Paris, 18 January 2021

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, had commended Emirates Airlines CEO, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, for “allegedly suspending a pilot who refused to fly a plane to Israel.”

Since then, Tunisian pilot Monem Sahib al-Taba’s statement, “I do not regret it... refusing to participate in a flight to Tel Aviv,” has been removed from his Facebook account which is now closed down, with Dubai-based Al Arabiya, claiming the matter as “Fake News.”

Samuels argued that “the fake news” was a provocation to test Emirates’ response.”

“We are certain that, had the case been a reality, the airline would have acted in the same way – in the spirit of the Abraham accords –  by suspending any recalcitrant pilots refusing to fly to Israel or bent on damaging normalization,” concluded Samuels.