But a few folks are challenging the conventional wisdom and saying, in fact, it's no use longing for the El Al model: it simply wouldn't work the the U.S. The Atlantic's Megan McArdle quotes a friend familiar with the El Al system:
The Israeli security model is (as noted in the article) more about the passenger than their baggage. This approach is both effective, time-consuming, and "racist": the profilers have a conversation with each passenger; as I'm an Israeli Jew, I always get the abbreviated treatment -- focusing more on where my bags have been since I've packed them. As a foreigner, you get a much more in-depth grilling. As a Muslim? They want to know your shoe size, and then a whole 'nother screener comes over and asks you everything all over again, just to see that you keep your story straight.Israeli screeners, however, are also highly-trained and "as a generalization...possess above-average intelligence, whereas your average TSA screener seems to be a working stiff, blindly following some not-too-complex screening algorithm in a three-ring binder."
The Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal agrees: "this isn't just a matter of getting over our objections to race-based screening ... where are we going to get this amazing security force?"