A prominent Jewish leader is siding with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for profiling Muslims in America.
Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, said he believed there is a need to employ religious profile measures in order to deal with Muslim terrorism in the United States.
“In an era in which the vast majority of terrorism is committed by Muslims, in order to protect American citizens, we should adopt the same profiling policies as Israel and be more thorough in vetting Muslims,” Klein told the Forward in an interview.
Trump, in a June 19 interview with CBS, said America “must start thinking about profiling” explaining that “it’s not the worst thing to do.” The presumptive Republican nominee pointed to Israel as an example of a country that conducts profiling, adding that “they do it successfully.”
Israel employs profiling techniques aimed primarily at Arab citizens of the country and visitors with Muslim or Arab background. Profiling is most noticeable at airport security lines, where Arabs are channeled, on an individual basis, to separate lines for extra scrutiny while Jewish Israelis undergo only minimal security checks.
Israel’s minister of transportation and intelligence, Yisrael Katz, doubled down Monday on Israel’s profiling policy, telling a group of foreign journalists, according to the Jerusalem Post, that Israeli security apparatus “must build a profile of characteristics as to where the danger comes from and locate it.” Katz added that, “it is not the whole population, but sometimes when there is a specific form of terrorism, you can seek out Islamic terrorism only among Muslims.”
Klein told the Forward his only reason for supporting the targeting of Muslims in America is their rate of involvement in terror attacks. “If most terror were committed by Jews I would support profiling Jews,” Klein said.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.