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. "Any ties with Israel will be win win for both countries, well maybe more win for us."

    Not at all. You are just burying your head in the sand. Now, I like to think of myself as a liberal minded kind of chap. Whichever angle I look at the Isreali/Palestinian issue, I can see nothing but injustice on the largest scale ever!

    As mentioned by others, Netanyahu flatly rejects returning to the 1967 borders, claiming "reality on the ground". That is "reality" Israel created against International Law. Now, are we just supposed to forget about that?

    Also, as "Ironies" pointed, I suspect the President's Press Secretary doesn't know too much about the history of Palestine. Maybe he does, and conveniently forgets it, just like Western politicians. He should remind himself of how Palestinian villagers were literally burnt out of their homes, in the biggest ethnic cleansing the world has seen.

    This whole issue has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. It is pure coincidence that Islamic Holy sites lie within this area, and that most Palestinians are Muslims. Will this issue be any less, if all Palestinians were non-Muslim and there were no Islamic shrines in this area. Not for me.

    This is a land grab issue, i.e. Israel wants to grab more land, legally or illegally. They do use a religious argument to claim the land. Something along the lines that sons of Ishmael inherited this land. Well, hello, guess what? A lot of Palestinians happen to be sons of Ishmael too. They get around this one by saying the land really belongs to the Jews, given by God. Well, God must have been dabbling in the Real Estate business when he sold this bit of the Middle East to the Jews. I'm sure He regrets that now.

    It's also quite clear, that the present Israeil government doesn't want any peace for land deal with the Palestinians. They do want peace, sure enough, but they also don't want to give up the land they now control against countless UN resolutions. What Israel wish is for the Palestinians to disappear from the West Bank and Gaza, so that they can annexe the whole lot! This is their long term plan, by making life as difficult as possible for the Palestinians. It also explains why their is no desire for a peace deal by the Israeli politicians.

    "Yaamyn" likes to compare this to Tibet and other issues around the world. There is no other equivalent or near equivalent issue anywhere in the world. Nearly a million people were ethnically cleansed to make way for the Jewish State of Israel. For 60 years, they have kept an entire population under military rule within a virtual prison with little or no rights.

    "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?"

    You are comparing apples to oranges, comrade. There's a whole world of difference between crazies like Lieberman and Naseer. Lieberman is a vile, racist leader of a political party that's part of the Israeli government and also their Foreign Minister! We all know his view of the Palestinians! You cannot compare that with Naseer, who is just a nobody, but a loud mouth, with no teeth.

    Taking all of this into consideration, I find it very hard to see how the Maldivian government can form closer ties with Israel, whether in business or otherwise. As "Ironies" mentioned, it makes the President's talk of "values" just a whole load of bull shit.

  2. @Smoky Lungs

    So you are telling me that you and your beloved foolish Bjorn have done more research than these guyz. Have a look

    Founders of modern Western science were also strong believers of existence of God. For example:

    " Von Helmont, one of the leading figures in modern chemistry and the inventor of the thermometer, declared that science was a part of faith.

    " George Cuvier, the founder of modern paleontology, regarded fossils as surviving proofs of the Creation and taught that living species had been created by God.

    " Carl Linnaeus, who first systematized scientific classification, believed in the Creation and stated that the natural order was a significant proof of God's existence.

    " Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, and also a monk, believed in Creation and opposed the evolutionary theories of his time, such as Darwinism and Lamarckism.

    " Louis Pasteur, the greatest name in the history of microbiology, proved that life could not be created in inert matter and taught that life was a miracle of God.

    " The famous German physicist Max Planck said that the Creator of the universe was God and stressed that faith was a necessary quality of scientists.

    " Albert Einstein, regarded as the most important scientist of the twentieth century, believed that science could not be godless and said, "science without religion is lame."

    Den LALALALA, varah reethikon revihjje dhoa

  3. "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."

    If your best response to the easily verifiable, well-founded argument made in my previous comment is to retort with pre-school level "comebacks" like the above, then you probably have no business participating in a serious discussion.

  4. @ yaamyn

    Interesting comments.

    "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 agree, Israel has done us, Maldivians no harm. But let me try to explain why there is so much hatred towards them.

