Israeli national carrier El Al requests permission to fly to Maldives

Israel’s national carrier El Al has formally applied to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to begin flying to the Maldives from December.

President Mohamed Nasheed’s Press Secretary, Mohamed Zuhair, said he believed the government was inclined to grant permission to the airline.

“Despite the reservations of the Adhaalath Party and other religious groups [in the Maldives], El Al flies to many Arab capitals and is even accessible to those people claiming to work against Israel, who seem to have no objections to it,” Zuhair observed.

He did acknowledge that permitting the airline to fly the Maldives represented “a political obstacle”, but suggested it was “one for the Adhaalath party to explain.”

“Maldivians have not been directly affected by any actions taken by Israel, and the Maldives is in fact involved in peace initiatives undertaken in the Middle East by the Maldivian government,” Zuhair said. “I don’t see the justification for not accepting an Israeli airline that is accepted by Arab states claiming to be victims of Israel.”

The religiously-conservative Adhaalath Party has declared it will terminate its coalition agreement with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) if it allows an Israeli airline to fly to the Maldives.

In an earlier statement on the matter in April, the party claimed there “were reasons” why out of the 50 Islamic countries, 48 had declined permission for El Al to operate.

“It is because Israel is the biggest enemy of the whole Muslim community, a country that has stolen the holy lands of Muslims, a country that is committing violence against the people of Palestine and as Israeli flights are targets of terrorist organisations, it raises security concerns,” the party said.

An earlier request by the airline’s charter subsidiary Sun D’Or was denied after Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revoked its license ruling that it was functionally indistinguishable from El Al.

The rebranding effort was an attempt by El Al to circumvent religious backlash from ultra-orthodox Israeli groups over operating flights on the Sabbath and religious holidays, which it claimed were leaving it unable to compete with other major carriers.

Strong anti-Israel sentiment persists in the Maldives. Visiting Israeli eye surgeons from the ‘Eyes from Zion’ NGO were in November met with protests and the burning of the Israeli flag in Male’s Republic Square. The Islamic Foundation NGO contested at the time that Israeli surgeons “have become notorious for illegally harvesting organs from non-Jews around the world.”


81 thoughts on “Israeli national carrier El Al requests permission to fly to Maldives”

  1. Israel is continuing aggression against Palestinians. Ghazzafi has been decimating his rivals. US, EU has actively contributed to the Iraqi destruction.

    We welcome British Airways. Yet we are against El Al? How stupid can we be?

    Do you for a single moment this the war in middle east is about religion? No. Its about black gold. NOTHING else. And just so everybody knows, Muslims had their turn of aggression towards Europe in the 10th Century. But stupidity took over and they failed miserably. And since then God did not help them either.

    And when it comes to treating others human, the worst of them all is the middle eastern Arabians. Even God has indicated so. He had to send angels after angels, prophets after prophets...just to align the middle eastern Camels with known civilization. With little success. I would say He has now given up.

  2. Mohamed Zuhair needs to kindly learn his history on the Israeli occupation and how its only US supported dictators in the Middle East which has close relations with Israel. Name me one country which is not a puppet of America which has an Israeli Embassy.

    Also the Palestinian factions all have now agreed with the Arab League that all peace talks have ended until further notice as Israel has even said they cannot accept United Nation layout for a Pelestinian state. So which part of even an international body do you not understand?

    Government to go this low just to get some money from Israel is very dangerous. Maldives has been peaceful all this time other than a few incidents out of the whole country's history. Why bring apartheid/racist criminals to Maldives when we already allow all western nationals to come to Maldives without fear of being targeted. When you bring Zionist into the country, you are only making the whole country into a danger zone like in the Middle East. Why not use our common sense and keep Maldives peaceful? Anywhere Israeli citizens go, there is deaths to Muslims men, women and children.

    I am not trying to attack anyone personally, but I would like to challenge your intelligence on the issue since this is not a difficult thing to understand from a political point of view. If this is just the stance of the foreign ministry or aviation ministry, kindly advice the public so that we do not blame the whole government for a foolish move by one department.

    Pls see this inside story by Al Jazeera on Israeli war on Gaza which is pretty much an open air prison which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.

