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September 6, 2016 11:03 am

Israeli Passengers at Belgrade Airport Disturbed by Announcement: ‘Flight to Palestine Departing From Gate C3’

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The entrance to Nikola Tesla Airport, near the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The entrance to Nikola Tesla Airport, near the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli passengers waiting for a recent Tel Aviv-bound flight at an airport near the Serbian capital of Belgrade were disturbed when a loud-speaker announcement referred to their destination as “Palestine,” the Hebrew news site Ynet reported on Tuesday.

The incident took place on August 29 at Nikola Tesla Airport. As passengers gathered to board Air Serbia Flight 816 to Ben-Gurion International Airport, an employee twice said over the intercom, “The flight to Palestine will depart from Gate C3.”

“I could not believe my ears,” one Israeli passenger told Ynet. “At first I thought I had misheard, and asked other people if they also heard ‘Palestine’ in the announcement. They told me I was right.”

The passenger continued: “I went up to the airline counter with another Israeli and asked that an announcement be made that the flight was to Israel, not Palestine.” An airline representative then told them that the flight was to “Tel Aviv, not Israel.”

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After a prolonged discussion involving the airline representative and a number of other individuals, an announcement was made three times that the flight was to Tel Aviv. The Israeli passengers also received an apology from the airline representative for the use of the word “Palestine” in the previous announcements.

The Israeli passenger interviewed by Ynet subsequently filed a complaint with the Israeli Embassy in Serbia.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called the incident “very upsetting.”

“It is unimaginable that an airport official with a microphone would distort reality like this in such a provocative and false manner,” Nahshon was quoted by Ynet as saying. “The Israeli Embassy [in Belgrade] will give the matter top priority.”

According to the Ynet report, Israeli Ambassador to Serbia Alona Fisher-Kamm contacted Air Serbia CEO Dane Kondic, who expressed shock over what happened. Kondic told her that this was the first such incident involving Air Serbia and that it was unacceptable. The Air Serbia CEO added that airline employees are not permitted to express political views while at work. The use of the word “Palestine,” he said, “does not reflect the position of the airline.”

Kondic apologized for the incident and pledged it would not recur. He later contacted Fisher-Kamm again to say that he had asked the airport to take action against the employee in question, due to the harm the incident had caused to Air Serbia’s reputation.

Air Serbia is the flag carrier and largest airline in the southeastern European nation.

Last year, as reported by The Algemeiner, an Iberia Airlines pilot was suspended for announcing in Spanish to passengers on a Tel Aviv-bound flight that “we will be landing soon in Palestine.” In his announcement in English, the pilot changed the word “Palestine” to “Tel Aviv,” but he did not use the word “Israel” in either announcement.

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  • Aa’esha Tauschová

    If the flight was to Israel then it was from Narnia and i live in Westeros…

  • Dusan Stojanov

    In Serbia just like everywhere else in Europe and so called “free world” you have a bunch of shmendriks on positions they not supposed to be! Slicha me achim ve achayot because of this. If I’m allowed to paraphrase Bibi, brotherhood and friendship between Jews and Serbs dating since the Roman Empire!! We faught,bled and died side by side…and at least by the majority of us faithful…it’ll never be forgotten!!
    Nu Cheryl Fistel…Serbia was, is and by HaShem willing always will be Christian. Thanks to communist regime and president Tito there are some parts with Muslim majority, including Kosovo and Metochy, who always whining and complaining about something,but…
    This New Age, liberal, over-tolerant, hipsters, pro-Arab, pro-Muslim and pro-Pali tuchas leker freaks, flowed over Serbia and somehow managed to infiltrated them selves almost everywhere.
    I’m sick and tired already, of the constant apologies because of “gaffes” that makes individuals and some groups of my compatriots and countrymen which willingly, or not…shamelessly disgracing me, my country and majority of my countrymen here in Serbia and elsewhere… I’m almost certain that the most of them have no slightest idea about Israel or so called “Palestine”, just like that dumb little klafte on “Nikola Tesla” Airport…but they following the trends of the “free world”
    From the very rock bottom of this crazy,southern,goyish and Zionist heart of mine, if it means something to you…once again I have to say SLICHA ME ACHIM VE ACHAYOT…slicha these poor,dumb shmucks here in Serbia, who obviously have a bubkes where should brain supposed to be!!
    Yevarecha HaShem Veyishmerecha ahuvi sheli Yisrael and its brave sons and daughters from Yisreal and all around my good HaShem’s creation!!!Toda Raba ve Shalom!

    • Alan Blly

      Nicely said, Dusan! When we Jews read about all of this anti-semitism and all the efforts to destroy Israel, we sometimes get the feeling that it’s each and every goy feels that way. I’ve spoken to British people, for example, that tell me that all the Livinsgtones and Galloways over there are a real minority and they’re just much louder than everyone else. I hope that you’re right about the vast majority of Serbs not being “shmendriks” like them.

  • Janice Kenner

    The announcement was not corrected. The employee at the ticket counter said that the plane was going to Tel Aviv, not Israel. As long as they refuse to use the word “Israel” the apologies mean nothing.

    • Maurice Eisenmann

      Again, another IDIOT comment. Announcement is always related to city not country you MORON.

  • Aisha

    They blame antisemitic NATO on ‘the Jews’ there is no evil like the tricks they use against the Jews.

    The Croats were Muslim and Catholic fascists, many of whom volunteered to wipe the Jews out in Israel’s War of Independence. The Vatican obliged and armed them really well and got them there.

