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At Israel’s behest, woman removed from Air France flight for not being Jewish

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

Air France demanded to know the religion of a passenger on a flight from Nice to Tel Aviv and removed her because she is not a Jew.

The 15 April incident, confirmed by an Air France official, may violate international and European law by subjecting prospective passengers to illegal religious discrimination.

Over the past few days, Israeli authorities have reacted to an effort by hundreds of European travelers to visit the occupied West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians by stationing hundreds of armed police and soldiers at the main international airport at Lydd, detaining and expelling travelers, and ordering European airlines to prevent boarding of travelers that Israel has placed on a political blacklist.

Several European airlines meekly complied with these Israeli orders, canceling tickets of those arbitrarily blacklisted by Israel.

The revelation that passengers are being subjected to religious tests takes this complicity with Israel’s apartheid policies to shocking new levels.

“Are you Jewish?”

The passenger’s account was published by the website of CAPJPO-Euro-Palestine and I have translated the following passage:

A young woman, Horia A., was allowed to check-in normally and then board the aircraft. But a few minutes before take off, a flight attendant arrived at Horia’s seat and asked Horia to come with her. Isolated in a corner of the aircraft, the embarrassed flight attendant asked her a first question:

“Madame, do you have an Israeli passport?”

Horia: “No.”

“She said no,” said the flight attendant into her walkie-talkie to the ground crew.

Flight attendant: “And now, are you of Israe.. um, are you Jewish?”

Horia: “no.”

Flight attendant into walkie-talkie: “Also, no”

During the next few minutes, Horia could see interactions and comings and goings among Air France personnel, before the flight attendant confirmed to her that she was forbidden to fly, citing “a very complex situation.”

Horia had the presence of mind to ask for a written statement, signed by the Air France employee, who was an accomplice despite herself in her bosses’ dirty tricks.

Air France documents religious interrogation in writing

CAPJPO-Euro-Palestine provided a copy of the document on its website, noting that it had redacted the family name of the passenger and the name of the Air France employee.

In hand-writing, the form states (in French):

Customer boarded and then subjected to questioning on demand of Israeli authorities and then disembarked because not admissable to Israel.

Do you have an Israeli passport?
Are you Jewish?
Answers: no to the 2 questions.

Blatant discrimination

Alain Gresh, renowned journalist for Le Monde Diplomatique picked up the story on his French-language blog (my translation):

Let’s leave aside the political and diplomatic aspects of this affair to address another point: if Air France is applying the Chicago Convention [on Civil Aviation], can it do it while violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and French law?

It is forbidden in effect to discriminate against a person because of his color or religion. But that is what happened in particular in Nice, where the company refused to board a passenger arguing that the person was neither Israeli nor Jewish!

Air France confirms discrimination policy

The note presented to Horia A. is signed “CEP AF” which appears to stand for “Chef d’Escale de Permanence – Air France” or Air France station chief. Air France has confirmed the incident described in Horia A.’s account, as Gresh writes:

This is no mere blunder, because Jean Charles Tréan, General Manager for Corporate Communications [at Air France], specifies in response to a question I asked him: “It is in this context that the station chief in Nice for Air France flight 4384 of 15 April 2012, did, on demand from Israeli authorities and in their name, ask the two questions cited. This allowed the identification of the fact that the passenger concerned was not permitted on Israeli terroritory.” We are in the presence of a case of flagrant discrimination that ought to be brought before the courts.

Gresh could not be more right. Just imagine if a country demanded that Air France question passengers about their religion in order to exclude Jews. And imagine if Air France willingly complied.

Air France Document

Written FOR


  1. Alyse said,

    April 18, 2012 at 15:35

    The meltdown of the fascist elements of Israel continues unabated.
    The only solution would appear to be the building of stronger and higher fences.
    Have you become your own nightmare?
    Will you keep the decent people from leaving?

  2. Eula said,

    April 18, 2012 at 17:42

    What you do;t seem to realize is that “International Law” or UN Law or Human Rights is NOT for the benefit of Human Beings.

    You should study Law – the laws of tptb, and find out how THEY are fooling us, making us think Law is for our welfare. It’s NOT. And tptb are ROTFL at us….all the while in their Clubs having fine whiskey and Cuban cigarros.

    Study Mary Croft and “:The Extortion System of the Ruling Elite” and Frank O’Connor on Law, et al.

    IT’s time WE, HUmans make their Laws and Name Games work for US!

  3. Ponce said,

    April 18, 2012 at 18:00

    About 80% of the world are now the enemies of the state of Israel…but….they themselves are their worse enemy……and that will be their down fall.

  4. April 18, 2012 at 18:51

    Reblogged this on Occupied Palestine | فلسطين.

  5. April 18, 2012 at 19:24

    […] […]

  6. lancethruster said,

    April 18, 2012 at 22:06

    “Air France – Fly the Quisling skies!”

    “Air France – Vichy do it all for you!”

  7. April 18, 2012 at 22:56

    […] April 18, 2012 by occupiedpalestine 0 CommentsReblogged from Desertpeace:**Submitted by Ali AbunimahAir France demanded to know the religion of a passenger on a flight from […]

  8. Will Jones said,

    April 19, 2012 at 00:43

    America is actually the New Israel, fulfilling completely Isaiah’s prophetic stipulations, so the State of Israel is not, in fact, “Zion.” Furthermore Judaism has been hijacked by G-dless thugs: now false religion, it is merely racist tribalism.

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