Friday, May 20, 2022

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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Ben-Gurion Airport, May 19 - The Ministry of Health eliminated the requirement this week for all incoming passengers to undergo swabbing for the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, instead leaving the Ministry of Transportation to administer arrival policy without such considerations. The latter ministry has instead implemented an intelligence assessment test for all foreign visitors, an unintended consequence of which has been the reduction of "pro-Palestinian" activists to near zero among those permitted to stay, ministry sources indicate.

More than two years of COVID-mitigation policies have included on-again, off-again restrictions on air travel to and from Israel, with the most long-lasting policy in that respect involving a test upon landing to check for the presence of the specific coronavirus that causes the illness, with quarantine until negative results emerge. That policy ended as of this past Sunday, in acknowledgement of the diminished public health risk the disease now poses in a world where vaccines and post-infection immunity have rendered the continuation of various mitigation measures not worth the expense or effort. However, the Ministry of Transportation decided to impose a different test that incoming visitors must undergo, to measure each person's Intelligence Quotient, and have barred non-citizens who score noticeably lower than the global average. Ministry officials disclosed that while at first the policy aimed to filter out less-desirable tourists and visitors - lower intelligence correlates with lower economic power, for example - its most apparent unintended benefit has been the prevention of 99% of anti-Israel activists from entering the country and spreading their venom.

"We didn't actually expect this" admitted Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli. "It was chiefly an economic and cultural move. We intended to leverage it in combination with other measures, and in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Economic Development, and several governmental agencies and academic groups, toward attracting intelligent people and facilitating higher concentrations of those intelligent people from all over the world, in part by filtering out unintelligent people. Our own citizens we can't do anything about; heck, that's our voter base. But foreign passport holders are an easier group to handle that way. We just didn't expect it to be this easy to flag and neutralize those who act against our interests."

Tourism officials have voiced a more equivocal reaction, observing that certain sectors of the tourist economy that depend on predatory sales practices toward gullible foreigners will suffer under the new policy.




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