By Yael Levy, Ynetnews.com
The Sitbon family will not forget their most recent flight to Israel for quite some time. Paris residents Michael and Dvora Sitbon flew with their four children from France to the Holy Land. During their layover in Germany, they claim they were subjected to degrading and racist treatment by one of the German border officers.
Once the border officer saw 26-year-old Dvora’s Israeli passport, he spat on it and made a gesture with his hands as if he were trying to shoot her, the Sitbon couple told French-Jewish radio station Radio Shalom.
“We were shocked. It is very painful. My wife is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. She lives and breaths this issue and was shocked by the incident,” said Michael, 28. “We flew by way of Germany because it was the least expensive, but my wife never wants to go back there.”
According to the couple, who have been living in France for the past three years, they arrived in the German airport on Thursday night from France with only a few minutes to catch their connecting flight to Israel. A border officer detained them at passport control. “When he saw that my wife’s passport is from Israel, he spat on it and didn’t let us pass, saying that she has overstayed her visit in France,” said Michael.
“We stood there with four children, the oldest of which is four and the youngest is a month and a few days. Because of this, we preferred not to respond to the provocation so that no trouble would be made for us in investigation.
“Afterwards, he decided that he would let us pass, but wanted to make sure that each child matched the passports given him. So he asked me in German to pick them up. When I did so, he cursed me and my wife and made all kinds of sounds as if he was spraying us with bullets,” recounted Michael.
“There were very few people on the connection flight to Israel, so only one person saw the incident. He is our witness,” explained Michael. “I encountered anti-Semitism in the past. There is no lack of it in France. But I will not keep quiet about something like this. We will put this officer on trial, even if I need to stand before him. I can’t forget his face. He had a haircut like Hitler,” said Michael.
On Friday morning following the event, the family landed in Tel Aviv. Michael reported the incident to Radio Shalom at the beginning of the next week, as well as to the German Embassy in Israel.
“It is difficult to recount what happened to us. My wife doesn’t ever again want to fly through Germany in her life,” said Michael.