Saudi Arabian Airlines allegedly violates American law by refusing to sell tickets to Israelis.
A new Saudi Arabian Airlines policy allegedly violates American law by prohibiting Israelis flying from American airports from purchasing tickets. When booking tickets on the company’s website, users cannot select “Israeli” as their nationality, while Antarctica is an option.
The policy appears to apply to passengers who are not even planning to visit Saudi Arabia as their final destination and are merely seeking to fly Saudi Arabian Airlines as a leg of a trip from the United States to other countries.
A staff member of New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio reports that he told a Saudi Arabian Airlines representative, “I’m an Israeli citizen, and I didn’t see my nationality on there. I was wondering if I could just order the ticket through you.” When he responded in the negative to the booking agent’s inquiry about other passports he was told, “Since you have Israeli nationality, you will not be allowed to go on Saudi Airlines.”
American law forbids airline companies operating within the US from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex or ancestry. “No city in the world has closer ties to Israel than we do, and yet Israeli citizens are being discriminated against right here at JFK,” added de Blasio. “It’s not only illegal; it’s an affront to who we are. We won’t stop with just exposing these practices. We’ll pursue this with authorities in Albany and in Washington until Israeli nationals’ rights are respected.”
SAUDI ARABIA AND THE JEWS
Saudi Arabia presently does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and the Anti-Defamation League has recorded repeated instances of anti-semitism in the Saudi media. In one instance, Saudi Arabia’s official television station TV1 stated, “O God, destroy the tyrant Jews. O God, deal with the Jews and their supporters. O God destroy them for they are within your power.” Additionally, within Saudi Arabia, it is illegal to publicly practice any religion except Islam and non-Muslims are barred from visiting Mecca. Furthermore, non-Muslim worshipers in Saudi Arabia risk arrest, imprisonment, lashing, deportation, and torture if their religious activities attract the attention of the Saudi authorities.
By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel