BELGIUM – Brussels Airlines nixes snacks made in the West Bank
I-24 NEWS – Belgium’s flag-carrier airline Brussels Airlines, apparently in response to a call from the Palestinian solidarity movement, removed packets of a traditional Middle Eastern snack from its aircraft because it is produced in a settlement, Ynet reports.
Achva makes its halva, a sweet confection made from sesame seeds, in the Barkan industrial zone in the northern West Bank. Brussels Airlines removed the option from its dessert menu around three weeks ago after a passenger who flew with the airline from Ben Gurion Airport to Brussels recognized the product and informed a Palestinian organization, who in turn approached the airline and asked them to stop serving it.
“Many companies are not aware of the conditions in which the products they purchase from Israel are made,” said a statement from a Palestinian organization, cited inYnet. “The Belgian Foreign Ministry needs to intervene and supervise so that no trading is done with companies that operate in the settlements.”
Brussels Airlines responded that it offers vegan meals to its passengers and that on the Tel Aviv-Brussels route, a local catering company had added the halva by accident, without coordinating with the airline.
“A passenger alerted us that the product in question is controversial. As an airline that serves an international client base of people from different cultures, it was our responsibility to offer a product that would be appreciated by all and as such decided to replace the dessert,” the statement said.
Achva General Manager Jacob Malach told Ynet that he employed a diverse workforce, including “Palestinians, Arab Israelis, Jews, the religiously observant, settlers.
“Peace comes from here, not from airlines,” Malach continued. “Peace will come to wherever people work shoulder-to-shoulder. This is true coexistence.”
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