Thursday, February 15, 2007

Israeli airlines refuse to transport body of Palestinian woman

Israeli El Al airlines refuse to transport body of Palestinian woman
15/02/2007

NAZARETH, (PIC)--
An Arab member of the Israeli parliament strongly protested the Israeli El- Al airlines' refusal to carry the body of a Palestinian woman because she was a "Muslim".

Arab MP Dr. Azmi Bishara addressed a message to the Israeli transport minister Shaul Mofaz and El Al chief executive officer Haim Romano condemning the semi-official company's refusal to carry the body of Lamis Jarrar from the USA to her hometown in Akka.

Jarrar, who used to work as a lecturer at the Howard University in Washington, died last Friday and her relatives wanted to bury her in Akka.

El Al officials told the relatives that they would not allow the body to be transferred aboard their planes, and said they don't carry the body of a Muslim.

The relatives tried to convince them to respect the dead but the officials said, "This is of no concern to us, look for another airline".

Bishara expressed resentment at such a behavior, which he described as "racist" and "unethical", and asked in his message whether this was the pursued policy.

He said that such an act should be exposed not only on the local level but rather on the international level because people in the world in general and in the West in particular would refuse to fly aboard such an airline if they knew of its "racist stands and behavior".

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This story is a total fabrication. It has no basis in fact.
El Al did not receive such a request.

Quebec Liberal said...

An El Al spokesperson rejected Bishara's claims and said "a thorough inquiry has revealed that El Al was not approached by the family or anyone on its behalf asking it to fly the body to Israel. El Al completely rejects any hint of discrimination between Jews and non-Jews."

El Al officials said they were "amazed" MK Bishara did not wait to receive their reply on the matter before turning to the press.

Anonymous said...

Really, how else do you expect El Al to respond.

MK asks El Al why it refused to fly body of Israeli Arab woman

By Jack Khoury, Haaretz Correspondent

Balad Chairman Azmi Bishara on Tuesday asked El AL General Manager Haim Romano to clarify why his company allegedly refused to fly the corpse of an Israeli Muslim woman on one of its flights.

The woman's family asked Bisahra to intervene after their request to transport her body from the U.S., where she died last weekend, was allegedly turned down by company representatives.

The deceased, Acre-born Lamis Jerrar, worked as a lecturer at Howard University in Washington D.C. and held dual Israeli and American citizenship. After she passed away, her family tried to bring her to burial in her hometown.

Jarrar's friends and family hired an undertaker company in Silver Springs with experience in transporting bodies of Jews to Israel. The company claims it purchased a ticket with El Al who asked an Israeli embassy official be present when Jarrar's body would be handed over to the airliner.

According to Bishara, despite the preparations El Al said it would not transport the body, forcing Jarrar's family to make alternative arrangements.

"Needless to say that apart from the issue of racism and lack of irrespect of the dead this incident has caused great distress to family and acquaintances," Bishara wrote.

An El Al spokesperson rejected Bishara's claims and said "a thorough inquiry has revealed that El Al was not approached by the family or anyone on its behalf asking it to fly the body to Israel. El Al completely rejects any hint of discrimination between Jews and non-Jews."

El Al officials said they were "amazed" MK Bishara did not wait to receive their reply on the matter before turning to the press.