Daily Israel Report

Delta Decides Ben Gurion Airport Not in ‘Occupied Territories’

Is Ben Gurion Airport on “occupied” land? That is what Deltas Airlines said – until activists gave Delta a lesson in geography – and law.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/8/2012, 9:03 AM

Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport
Flash 90

Is Ben Gurion Airport on “occupied” land? That is what Deltas Airlines said – until legal activists gave Delta a lesson in geography – and law.

A reader pointed out to Arutz Sheva that Delta Airlines’ frequent flyer program website on the Middle East includes, among others,  Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and  Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The table “effectively Delta says that if you want to fly from Occupied Palestinian Territory to another place, you need a certain number of miles,” wrote the reader. Ben Gurion Airport is occupied in Lod, within the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines that changed after to include the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria after the Six-Day War in 1967.

“I didn't know that Delta flies from Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the reader added. “It flies from Ben Gurion airport in Lod. Is that Occupied Palestinian Territory? “

The civil rights group Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) also got wind of Delta’s political map and called Delta.

“Delta removed the inaccurate language from its website,” Shurat HaDin said, and added, “Delta‘s quick response demonstrates its acknowledgment of the politicization and widespread misuse of the legal term ‘occupied territory‘ and reinforces the inappropriateness of the application of the term to the disputed territories under Israel‘s administration.”

“The law is clear when it comes to what constitutes an “occupied territory” and neither the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] nor Gaza can be accurately described as occupied by Israel,”  according to Shurat HaDin.

Describing the West Bank and Gaza as “occupied Palestinian territories” is intentionally misleading and serves the Palestinians‘ political agenda to prejudice the outcome of future territorial resolutions,” it added.