(photo credit: )
Sir, - On March 29 I returned to Israel from a vacation in Belgium via Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands. When I read "Stereotyping security," (Upfront, March 23) I felt I had to write.
My friends and I were treated by the Dutch in such an unbelievably rude way that I lost my cool. I told the Dutch security guy that it is not we, the Israelis, who are suspected of blowing up planes. With my trauma of the Holocaust, for me all he needed was a uniform of the NSB (the Dutch Nazi Party).
The way we are treated at the Dutch Embassy in Tel Aviv isn't much better.
...quite the opposite
Sir, - On March 1, I was one of many passengers flying El Al from Chicago to Tel Aviv, via Toronto. The weather in Toronto was terrible and the flight was delayed. It was clear we would not arrive in Israel before Shabbat. A flight attendant went through the plane to see who needed accommodation for Shabbat - about 20 people. The pilot also walked through to explain things.
I never saw such understanding, compassion and professionalism! El Al arranged for our arrival in Zurich before Shabbat, organized a bus to take us to a hotel, and paid for the hotel (the other passengers continued on a different airline).
The rest of the story: We arrived at the hotel 20 minutes before Shabbat. A member of the haredi/hasidic community was there to greet us, with a cake for Shabbat. He had heard about our "situation" from someone in his community who works for El Al in Zurich. He waited while we rushed to dress, then escorted us to their local synagogue. After the service, families competed to take us in for a Shabbat meal - the warmth, atmosphere and Swiss Jewish food were wonderful.
After Shabbat, wanting very badly to get home for Purim, we took cabs to the airport hoping to get on the 9 p.m. flight to Tel Aviv. Thankfully, we did - and met the same crew as before, who had also stayed in Zurich.
The fact that El Al kept Shabbat that day is one that needs to be told. I thank them for their professionalism, and for respecting us observant passengers.
Quid pro quo?
Sir, - Perhaps Iran will agree to release the 15 British sailors and marines they hold captive if they deny the Holocaust ("Iranian envoy: 15 British sailors may be tried, April 1).