Delta Airlines won't follow discriminatory Saudi practice

Airline will not ask passengers to reveal their religious affiliation, following protest from Simon Wiesenthal Center rabbi.

August 23, 2011 15:55
1 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Passengers plane flight 311 (R). (photo credit: Vivek Prakash / Reuters)

Delta Airlines will not ask its customers to reveal their religious affiliation, according to a statement released by the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday.

The decision came after Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Center submitted an open letter to Fox News objecting to the Saudi Arabian Airlines acceptance into the SkyTeam Alliance, to which Delta also belongs.

"What would happen if a leading US carrier voluntarily allows itself to be hijacked by bigots in order to open a new market?" Rabbi Cooper wrote.

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"That is what Delta Airlines appears to have done when your company announced plans to add Saudi Arabian Airlines to your SkyTeam Alliance. You see, under their rules, they require that Delta ban Jews and holders of Israeli passports from boarding flights from New York or Washington bound for Jeddah."

Rabbi Cooper also expressed his disappointment with a statemet released by the airline's spokesperson saying that, "Delta must also comply with all applicable laws in every country."

Cooper wrote, "We certainly wouldn’t want Delta to be fined for failing to enforce the racist, religious apartheid laws of Saudi Arabia."

Airline officials visited the Simon Wiesenthal Center headquarters in Los Angeles last week in order to meet with Rabbi Cooper and sign a letter stating they would not require its passengers to disclose their religious details.

Rabbi Cooper responded to the airline's clarified policy, saying that it had done the right thing. He also urged the Obama Administration to demand Saudi Arabia end its discriminatory practice.

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