    Perhaps most importantly, you will have to be a believer (preferably a Muslim) to even understand the situation. Non believers also can understand but I think it might be hard for the most of them.

    I think the basis of hatred towards Israelis is because of three main points.
    1. The duration of occupancy. For 63 years, Palestinians have been continuously suffereing in their OWN land. No other country / organisation has occupied another country / people for so long, under such horrible conditions. This effectively eliminates ALL examples that you have tried to point out.
    2. The heavy-handed approach by the Israelis towards Palestinians. I think you must have seen Palestinian boys throwing stones at the Israeli army tanks. You must have also heard of the "home-made" rockets hurled at Israel by the Palestinians. The palestinian weaponry ranges from stones to home-made rockets. The Israeli military, on the other hand, has all the modern equipment and gear including F-16s and nuclear weapons. They do not have them just for a display; they also uses these (not the nuclear weapons) on the Palestinians.
    3. The degree of supression of Palestinians in their own land. The Palestinians are locked up inside their own land, with little freedom, facilities and money. They have little means even to earn.

    Yes, killing people is a horrible crime. And Israelis are doing it. So are the Chinese, Talibans, Russians, Sudanese, Indians, Pakistanis, etc, etc, that you have mentioned in your comment. But none of the killings by the other countries are so systematic and prolonged. None of them have opressed their 'opponents' for so long. None of them has such a huge gap between their own people and its 'opponents.'

    The Israelis are conducting a slow genocide. And this is why there is so much outrage over it.

    In the beginning of my comment I have mentioned that you will have to be a believer (ideally a Muslim) to understand all this. I said it for a reason.

    I don't know about you. But being a Maldivian, I will feel extremely saddened and angry if, for example, another country / people bombs one of our islands. This would be because they destroyed a part of our territory and killed our people.

    Similarly, being a Muslim, it makes me feel as if the Palestinians are a part of us. This is because the Palestinians have the same values, worship the same God and believe in the same stuff as me. This is what the "brotherhood" is about -- something only believers will understand.

    Yes, you have cited examples that are in certain ways 'similar' to what the Israelis are doing. But those examples are not comparable. That is why there is not as much outrage over those events as the outrage shown over the crimes conducted by the Israelis.

  5. @Confused.."Perhaps most importantly, you will have to be a believer (preferably a Muslim) to even understand the situation. Non believers also can understand but I think it might be hard for the most of them."
    I am atheist, but understand the situation, and totally agree with all your points. You will find that many Westerners of whatever faiths (or fellow atheists)also agree with you. There are even citizens of the USA who do not slavishly support Israel!

  6. Stop all the BS and wake up tomorrow wanting to help a Palestinian.

    If you really care that much about the Paletinians, offer them any help you can.

    Expressing your anger towards the Israelis, most of which were injected into your brains by the Mullahs and Arab tabloids, is a waste of money, time and energy. The Palestinians do not benifit from your bitterness.

    Do something positive - then talk.

  7. @ yaamen on Thu, 2nd Jun 2011 9:34 AM
    there is no difference with secularists telling us to go to caves in Afghanistan with me telling u what i have told earlier. Both are similar. U reacting to my earlier comment shows your double standard and hypocrisy.

  8. Israel is an emotive issue because of religious implications and the stark injustice due to the perpetrators masquerading as victims adds insult to injury. However, I still think if one would think in rational terms, we have worse human rights performers than Israel.

    Google "Hamza al Katab" to read the story of a 13 year old boy detained by security forces during the protests in Syria recently. The parents didn't hear of him for a month, after which his battered, bruised body was returned. The childs' body had cigarette burns, both knees were shattered, his penis cut off and had two gunshot wounds. His father and uncle were arrested and later appeared on state TV praising President Basher al Assad, clearly coerced. Now imagine as a father/mother forced to sing praise of a ruler after this; your anger would be many times multiplied had the perpetrator been Israel rather than Syria.

    I am not an apologist for the Israel, Netanyahu or Assad, all I'm saying is Muslim visceral reaction to crimes committed in occupied Palestine is more from emotions based on a bias rather than indignation due to the actual crimes.

