Jews who flew from Tel Aviv to France waited hours to receive their luggage and suspect anti-Semitism.
By United with Israel Staff
Passengers on a flight that left Tel Aviv for France on Sunday reportedly faced barbaric treatment from the Lyon Saint-Exupéry staff upon arrival. A report from JForum news said that the mostly Jewish passengers waited hours to receive their luggage in an act of suspected Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) support.
According to one traveler’s testimony, the Transavia flight landed in Lyon at 5:20 p.m. at a terminal filled only with passengers from the Tel Aviv flight. Usually, the terminal is bustling with people.
The crowd headed towards the luggage conveyor belt and waited for their suitcases. By 5:50 p.m., no luggage had been unloaded. They were “surprised” at the delay, especially since this was the only flight that landed there at the time, according to the testimony.
By 6:30 p.m., the luggage had still not been received, at which point the passengers understood that something was wrong. According to the report, one of the travelers went to the luggage claim for an explanation and was told that it would arriving “within five minutes.”
Afterwards, “an almost inaudible audio message [told] the crowd that their luggage will arrive in another 10 minutes,” according to the testimony.
The passengers – 95 percent of them Jewish, the report said – then noticed that travelers from other flights that landed later than the one from Tel Aviv were getting their luggage within 10 minutes of arrival.
“It is now clear and everyone understands what is happening: the baggage handlers intentionally hold our luggage as hostages because of where we come from,” said the report. “We learn from passengers that they have already done it several times for flights from Tel Aviv. And for fear of reprisal, the airport management does nothing (or maybe he is accomplice?)”
Tempers rose as no airport official came to their assistance, the report said. A group from the flight found some airport staff who claimed they had no idea what happened to their luggage and started threatening the angry crowd, according to the report.
Suddenly, a few passengers thought they saw their luggage being carried away on a cart, in a totally different area, and decided to go and get their belongings on their own.
“At that moment, a baggage handler physically intervened and pushed a passenger,” according to the testimony. “A brawl ensued and everything [got] confused. The passengers, helped by two or three airport agents, quickly [returned] the calm.”
Two policemen arrived and said that, due to the agitated crowd, the baggage handlers were reluctant to deliver the travelers’ luggage.
Airport staff said the area the travelers attempted to enter was a closed security area.
The passengers finally received their luggage two hours after landing, causing some people to miss their trains.