    Why not try visiting Gaza first and see if you would like to live there before allowing Israeli criminals who did this to Muslims to come and enjoy their time in Maldives. Israeli people do not deserve to come to a paradise like Maldives. Or just take a look at the luxury life style of the Israeli people compared to the bombed and bulldozed houses of the Palestinians next door.

  3. its ok to allow Israel’s national carrier El Al fly to the Maldives. Maldives is a nice place to visit and Maldivian government would be able to do some thing in the middle east problem by talking with Israel & Palestinians. Maldives could play imported not talking wont help any thing.

  4. MAldivies like any other nation should beware of her soverignty and integrity. However, this should not lead to isolation and ultra nationalist policies. Commonsense and truth should prevail, not invented sense of right and wrong. We should not deny ourselves halal economic benefits and prejudice should not take beter of it.

  5. We will certainly gain more negotiating power by inviting Isreali airline. This is a win win deal for Palestinians, isrealis and maldivians. If adhaalath is working for the betterment of the nation it has to embark to this adventure. If it takes it's usual stand it will loose yet more support because maldivians are really tired of the conservative and hardline policies.

  6. @Ahmed Ali - I am no fan of Arabs and I do agree they just like the Jews had failed to follow their duties to God and that is why they failed against Israel. But again if we learn the Hadith of Rasurullah, we will understand clearly that Allah (Swt) does not give victory to any people, race or nation. He only gives victory to his slaves who fights "only" for the sake of raising the words of Almighty Allah high and to keep it high always. That is why majority of the Arab countries together could not defeat Israel. However the misconception that many has these days is that somehow the Arabs represents Islam? I do not know who came up with that silly theory or idea. There is not even one hadith which can support that claim. It is just something that some ignorant Arabs started thinking just as some Maldivians think they are better than Bangladeshi or other less income foreign nationals. That is pride which again Islam does not accepts because all are equal in Islam. Money has the tendency to corrupt the minds of humans when at the end of the day a Bangladeshi with more faith in Allah than me who has a cleaners job can go to a higher heaven than me.

    Also historically I think you have misrepresented Muslim rule in Europe as if you see western documentaries by BBC or Discovery channel, historians explain how just the Muslim empire was to the Jews and Christians compared to the killing and torture that the Christians carried out against the Muslims and Jews. Pls do a search as they are very informative. The historians are non-muslim historians to point out.

    Be it from a religious point of view or from an international law stand, Israel is a well known racist and apartheid state only comparable to the previous apartheid state of South Africa as stated publicly by ex US president Jimmy Carter.

  7. @Muad MZ:
    What world do u live in?
    Your argument against the Israeli Airline shud be judged on what your take is on Indian Airlines touching down on the Maldivian runway!
    is it not Muslims who live in KAshmir? Is it not crimes if committed by the Indians!...U shud widen ur worldview!

  8. El Al, welcome to the Maldives. The new route will open more doors to tourists.

    To Adhaalat Party I have only to say that we are not impressed by their one-sided history of the Middle East.

  9. If Adaalath wants to leave MDP let them go and join Zaeem and listen to him. I think this is a good thing to do. It is a matter of time before the rest of the world is going to drop this nonsense and accept Israel. This is the only way we are going to attain peace. Even King Abdullah had agreed to recognize Israel under certain conditions. Let El Al and all other airlines bring the tourists to enjoy our beautiful country.

  10. Adaalath only shows colore, no action.
    coz they need big salary and big big jobs.

  11. Tourists should boycott the Maldives for such attitudes!

  12. The history of Israeli Terrorism dates early 1900s

    To read more:

  13. @Munshid: The history of Kashmiri terrorism dates from the 1940s yet no one is against Indian Airlines landing at Hulhule! Kashmiris are not worth it!?

  14. nukuraanan allow eh. dont bother trying to convince us with 'reasoning'. The existence of God is not reasonable. Also, yes Israel represents a Zionist system which is against the only acceptable religion in the sight of God.

    Also, fiyavalhu alhaanan, against minivannews for blocking Islam friendly anti-capitalist, anti-democracy comments. Dont ask how.