    The Israeli doctors' came on a humanitarian mission and should have been treated as such. El Al's request for permission to fly to Male is a business one, rejecting this on the Palestinian issue should mean we evaluate all requests on the human rights of the country requesting- this would be disingenuous considering our own woeful record.

  9. @Derek Postance: Just want to confirm what you said from experience. I went to a meeting which was pro-palestine anti-Israel set up by Socialist group. 1000 ppl were there, as far as I could see no Muslim ppl but only Westerners.

    However, it is true that their is a particular interpretation of Christianity which is extremely popular in America and here (I am in Australia) which tends to side with Israel due to a hideously erroneous interpretation of the Bible which they take as meaning that The Christ won't return until Israeli state is properly established... This view, popular amongst the fundamentalists of the likes of George Bush, also helps garner support for the use of Israel as a post from which to control the region, and, oppress them.

    When Christians have that view, I am enraged.

    My Australian family are all Christian and they HATE that fundamentalist Christianity which supports the Jew over the Arabs, believing Jesus would never have been so unjust.

    Also, there are many JEWS, yes JEWS in New York who do not support zionism, who are OPPOSED to Zionsism, as they believe it is exploiting their spirituality for a land grab, that is, for the Spiritual Jews, the promised land is spiritual, not physical Israel. The Zionists are perverting their own scriptures for political gain and power.

  10. @DerekOOOOOOOOO

    You still there...Have you forgot what you said to me...Derek the Atheist please see my comment above...

  11. @Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb: I totally agree with you. Finally we have an intelligent person here talking.

    I can't believ there are so many people here trying to talk the same formatised verbs of Israeli and American PR language in here. No one hear seems to have honestly done their homework before opening up their gob.

    Tibet, Kasmir and no other place on earth can be compared to what the crimes Israel is doing since last 60 years. Even the nazis weren't as bad as the present zionists.

    Its pathetic to know some people here support Israel so much. Sure Israel and America's public relation is working well here.

    Wake up all you fools. Try to learn the truth and speak the truth.

    Israel is no friend of any one and will never be. They are all a bunch of clever pigs.

    Maldives is commiting a big mistake in trying to make relations with such a nation who is a state terrorist, violated UN resolutions, human rights violater and the list can go on.

    I can't beleive God chosed such people as the 'chosen ones'. Surely something must have gone wrong in the audition or selection time.

  12. Maldives being a muslim country is an ardent ally of India. Same goes to Bangladesh. Muslims Kashmires are entangled in the political violence of the both Pakistan and India.
    Sadui Arabia has diplomatic relations with both india and china.
    In chinas Xingjian province,chinesse government systematically oppresses caucasoid muslim people of the province while pakistan is a islamic nation which corporates with china in many areas… Saudin Arabia is one of the largest trade partner of china while Chinese government is responsible for many crimes against indigenous Xingjian province people.(they are muslims)..the opresson of these people are not heard , they don’t have a voice in the international area because fellow Muslims deal with the china based on their individual national mutual interests. So here is a answer to the Muslim fundamentalist.
    what difference is there Israil oppressing Palestinians and china oppressing Chinese muslim citizens of xinjian province
    what difference is there Turkish governments terrorist attacks on nomadic Kurdish tribes.
    What about Saudi Arabia systematically abusing the shia community of Saudi Arabia.
    So there is one answer for the religousn fundamentalist. ..religions and politics is two different things.!!
    World affairs are run by particular countries national interests and international relations.
    There is not a single treaty that allows international relations based ideological and philosophical grounds.(religion is a philosophy which discriminates non believers of the religion)
    Some my suggestion is there is no ground that we should not allow Israel airline not land on Maldives soil.

  13. "Tibet, Kasmir and no other place on earth can be compared to what the crimes Israel is doing since last 60 years. Even the nazis weren’t as bad as the present zionists."

    Glad we have that cleared up.

    The Nazis, who killed MILLIONS of humans in concentration camps as a matter of state policy, are "better" than a modern democratic (albeit, non secular) state in the 21st century?

    Can you please explain this statement? How is the extermination of over 2/3rds of all jews, gypsies and thousands of handicapped people "better" than modern Israel?

    Are you even giving any thought to the words flowing out of your finger tips - or are you just giving knee jerk emotional reactions based on constant Mullah propaganda that portrays the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the only great tragedy in this world, and potentially the greatest of all time?

