Prof. Donna Shalala, who served as the US Secretary of Health and Human Services for eight years under Clinton and is currently the president of the University of Miami, was held for two-and-a-half hours at Ben Gurion Airport during which she underwent a humiliating security debriefing because of her Arab last name – all this despite the fact that her hosts notified the airport ahead of time that she is a VIP.....Deeply offended huh? So what's this in the Miami Herald:
When Shalala arrived at the airport, she was not recognized as a VIP and was even afforded what she claims to be "special" treatment because of her Arab last name. She claims she was held for two-and-a-half hours during which she was asked invasive and humiliating personal questions. Despite the delay, she managed to board the flight to the US. Officials who spoke with her said she was deeply offended by the treatment she received.
Shalala, 69, was "delayed by questions and a full luggage search that lasted almost three hours, but she didn't miss her plane," said Margot Winick, a University of Miami spokeswoman, in an email.So what happened at the university between her being "deeply offended" and her expecting "to visit again"?
Shalala was asked personal questions for about two hours, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Shalala was unavailable Saturday morning and university spokespersons declined to comment in detail on the incident, but released a statement from the president:
"While I was inconvenienced, Israel's security and the security of travelers is far more important," said Shalala, who is of Lebanese decent. "I have been going in and out of Israel for many years and expect to visit again."