Israeli Arabs decide to boycott El-Al

C'tee protests "political oppression" during security checks at Israeli airports, border crossings.

September 18, 2007 16:13
1 minute read.
el al ben gurion 88 298

El Al 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

A group of Israeli Arabs are boycotting El-Al in protest of the intensive security checks that Arabs undergo in Israeli airports, Army Radio reported. The Committee for the Protection of Personal Liberties, which is subordinate to the Supreme Follow-up Committee of the Arabs in Israel (SFCAI), made the decision to boycott the airline, saying that the choice was part of an escalation of the group's struggle to put an end to political oppression and interrogations at Israeli airports and border crossings. El-Al responded by saying that the security checks are handled by Airport Authority workers, and that the airline held regular contact with the SFCAI in order to provide efficient service to Arab travelers while ensuring their security. In December, two Arab-Israeli organizations, the Arab Association for Human Rights and the Center Against Racism, published a study about the treatment of Arab-Israeli passengers at the hands of airport authorities, describing it as "racial profiling" accompanied by frequently degrading treatment. "This offensive practice accentuates the sense of discrimination felt by Arab citizens, reinforcing their feeling that they are considered second-class citizens by the state," the report concluded. Not only Arab Israelis, but also non-Arab gentiles - even from amongst wildly pro-Israel Christian evangelists - constantly complain of excessively suspicious, insensitive, humiliating treatment at the hands of Israeli airport security examiners. Larry Derfner contributed to this report.

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