In an agreement that harkens back to those between certain U.S. companies and Nazi Germany during the thirties and forties, U.S. carrier Delta Airlines has entered into an agreement with Saudi Arabia to offer service to the country that bans travelers who are from or who have visited Israel at any time.
Some reports around the web today, starting with an article on the USA Today web site which has since been deleted, say that the policy bans Jews from traveling to Saudi Arabia. This may be true. There is some confusion. I think the historic policy of the Saudis is to stop people who have been to Israel. But this is just another way to couch bigotry in slightly less obvious terms. The ban is essentially a ban against Jews. The bigoted kingdom has tried to prevent Jewish travel to its territory in the past and have removed such bans only when directly confronted. In general, there is ongoing discrimination against Jewish people in the country.
In fact, Saudi Arabia is one of the most bigoted countries on the planet. Non-Muslims are not allowed to even enter certain Saudi cities. That’s hard to equal in terms of sheer bigotry. Women are considered to be property and must wear concealing garments, move about in public with a male chaperone, and cannot operate a motor vehicle. In and of itself, this treatment of women is one of the most egregious crimes against human rights by any nation on earth. In addition, Muslim citizens of Saudi Arabia who convert to other religions are killed.
The fact that some American companies maintain a presence there is an embarrassment for me and I would hope for most Americans.
Delta airlines has released a statement that basically says they have to follow the rules of each country they fly to. Really? Well, I’m sure the good folks at Delta would have been very happy to follow the rules of the Third Reich just as well.
Here’s part of what Delta had to say about it:
First and foremost, I think one of the most important things to mention here is that Delta does not discriminate nor do we condone discrimination against anyone in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender.
That said, some have raised questions about whether Saudi Arabian Airlines’ membership in SkyTeam means Delta is adopting any type of policies that could present barriers to travel for some passengers, including Jewish customers. For this particular concern, it’s important to realize that visa requirements to enter any country are dictated by that nation’s government, not the airlines, and they apply to anyone entering the country regardless of whether it’s by plane, bus or train.
We, like all international airlines, are required to comply with all applicable laws governing entry into every country we serve. You as passengers are responsible for obtaining the necessary travel documents, such as visas and certification of required vaccinations, and we’re responsible for making sure that you have the proper documentation before you board.
Okay, so what would this airline do if Saudi Arabia banned anyone who had ever traveled to the African continent? Would Delta airlines happily dance into a deal under those circumstances? But that’s exactly what they’ve done!
I recognize that Israel has its own problems with human rights in its treatment of Palestinian people. They do things to people that I object to and that often rise to the level of crimes against humanity. But quite frankly, I’d have my finger on the trigger too if I lived anywhere near countries like Saudi Arabia or Syria or Egypt.
If Delta airlines has to follow the barbaric and revolting rules of a country like Saudi Arabia, then it simply should not fly there.