    It is not. At least Palestinians have huge international support and observer status in the UN and pledges by all the major powers to support their statehood and elected government and sympathizers and media appeal among other things.

    The thousands of people being systematically killed, raped or bombed in the places I mentioned earlier - Sri Lanka, India, Sudan, etc are in NO WAY less tragic or less deserving of human compassion and empathy.

    And yet, you all keep clinging to this utterly ridiculous notion that "Israel" is somehow the only word that resonates in your head.

    Congratulations. Propaganda works exactly like that.

    If any of your so called outrage - or so called "compassion for Muslim brothers" were genuine, then it would genuinely extend to all Muslim - and in fact, all human beings - equally.

    Instead, you find yourselves filled with "outrage" at only the one country that the Mullah wants you to hate, which - conveniently enough - seems to fuel their political growth as well.

  14. @ Peasant

    "I still think if one would think in rational terms, we have worse human rights performers than Israel".

    You are very wrong on this. Israel is the only country in the world committing genocide in the broad day light, while the whole world is watching.

    I agree with u on flight operation, it has nothing to do with their criminal record.

  15. yaamyn
    simple question, why does Palestinians have to pay the prize for "Holocaust" which they have nothing to do with?

  16. @Ben Plewright, Fundamentalists of whatever religion, are by definition irrational.

    To follow a religion or faith, or not to believe in any mythical deity, is a personal decision. When a state is based upon a religion, especially when it is A) fundamentalist and B)mandatory, that is never a good thing!

    If that religion is then used to supress those who do not follow it, using 21st century warfare to do so, matters are far worse. States such as Israel, Saudi Arabia (where in 2011 women are forbidden to drive)and even arguably the USA are the result.

    @musician, don't worry, I am still here. At least you and I agree on Israel. You have so many comments I have no idea which one you would like me to see!

  17. A country (India) which has historical relations with us; has always helped us - we are criticizing it. Why?

    Is it becoz we are Muslims? If answer is "yes" then what so great about being Muslim? Ok, I get it - its becoz of Muslim brotherhood. Some fine examples of Muslim brotherhood - Shia-Sunni decade old fight in Pakistan that results killing of hundreds every year; Turkish massacre of Armenians; 5-year old Iran-Iraq war; Iraq attack on Kuwait; in fighting in Sudan, Egypt etc. etc.

    Islam is only a religion. Why mix economy with religion?

  18. zeenat, ur comment doesnt match with ur name. zeenath is an islamic name and ur comment doesnt seem like its frm a muslim. change ur name frst. then post comment.

  19. for anyone having a smallest bit of faith in their heart please see this video of how Israelis excavate the tombs of the Prophets companions.
    remember these are the people occupying the 3rd holiest place in islam and excavating underneath it to make it collapse.
    how can we as being muslims, welcome such people who are at war with islam?
    please oppose the normalization of ties with israel and their flights to maldives.

  20. @Z-nut

    India has more Muslims than Maldives. Its not Islam maybe something else, maybe nothing maybe its just an opinion.Believe me you have no brain to understand that.

    Why do you link everything to Islam?


  22. There seems to be a lot of concern for 'our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Lebanon' yet muslim nations do NOTHING to assist them.....only words and hot air.....especially from 100% muslim nations. A banana republic like the Maldives has nothing to offer Israel and everything to gain from increased tourism. Without tourism Maldives is a big zero.

  23. "Why do Palestinians have to pay the prize for “Holocaust” which they have nothing to do with?"

    I don't believe they have to. That is beside the point.

    We're not talking of Israeli policy here. I do not dispute their occupation of Palestinian land - even the UN and global powers admit as much.

    My point is that Israel is by no means the only country in the world to "oppress" another people.

    By those standards, even Sri Lanka and India have been "oppressing" people. Sudan and Syria and others have been systematically carrying out mass killings and torture on a much larger scale.

    Why are you singling out Israel for this?

    I wouldn't have half-minded if you had placed the same demand on boycotting all these other nations - because then you would come off as less of a hypocrite.



    "Israel is the only country in the world committing genocide in the broad day light"

    This is what happens when your only source of information is the tunnel vision inducing Mullah propaganda channels.

