Jewish Group Rejects Air France Apology for Excluding Israel From Flight Maps
When passengers who flew on Air France flights recently notified the company that Israel’s place on the flight map was conspicuously absent, though the West Bank and Gaza remained marked, the airline apologized and blamed the problem on technical issues and map gradient.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jewish rights group that sent a letter to Air France Chairman and CEO Frédéric Gagey demanding to know whether the company had joined the spreading boycott of Israel, said it was unmoved by the apology.
The group on Tuesday rejected Air France’s response, though the company said it was working to resolve issues with “map scale” and a “display problem,” and called its gesture “feeble and totally inadequate.”
Dr. Shimon Samuels, the director of international relations at SWC, called in his letter to the Air France CEO for the company to “identify those response and take appropriate legal measures against them.”
“Major airline flights, on landing, customarily thank the passengers for choosing to fly them. If Air France does not immediately remedy this protest, our constituency will certainly make their choice accordingly,” Samuels said.
Pro-Israel group StandWithUs first brought the issue to attention through a post on their Facebook page.
Many are concerned that the anti-Israel boycott movement is gaining traction in Europe; the CEO of French mobile giant Orange caused a scandal earlier this year when he expressed the desire to end business ties with the Jewish state.
U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns that many European firms have restricted business with Israel for political reasons, and some states have passed laws prohibiting U.S. companies or funds from investing in companies that participate in BDS.