  15. @Smoky Lungs

    You will laugh everything even if it meant nothing at all. especially "hiyaalee folaa" ah

  16. @Ruhulloh Khomeni

    ooh cool down..When someone express their own opinion you are charged...thats not good for your health.

    Do you forgot they have the freedom to express their own opinion.

    But I dunno why you are so charged. Have you taken bribe from Israel Airline. Even I support the flight operation to Maldives. I hope the concern authorities will handle issue.

    Let them handle the issue first, or are you just looking to open a facebook page..

  17. As long as our airports and infrastructure do not get bombed by enraged terrorist organizations, then there is no harm in this. As long as....:P

  18. Why can't the scum bags of this country doesn't get it. Don't you see what's happening on middle east? can't you see, they are getting occupied and this is what the zionists want. The aim of the zionists are to destroy muslims. allah knows what their plans are, and how they plan to get rid of us. You are giving them an open invitation to come to this country and sting us right below our noses.

  19. saudi regime is also killing and torturing muslims, so have many other arab regimes for a long time. saudis supported the iraq war too. been opressing muslims brutally for decades. why don't the adhaalath have a problem with this? financial support maybe ? the same reason they don't have a problem with profiting off the sale of alcohol in resorts? why not let the zionists in as well?

  20. I think we better let the airline operate. If we are scared about their attitudes towards Muslims or Palestinians, why should we be happy with the British we all know it was the British who made them to invade Palestine...I think Adhaalath must look at things which make sense

  21. By the way, before Egypt opened the Raffa crossing point, after four years of complete lockdown, the only way Palestinians could travel abroad by air was via Israel or Jordan. However, crossing into Jordan has strict restrictions as travelling via Israel implies enduring tight security . For AP and the misinformed extremists, allowing El Al to fly to Maldives would, in extension, benefit Palestinians – many of whom hold Israeli passports. Many Arabs fly El Al as many Palestinians do. Some El Al flights are operated by other airlines, under share-code arrangements, so it is narrow-thinking to presume that barring the airline from Maldives will benefit Maldives lesser than Israel. By the way the world has become a global village, and AP cannot restrict Israeli stuff in toto. On a related note, does Maldives recognize Palestinian Authority passport as a travel document? If not, the PA should be pushing for that, as it would show REAL concern for Palestinians.

  22. @Nadine - Thanks for mentioning India. Yes I have never supported the Maldivian governments long dependency on a non-Muslim government. However politically speaking it is easier to prevent something compared to once a deal is made by two governments. Its something that all political activists understand. If you lobby for a hundred different things at the same time, with each issue as complex as the other one.. you will never achieve anything. Hope that clarifies why I did not mention India or other non-Muslim countries which has a hand in the wars and killings in Muslim countries.

    The world politics is complex, so hope you can understand that there is ways in dealings with each one on its own ground or when the issue is presented to others for feedback. I can always give examples of the brutality of the Indian government against Muslims in Kashmir. However this would shift the subject and concentration of pressure on the Israeli issue which is most the most important for Maldives at hand.

    Some supporters of this wont be that happy if we have someone trying to kill some Israeli tourists in Maldives and in turn make Maldives into a bigger target for the West. People never tend to learn from other country's history and makes the same silly mistakes due to pride or some anti Islamic feeling they have.. or just pure greed for Israeli money - since America gives Israel usd3 Billion every year, of which majority of the money is used to buy American fighter jets and Apache helicopters which are used on a daily basis to kill Palestinians in the occupied territories.

    Some people only seem to cry out loud when they or their own family are in trouble or pain, but seem to not care when its others. I personally have no interest in people who are selfish and does not care for the weak and oppress. Its always easy to lose our way in this world. That is why having some moral values can do us all good.

  23. @Junaidh : "allah knows what their plans are, and how they plan to get rid of us."

    Ofcourse. Just a few points to ponder.

    1. Then why do you ever need to worry about Jew proliferation?
    2. Allah will protect us and annihilate them, right?
    3. Is it that you are worried Allah may not strike them down?
    4. Is it that you, yourself has doubts about the filth that the Arabs have spread, may not actually be true?
    5. Why do you feel that Allah cannot straighten the Jews out once and for all?
    6. Why do you have the urge to enact Allah's law's. Do you feel Allah cannot enact them?

