Arab News reports on the story making its way through Saudi-bashing forums about how Saudia — the national airline of Saudi Arabia — allegedly discriminates against Jews by not allowing them to transit the country on route to further destinations. As the Saudi Arabian Airlines spokesman reports, this is not a matter of religious discrimination. Jews can indeed transit the country, or enter it for that matter. Israelis however, no matter their religion, can not. This is because Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have diplomatic relations. Airlines do not carry passengers to a destination in which they cannot receive permission to enter, plain and simple.
The attempted ‘gotcha’ on the part of a New York politician fails because he neglected basic international law. Or, perhaps it succeeded in the eyes of those he’s trying to court through ignorance.
Saudia rejects ‘discrimination’ allegation
JEDDAH: JASSIM ABUZAID
Khaled Al-Molhem, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, has rejected allegations that his airline discriminated against nationalities but emphasized that it would uphold the sovereign rights of countries.
“We don’t discriminate against passengers on the basis of nationality and religion,” Al-Watan Arabic daily quoted Al-Molhem as saying while commenting on US media reports that Saudia did not allow an Israeli to board its flight.
“Diplomatic relations and political exchange are basic requirements for a person to enter a country,” the Saudia chief said indicating that Saudi Arabia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Al-Molhem made it clear: “We cannot accept a passenger if his country does not have political relations with Saudi Arabia because it would be impossible for him to enter the country.”