    A disproportionate number of them volunteered for global Jihad over the years including for IS Caliphate. The same forces which organized them for Jihad, Turkish, Qatari, Saudi forces organized them to cry to NATO and get Islam loving NATO under Clinton to bomb Serbia.

  • Alan Bly

    Israel really does have its hands full with the seething anti-Israel/anti-semitism that is so over the top all over Europe. I’d guess that this announcement was made by a renegade employee of Air Serbia, not an act of policy by the Serbian airline. But, that’s just anecdotal in light of other developments like the Czech Republic last week openly and boldly announcing that in the Republic’s schools, they will teach that Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, is Israel’s capital. Recently, too, the kangaroo investigator who gave the British Labour Party a nice clean white-washing of its endemic anti-semitic rants and raves, was then quickly given a nice job by the head of the Labour Party. They aren’t embarrassed by their vileness. It’s become so commonplace in Europe that it’s really difficult to combat it.

  • Shmuel

    Serbs are an old antisemits, Judenfrei Serbia first in Europe

    • Dejan

      Well, I’m Sebian Jew, and yes my family perished in Belgrade in 1941 – but all was organized by German Nazis who take over direct rule of Serbia.

      Anti-semitism is everywhere, so here is one Jewish joke: Anti-semitism is when you hate Jews more than it is normal.

  • brenrod

    I’ll wager that the employee is a muslim. this is relevant because Jews are defending muslims against islamaphobia while muslims attack jews globally…… foolish jews.

  • Cheryl Fistel

    The announcer is a jerk. Serbia was a Moslem part of the old Yugoslavia, if I recall correctly. That’s why Yugoslavia broke up when Tito died.

    Jews must become inured to the idea that some Islamics support the impossible idea of the Caliphate.

    • Iva

      You are not recalling well Serbs are Ortodoh not Muslims. It was an employee mistake nothing to do with being against Jews.

    • Dejan

      No, you did not recall correctly. Serbia is Orthodox Christian, like Russia.
      Moslem part of old Yugoslavia was central part of Bosnia.

      But, Air Serbia is owned by Etihad, so…

    • Maurice Eisenmann

      You cant help stupid and ignorant.
      Serbia is Christian ORTHODOX you dumb MOROn

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    One must hand it to the Arabs/Muslims.
    Their propaganda is brilliant.
    They have convinced the world that Israel is satan, and needs to be destroyed.
    The world listens to the savages.

    But they have no idea about the truth.

    They never refer to the 850 000 Jews who were forced to flee from Arab/Islamic countries with basically, the shirts on their backs, leaving huge businesses, possibly billions of dollars, never been compensated for what they lost.

    Israel immediately took every Jewish refugee in. Result, NOT ONE JEWISH REFUGEE.



    This created thousands of refugees.
    Why are there still refugees?
    Those unfortunate people have been kept in squalor, and poverty.
    They are used as a tool by the rich Arab states to “show the world, that it was the Jews who caused their plight

    The Arabs have so much land and money, so why have they not helped the refugees?
    Because it suits the Arabs to show the world how “evil” the Jews are.

    Their propaganda has spread to every country in the world to hate the Jews, because “look what the Jews have done to those hopeless people.”

    The lies about Israel being an apartheid state, has spread all over the world.

    Yet, people from all over the world, who have visited Israel, have returned home, full of praise for the Jews and Israel’

    They have found no trace of apartheid, but that the Arabs living in Israel have the highest standard of living as against Arab countries

    There are many Israeli Arabs who have volunteered to fight for the IDF>
    there are senior military 0fficers in the IDF.

    Israel has not stolen any land from the Arabs.
    All the land was given to the Jews by GOD. Samaria and Judea (westbank) has been the biblical land of the Jews.
    It was never the land of any other people
    Those who are trying to destroy Israel, will come out “second best”

    re the UN. The majority of UN members are either Arab or Islamic states,

    They try to deny any connection between any religious sites and Israel/Jews
    Yet ,the Jews have been living in the land for 3000 years. Thousands before the advent of Islam

    The UN denies connection of the Jews to it’s holy sites.

    Those Arab states are evil, and when they die, will be welcomed by their god, satan.
    The true God of the Jews and Christians will meet with the Almighty

    Time for the “sane” world to wake up. stop the expansion of lies and hatred, and save the world from Iran and others, before WW3 starts.

    • Anti Fascist

      Dear Markus, not one word you say is about the truth. You are worse than the fascists that deny the holocaust. Zionism = fascism as sure as 1+1=2.

    • Rusty

      You do realise your account of history relies on who has the most powerful imaginary friend. Can you explain any of this without resorting to magic and myths?

  • Golem…

    Just your average bunch of anti-Semitic Mamzers!!!

  • nat cheiman

    Spain and latin countries don’t know the difference between palestine or Israel or they choose not to. It may be a lack of education.

  • Herbert Grossman

    In light of recent history (perhaps not even recent, considering the origin of World War I), it is not surprising to find a Serbian who identifies with the Palestinian jihadists.

    • Aisha

      Antisemite freak. Jews were the victims of WW1 being a powerless minority. Nazi freaks, backed by powerful Churches and organizations blame everything they do on the Jews.

      It wouldn’t be surprising if you were pure evil, and a person who has a deep violent obsession with the jews.

      • Iva

        People you are so funny. You don’t even know the history it was World War 2.

  • I am very glad this atrocity was corrected. Israel has NEVER recognized KOSOVA, in substitute for KOSOVO.