  24. @ h - You forgot to mention that Saudi government is a supporter of United States government and the US is the protector and fund raiser for Israel. To begin with non-muslims are not supposed to be in Saudi, however the corrupt saudi government has allowed them just to please America. So I doubt Muslims really support the Saudi Government. However the fact is that the Saudi Government controls the two holy cities of Islam and many Muslims including the ones in Saudi who are scholars keep silent out of fear of being tortured themselves by this American supported military style monarchy.

  25. its easy for giving permission to israel air line. but zuhairu should think very deeply the effects will create after giving permission to them. be carefull we are ready to ....... you.

  26. There might be extra security burden at the airport if El Al is allowed to operate to Maldives

  27. The simple answer to the question as to why the pseudo-religious, self appointed representatives of god are so worked up over an Israeli airline -rather than Indian or British ones - is simple.

    There is no political mileage to be derived from raising a hue and cry over Kashmir - while anti-Semitism and jew bashing has proven results, if Nazi Germany is anything to go by.

    Every time these hate-mongering lunatics go on their false outrage drives - we pay the small price of turning the Maldives into terror breeding grounds.

    One fails to understand why the Maldives - a sovereign, democratic state in South Asia has to tailor its foreign policy towards the whims of a few bearded idiots confused about their identity.

    Even nations like India that reaffirm their commitment to Palestine sovereignty has excellent diplomatic and military relations with Israel, because their foreign policy is dictated by their sovereign, national interests - not the political fancies of a traitorous group that seems to possess misguided allegiances towards the middle east than to the country that clothes and feeds them.

    In short, this is simply another case of "Allah knows best, but Adhaalath party knows better".

    If their massively inflated ego ever surpasses their greed, then we might be lucky enough to actually see them act on their threats. In which case, good riddance!

  28. A nice article by Al Jazeera:

    Are Palestinian children less worthy?

  29. We must measure all with the same yard stick. No reason to boycott Israel while allowing US and UK to work closely with us. These are the countries that created Israel and even defend them today.

  30. What is the reason for not allowing the Israeli airline to operate to Maldives. We already permit the Israelis to visit Maldives and there are several holiday makers each year visiting us.
    Adhaalath is a foolish party in a camouflage

  31. HELL NO...


    non violent actions against the Zionist policies... and their crimes against humanity...

  32. One headline says the Maldivian government is calling upon the Yemeni president to resign because of his human rights abuses; the other says the Maldivian government is considering permitting the Israeli national carrier to fly to the Maldives.

    Does this administration know what it stands for?

    Israeli occupation of Palestine is illegal, a well documented but almost always ignored fact; and its litany of human rights abuses is evident for all the world to see.

    American foreign policy and other Western 'national interests' may be subjugated or beholden to Israel in many different ways thus explaining - without in any way justifying - the blind-eyes that they have continued to turn to such abuses since 1948.

    We have no such obligations or dubious ties. At least not yet - why then are we furthering not just diplomatic but now business relations as well with the Israeli state?

    Let's leave Adhaalath, and religion, out of this altogether: neither are essential to the issue unless, for political reasons, somebody make them so.

    This is about the values that this administration claims to hold dear: respect for human rights and the rule of law.

    It cannot, on the one hand call upon dictators to resign because of their human rights abuses and loudly support 'humanitarian intervention' in Libya and other places while, on the other, establishing close ties with Israel and ignoring its atrocious human rights record.

    Has the president's press secretary read the recent press coverage of the Arab villages that its 700,000 natives were driven out of; cannot return to; and are now being turned into a luxury resort by the Israelis?

    Did the press secretary not listen to Netanyahu's speech to the American Congress? Did he not read, see, hear or understand coverage of how Netanyahu rejected any return to the 1967 borders as 'indefensible'? Or does he simply not care?

    If President Nasheed's administration goes ahead with establishing close ties with the state of Israel - before a peaceful resolution of the conflict - it is demonstrating that it is talking out of its arse when it claims to be driven by respect for human rights and rule of law.

    I, for one, will be deeply disillusioned and will find it difficult to stomach anything that comes of the President's mouth next about his 'values'.

    Establishing business ties with Israel - until there is a peaceful resolution of the conflict - may make us financially richer; but it will prove us morally bankrupt.

