But for this American visitor, the real challenge doesn't begin until arriving in Tel Aviv.
The ceilings, walls and walkways of Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport are disconcertingly large. Towering sheets of glass around a long, slanted walkway segment the arrival concourse, making the planeloads of passengers look and feel small.
The walkway opens up to over a dozen passport controllers who ensure that the wait for the inspection is uncommonly brief. It also enables each controller to be thorough.
A woman with large, green eyes reviews my passport, once, twice. She looks up. I smile. She doesn’t. She says I must submit to further questioning in the back.
So I’m led to a waiting room where a Jordanian woman is leaning her head against the beige stone wall, and a Syrian businessman is snapping his briefcase open, closed, open. An Israeli-American student glances up at them as she turns pages in her textbook.
“Bakshi!” a firm female voice calls. “Come with me.”