..."Arab citizens are immediately viewed as a security threat at airports. But we should go through the same procedures as Jewish citizens." That airport discrimination is at the heart of a five-year-old petition to the Israeli Supreme Court that challenges the harsh security measures targeting Palestinian citizens at airports within Israel as well as by the flagship Israeli airline, El Al, abroad. The court is expected to make a decision on the issue in the next two months.
So, why did this happen at the Los Angeles airport?
"Occupation"? 'Apartheid"? "Racism"?
U.S. Customs treated Oscar-nominated Palestinian director Emad Burnat like a NATIONAL THREAT last night at LAX -- putting him and his family in an isolated room and ordering him not to use his cell phone -- so says the director ... but law enforcement says he's exaggerating.
...Burnat says the customs officers did not believe him when he told them he was an Academy Award-nominated director ... so they put him and his family into an isolated room to question them, threatening to deport them back to Palestine.
Burnat says he tried to show the agents the email he received from the Academy -- which contained his Oscar invite -- and even tried to show his hotel reservation ... but they weren't having it.
When he tried to text and email friends for help, Burnat says he was instructed not to use his phone...Burnat says he was detained for roughly an hour-and-a-half total -- and when he was finally released, he was never given an apology.
But law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Burnat is embellishing the story ... and that he was only sent to a secondary screening area simply to answer questions ... and was only detained for 25 minutes, total.
Of course, it is, too, an old story.