    There are plenty of far worse cases of human rights violations in the world than Palestine.

  24. @ yaamyn

    "My point is that Israel is by no means the only country in the world to “oppress” another people.
    By those standards, even Sri Lanka and India have been “oppressing” people. Sudan and Syria and others have been systematically carrying out mass killings and torture on a much larger scale.
    Why are you singling out Israel for this?"

    I have pointed out to you, in my earlier comment, why Israel is being singled out.
    Would you still not agree with me? You will still think that the magnitude of the atrocities conducted by the others you mentioned are the same?

    You accuse others of having tunnel vision. I am now wondering whether it is my tunnel vision that have made me point out those reasons to you; whether it is Derek Postance's tunnel vision that made him agree with me (btw, thanks Derek).

    Derek is an atheist, he says, how can "tunnel vision inducing Mullah propaganda channels" influence thinking for such people?
    Could it be you who has tunnel vision over this issue? It may not be too late, yaamyn, just think about it.

  25. @ Derek Postance

    "I am atheist, ..."

    For some reason, I could not get past this comment of yours ever since I read it a few days ago.
    Honestly, don't you see ANYTHING that tells you the universe is God's creation?

  26. @ yaamyn
    "why is israel singled out?" then you goes on to tell that isrel is occupying Palestinian land and that even the UN and global powers admitting it. well thats your answer. They have annexed Palestinian land driving out the rightful owners from it, and is continuously committing genocide against them.
    Honestly israel shouldnt be treated as a country even, because they are living in a stolen land which has nothing to do with them.

  27. @Yameen

    "There are plenty of far worse cases of human rights violations in the world than Palestine"

    Where exactly that place is. Do they have history of more than 37 years of history of occupation, continues bombardment, bloodshed, demolishing homes of its rightful owners. They are trapped in their own, its a prison for them. You dont see that do you?

    I dont find find that kind of genocide. I agree there few places where civil war is going on but thats different than this.

    Maybe you are also having the same problem....tunnel vision.

    BBC,CNN and RT, are these Mullah propaganda Mullah channels, I didnt know that, perhaps you could explain this.

    As far as I understand these are pro western propaganda channels....

  28. "Where exactly that place is. Do they have history of more than 37 years of history of occupation, continues bombardment, bloodshed, demolishing homes of its rightful owners..."

    Tibet, Kashmir, Assam,.. oh never mind.

    This is pointless.

  29. @musician-

    What is the yardstick to measure the severity of an atrocity? I ask this because the below statement made by you is very ambiguous.

    "Israel is the only country in the world committing genocide in the broad day light, while the whole world is watching. "

    Surely you have heard of Darfur, Chechnya, Dagestan, or even civil conflicts going on now like Libya, Syria or Yemen.

    You need to update your sentence- Israel is the only JEWISH majority country persecuting a mainly MUSLIM arab population. The sticking point here is clearly religion, specifically Jewish religion.

    "Why do you link everything to Islam?"

    Your question, not mine. A good question to raise too since the article is about an Airline requesting to fly to Male, not about religion.

  30. @ yaamyn

    "Tibet, Kashmir, Assam,.. oh never mind."

    This tells me, yaamyn, that you know little about Tibet, Kashmir and Assam and even less about Palestine.

    If you claim to be "slicker than your average," then show it!

  31. @to all the righteousness people...
    You claim that Israel is a state of terror and the Maldives should not have any kind of relations with states of terror.. yet the Maldives has relations with North Korea and Syria and many other states which are contently violated human rights.

    Your argument is not against "states of terror" it is only against Israel.

    You are more than welcome to have relations with countries that kill their civilians (Syria), countries where woman can not drive (Saudi Arabia), countries where citizens are starving but the ruler lives in a palace (Libya)... Is this your ideal?

    Ask yourselves why the Palestinians in the west bank live a very good life comparing to the Palestinians in the Gaza strip. it is true that their lives could be better if they will have a country.. but lets "forget" this point for a second. Why does Israel attacks only in the Gaza strip? because they terror is very active there. Look for yourselves.. if the Gaza people will be as their brothers in the West Bank... the conflict would have been solved years ago.

    So hey... If you wish to support terror.. go ahead.


Comments are closed.