::UPDATE:: Wiesenthal Centre to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO): “Air France Deletion of your Member-State, Israel, from its Flightpath Contravenes ICAO Convention.”

Hi-tech contractor to Air France responds to SWC campaign: "We have been able to confirm that the changes we made to our service were deployed on the AirFrance aircraft on or about August 4th.  We have prepared a video link (https://youtu.be/7PjYg9Ew86g) that demonstrates the new behavior as is now installed on their aircraft".

The Wiesenthal Center will continue to monitor, ensuring that Israel remains indelibly posted on all airline flight maps.

 

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE-EUROPE
Tel: +33(0)1 47 23 76 37

Fax: +33(0)1 47 20 84 01

Mail: csweurope@gmail.com

 
Wiesenthal letter to Panasonic France: “This technology is reportedly manufactured by your company. Why does Air France claim the system can be repaired only in September?”
 
Paris, 6 August 2015
 
In a letter to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) newly elected Secretary-General, Dr. Fang Liu, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted, “The Preambule to your Convention stresses civil aviation’s role in creating 'friendship and understanding among the nations and peoples of the world, yet its abuse can become a threat to general security'.”

He also quoted the 191 member-state UN agency’s Article 28 obliging that “the publication of […] maps and charts [be] in accordance with standards […] pursuant to the Convention.”
 
Samuels suggested, “Air France’s flightpath deletion of the State of Israel – an ICAO state party – and its Tel Aviv national airport served by Air France, seem to contravene the ICAO Convention. Even worse, these place-names have been replaced by Palestinian sites, not serviced by Air France.”



The Centre lamented that “this is third such distortion:
-1992, in its 'Passeport pour le Moyen-Orient' pamphlet for its top frequent flyers
-1999, in its time table for Middle East flights
-2015, in its current recidivism.”

The letter continued, “The airline’s management is now claiming a 'technology blip', which could raise questions about flight control security in other aircraft equipment – Air France is apparently indicating that ‘the problem’ will not be repaired until as late as September,” continuing, “this lack of sensitivity has resulted in outrage among our constituency and beyond, with many moving their custom to other airlines.”
 
Samuels argued, “Wiping a state off the map sets a precedent for all flag airlines and we urge the ICAO to press Air France to make a public apology to its clientele and repair these offensive 'technological blips' with all speed.”
 
Another letter to Panasonic France Managing Executive Officer, Laurent Abadie, asked for confirmation that “this 'blip technology' was manufactured by Panasonic and furnished through Panasonic France.”
 
The Centre queried, “If this distortion originated with Panasonic,then what measures are you taking against the perpetrator? Moreover, why is the airline, apparently, claiming that the system will only be repaired in September?”

“We are certain that Panasonic would wish to join our constituency in seeing that this offence is resolved forthwith,” stated Samuels.

The Centre’s letter to the ICAO pointed to “its 70th anniversary, having been founded some months before the end of World War II, when 600,000 Jews and others were still to be murdered.”
 
“Civil aviation could not save them then, but an ICAO stand against the deletion of the Jewish State today would – citing your Convention – be a statement for the “general security” of all nations,” concluded Samuels.

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at 00 33 6 09 77

01 58, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

 

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).