Allon Sinai's Beijing Diary: An amazing display of security vigilance

Nothing can prepare anyone, regardless of their country of origin, for what's going on in Beijing.

By JPOST CORRESPONDENT IN BEIJING
August 8, 2008 00:44
1 minute read.
Allon Sinai's Beijing Diary: An amazing display of security vigilance

allon sinai Olympics 88. (photo credit: )

Since the 1972 Munich Olympics, security has always been an issue at the Games. The Chinese, however, have taken it to a new extreme. You would think that as an Israeli you would be used to heightened security measures, but nothing can prepare anyone, regardless of their country of origin, for what's going on in Beijing. The checks when entering an Olympic-related venue are stricter than those undertaken before boarding a flight at an airport, even Ben-Gurion. Despite the heat and humidity you can't possibly dehydrate here, as whenever your bag is inspected, at least 10 times a day, you must drink from any bottle in it to prove that it doesn't contain any danger to the safety of the Games. There are some 100,000 Chinese soldiers in the city and, as hard as the hosts are trying, you can't help but notice them. Many of the troops may be wearing a regular T-shirt, but their camouflage pants and the fact that they are on every street corner easily gives away their identity. As annoying as the checks can be, however, as Israelis we know of their necessity. The reality of the 21st century is that terror is a real threat to the Olympics and the Chinese are treating the danger appropriately. Any other approach would risk a repeat of the 1972 tragedy. As frustrating as the security may sometimes be, that is a chance you don't take.


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