The airline said Ryanair’s CEO apologized after a flight attendant said the Israeli city of Tel Aviv was in Palestine. BBC.
It was an “innocent mistake,” Eddie Wilson told the Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Some passengers complained and the dispute escalated after the plane landed. Wilson said he had written to the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, adding that Israel is an important partner for Ryanair.
On June 10, on a flight from Bologna to Tel Aviv, a junior flight attendant “innocently but inexplicably” announced that the flight would soon be landing in Palestine, Wilson wrote in a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
He said he was “100 percent convinced that this was an innocent mistake with no political overtones or intentions”.
After the announcement, which was made in Italian and English, many passengers complained and “continued to insult the employee” even after he apologized. After landing, the police were called to the plane.
The use of the name Palestine in place of present-day Israel implies a lack of recognition of the Jewish state and is considered highly provocative by most Israelis. After the trip, the debate raged. Some commentators in the Israeli media called on the Israelis to boycott the airline if an apology was not issued.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote in a letter to Ryanair that “numerous complaints have been received” about the incident. After the announcement, passengers asked for a correction, which was refused.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, deputy director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said:
How would Ryanair react if its flight attendant on the Dublin flight repeatedly announced that passengers would soon be arriving in the UK?
He added, “Everyone has the right to express his opinion, but not to fabricate alternative facts.”