The Simon Wiesenthal Center Criticizes Delta Airlines’ Decision to Partner with Saudi Arabian Airlines

June 24, 2011

In a press conference today, the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized Delta Airlines’ plan to add Saudi Arabian Airlines to its Skyteam Alliance because of Saudis' long-standing policy that bars Jews from travelling to its country.

“We call on Delta Airlines to end its partnership agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Center (pictured left). "Such an agreement de facto amounts to discrimination against Jews and Israelis." Hier said that the Center does not accept Delta’s position that it must comply with the applicable laws of every country and that this a matter to be taken up by the State Department. "This agreement violates all the principles for which the United States stands for," he added.

Rabbi Hier said that at a time where the entire world is focused on the Arab Spring, hoping that it will lead to full freedom and democratic rights, Delta is taking a step backwards by endorsing bigotry and anti-Semitism. He concluded: "You can’t partner with someone then claim, ‘you have nothing to do with it' Would the airline enter into an agreement that barred, blacks, women, or Catholics from flying?"

The Wiesenthal Center is calling on Congress to hold hearings on the Delta – Saudi Arabian deal and to question representatives of Saudi Arabian Airlines on the record about this discriminatory policy.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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