Israel’s embassies in Brussels, Berlin work ‘vigorously’ to rescind halva ban

After a displeased customer on a Brussels airline complained about halva made in the territories, the snack was removed from the menu, causing discontent with the Israeli embassy.

Brussels Airlines (photo credit: REUTERS)
Brussels Airlines
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jerusalem is not taking the recent Brussels Airlines decision to take Achva halva off its menu lightly, with its embassies in both Brussels and Berlin working to get the confection back on the carrier’s flights.
According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, officials in the embassies are working “vigorously” on this issue to rescind the “scandalous decision to boycott the halva products served on their airplanes because of the place of manufacture.”
Last week Brussels Airlines said that it removed the halva, which was made in the Barkan Industrial Zone – located in Samaria beyond the pre-1967 lines – because it wanted to serve products that “please all.”
The airline reportedly received a complaint from a disgruntled passenger that it was serving food made in the territories.
Israeli officials in embassies in Berlin and Brussels were contacting major stockholders in both capitals regarding the boycott.
The German national carrier, Lufthansa, is one of those stockholders.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin responded last week to the halva ban by saying that Israel should keep Air Brussels from Israel’s skies, and that “its name should be deleted from the flight board at Ben-Gurion Airport.”
Air Brussels runs multiple flights from European destinations to Tel Aviv each week.
This prompted the airline to backtrack, with spokesman Kim Daenen telling The Jerusalem Post that the move was not a boycott, but rather that the halva “wasn’t what we ordered.”
Foreign Ministry officials said the airline attributed the removal to an “overzealous employee” who received the complaint and acted on his own.