  33. Give ok the airline, I'm for it.

    And I'm sure adhaalath wouldn't leave the government. They will find another excuse to hang on to their fat salary positions. Its about power and money for Adhaalath too.

  34. Israel is an industrialized country with many potential tourists. Many well to do Maldivians would also like to visit Jerusalem. They are also well known for their advanced green technology, in electricity generation, sewage treatment, water purification etc. Any ties with Israel will be win win for both countries, well maybe more win for us.

    As for the yahoos, we our and Umar Naseers, they have their Leibermans. Why should the citizens of any country be held hostage to the crazies amongst them?

    As for rejecting El Al on the premise ofbeing a potential target for terrorists I say stop feeding crocodiles hoping they eat you last.

  35. Muad MZ on Tue, 31st May 2011 9:49 PM

    "Also historically I think you have misrepresented Muslim rule in Europe as if you see western documentaries by BBC or Discovery channel,"

    Would you rather have me watch "Mohammed Rasullaali" as shown on MNBC during Ramazan? I am sure it is as informative as the BBC, Discovery HD, NGC HD, but comparatively the program is so crappy, it does not hold much interest to me; not for more than a few minutes.

  36. @ muad mz: i totally agree with you.
    This is a big mistake the government is doing. I hope adhaalath joins opposition and remove anni from presidency if this happens.

  37. All those israel loving ignorants here, please click this link and go through it well before you praise so much of israel and the maldivian government for allowing israeli airline to land here.

    the site is not mine, but from an israeli teacher who speaks the truth about israel. and you poor ignorant people, which world are you living in that you praise so much about israel!!!
    how pathetic and disgustic are you all.

  38. Maldives is not even on Allah’s political card. Allah does not care as it’s so small to be put on his agenda.
    Why you guys are trying to be noticed in the world affair arena. I even don’t think Israeli politician will even care about Maldivians Hoo-ha’s

  39. @Ziyan on Wed, 1st Jun 2011 4:04 PM

    Wake up dumbo. It has always been, and I mean since the time as we know it began, that, in life, the fittest survives.

    America, Israel, Russia, UK... they are survivors in this world. Palestine, Sudan, Zimbabwe... have failed. Big time. The Lions eats zebra's. And the stupid donkey yaps at a carrot held in front of him. Poor country's Muslims are donkey's with the carrot (paradise with rivers of wine & virgins) held in front of them. Rich country's Muslims enjoy heaven on Earth, even if you believe it or not. The Saudi's, Kuwaiti's laugh their heads off, at us, while we steadfastly lick their feet daily.

    Man, Are you so stupid or just too ignorant to realize the facts as you see them?

  40. Israel is not just any other country. Its a very special country invented by force and still continues extra judicial killings in other countries. Remember Dhoha assasinations? What will happen if Israeli agents come to one of our resorts and assasinate a middle eastern diplomat? .. not that disallowing their aeroplane will prevent them from carrying out such an operation, but that we shall be very very judicious about this rogue state.

  41. Nasheed's government severed ties with Colonel Gaddafi’s government for alleged violation of human rights, but is seeking diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, the major violator of human rights and international law.

  42. "I hope adhaalath joins opposition and remove anni from presidency"

    The Adhaalath won't join any 'opposition'. It has a clear track record of hopping into bed with whoever wins or is likely to win power.

    Their hollow threats are just meant to excite the bedouins over this "issue".

    Furthermore, I find it almost amusing that the people who can't shut up about 'Israeli occupation' do not seem to have similar complaints about other nations.

    Americans have good relations with us - and we have military ties with them. We accept this despite the unpopular wars and foreign policy, because the relationship is almost entirely to our benefit.

    Chinese tourists fly in all the time, despite severe political repression and Tibet and their ruthless crushing of Islamist rebels in the northern regions of their country.

    So do the Russians, the Italians, the English. We have excellent relationship with all of them.

    And yet, it is only an 'Israeli' airline that these people have a problem with.

    Strange. Or more to the point, hypocritical.

  43. @ yaamyn

    "Furthermore, I find it almost amusing that the people who can’t shut up about ‘Israeli occupation’ do not seem to have similar complaints about other nations." Like ...?

