time they pass through the entrance gates to Ben Gurion Airport, whether the taxi is empty or packed with passengers, guards at the gate detect that they're Arabs through an improper profiling method (by appearance, name, or accent), at which point they're automatically pulled over for questioning and an inspection of their person, vehicle, and luggage. Taxi drivers who visit Ben Gurion Airport from several times a week to several times a day indicate that they undergo the same strict inspection each time.
The testimonies presented to ACRI indicate a practice of questioning and over-inspection of Arab taxi drivers, based on a policy of profiling, which is expressed through attributing danger and suspicion to people solely due to their belonging to a particular ethnic or national group.
Attorney Raghad Jaraisy, the director of ACRI's Arab Minority Rights Unit, said: "This policy is unacceptable and severely harms the drivers' dignity and right to equality. In addition, this conduct harms their livelihood, as the lengthy inspections they undergo cause customers to lose patience, preferring to travel with Jewish drivers in order to save the time spent waiting at the inspection posts."
ACRI's appeal to the director general of the Israel Airports Authority (Hebrew), February 21, 2019