Saudi Arabian Airlines may be banned from operating at New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport because of its policy of not selling tickets to Israeli passport holders. New York City’s Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio held a press conference explaining the development, after a member of de Blasio’s staff unsuccessfully tried to purchase a ticket from the airline.
De Blasio blasted the airline’s discriminatory policy, which is illegal under U.S. law:
“No city in the world has closer ties to Israel than we do, and yet Israeli citizens are being discriminated against right here on our doorstep. It’s not only illegal, it’s an affront to who we are,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “We won’t stop with just exposing these practices. We’ll pursue this with authorities in Albany and in Washington until Israeli nationals’ rights are respected.”
Saudi Arabian Airlines – also known as Saudia – is the kingdom’s flag carrier. De Blasio emphasized that what had long been an unofficial policy of barring Israelis now appears to be official, running into U.S. laws:
“This is quite official. It’s quite formal now. You can see with your own eyes on their website. And by now making it official they violate our laws,” de Blasio told The Algemeiner. “We need to make sure they are excluded from the American market or they change their policy and act according to our laws”.