  44. The news about an Israeli who was arrested with fake Maldivian passport was written in News in brief section so that less people will read it and no one can comment on it.
    This is just minivan news style.

  45. Confused,

    I've tried to go over my head a reason for the highly targeted hatred towards Israel - a country that has done us Maldivians no harm.

    Argument 1) They're occupying Palestinian land, and this is wrong.

    I agree. So does the UN and many other countries of the world, including India among our neighbours.

    But then, China occupies Tibet too, and they're vastly more powerful than Israel if unequal power enrages you - and yet we do not have a problem with them, do we?

    Argument 2) But they have carried out illegal war crimes!

    So is Sri Lanka, apparently. For decades, they have been bombing their own citizens - where's the outrage towards them? After all, our south asian kith and kin are much more closely tied to our bloodlines than those faraway Arabs.

    Argument 3) But Palestinians are Muslims! And they're being wronged by evil Zionist Jews!

    I consider this a tired, emotive argument. Thousands of Muslims were slaughtered pretty in a state-sponsored pogrom in Gujarat just this decade. There are thousands of reports every year of Indian army violating human rights in the Muslim populated state of Kashmir - raping, murdering -and yet, I don't see anyone here demanding cutting off all ties with India.

    Where's your outrage over that?

    China has been asserting their power for years in Xinjiang by ruthlessly crushing Muslim rebels. Where's your outrage over that?

    Russia has been at war with Chechens. Where's your outrage at that?

    And the people responsible for the MOST violent muslim deaths in the past decade have been elements of the Pakistan military and the Taliban they created - even today, mosques and market places filled with Muslims are being bombed.

    Where's your outrage at that? Why aren't you demanding cutting off ties with Pakistan for the numerous Muslim deaths they've systematically been causing?

    And finally, for people who seem to be so caught up with the whole "us Muslim Brothers" bullshit, how come you stand by and watch while every single day, tens of thousands of Bangladeshi laborers (overwhelmingly Muslim) are mistreated and racially abused in public in the streets of Male, where you actually have the power to unilaterally intervene?

    Where's your "sympathy" for Muslim brothers then?


    Argument 4)There's a difference between Palestinians being bombed and those examples!


    In which case, where's your outrage at Sudan? What about the much, much large theater of violence and genocide in Darfur that's going on even now, and has claimed a lot more innocent lives in an area twice the size of France?

    Does genocide lose its meaning when the perpetrators are Muslim?

    Argument 5) Israel isn't even a true democracy, Arabs are treated like second class citizens!

    Yeah well. If this argument had come from anybody other than a Maldivian, I would even begin to consider it.

    The Maldives provides ZERO rights to non-Muslim dhivehin - and is far worse in this regard than Israel can ever hope to be.


    I would have tried arguing with more examples - but I've always felt that i usually end up wasting words trying to convince people whose minds are already made up, and designed to withstand simple easily observable evidences.

    On a personal note, I disagree largely with Far Right Wing politics - whether it is by Netanyahu's party in Israel, the RSS/Shiv Sena in India, the Adhaalath party in the Maldives, or the emerging Geert Wilders and Nick Griffin types in Europe.

    In my mind they all belong in one category of extreme hate-mongering politicians that seeks to burn up society just to be able to rule over a section of it.

    In fact, I find it extremely hard to tell apart a Zionist from an Islamist.

  46. y dont yaamyn grow his hair into plaits wear a black hat and a black coat and go n settle in Israel. I think all zionists are welcome there.

  47. yaamyn on Wed, 1st Jun 2011 10:55 PM

    Thumbs up!

    "I’ve tried to go over my head a reason for the highly targeted hatred towards Israel – a country that has done us Maldivians no harm."

    I've thought hard too-

    I think it is the Big lie in combination with the Illusion of truth effect, Doublethink, Frog-in-the-well-syndrome and a dash of old fashioned stupidity.

  48. @Anbar

    You are very naive to politics so stay silent. Dont prove you are fool we already know that.

    Its the vote. Maldives is a member of UN and Maldives vote also count and for your information Israel has very few friends in the UN. So every vote matters.

    Hereafter don't give your sick opinion...


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