(JNS.org) El Al Israel Airlines said it promptly
canceled a promotional package that appeared on its website for an August concert
in Budapest by Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters—a vocal activist in the
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel—when it learned
of the “sensitive issue” on Wednesday.
A promotional package on the EL Al website for an August concert by Pink Floyd member and BDS activist Roger Waters. El Al said it canceled the package and removed it from its website when it learned of the matter on Wednesday. Credit: Screen shot.
“This matter was
brought to my attention yesterday afternoon,” Sheryl Stein, an advertising/public
relations/social media manager for El Al, wrote in an email to JNS.org on Thursday. “Our Head Office
received my email this morning and I am pleased to say this issue was resolved
in a timely manner. On a regular basis, EL AL offers passengers packages to
cultural events around the world. As soon as this sensitive issue was brought
to our attention, the package was canceled.”
Waters accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,”
“apartheid” and “international crimes” in a November 2012 address at the United
Nations, and last fall was also at the forefront of efforts to boycott an
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
head of JCC Watch, an organization that is calling for the establishment of new
guidelines to prevent Jewish funding of activity that gives BDS a platform,
said he was “very pleased” by El Al’s quick removal of the Waters package. JCC
Watch is organizing monthly protests until it sees new Jewish community
guidelines on BDS, in response to the recent scheduling of events with Waters
and “The Color Purple” author Alice Walker, another high-profile BDS activist.
The Waters event that was scheduled for this spring was ultimately canceled,
but Walker appeared at the Y—which receives $900,000 in funding per year from
the UJA-Federation of New York—in late May.
“We hope that [El
Al’s cancelation of the Waters package] is an indication that other Jewish
organizations, such as the 92nd Street Y and the UJA-Federation of New York,
will stop the promoting and offering of Jewish institutions to be used to
proselytize the BDS movement against Israel,” Allen told JNS.org.