The L.A. City Council is contemplating another boycott — this time against Delta Airlines.
Councilman Paul Koretz has introduced a resolution to boycott the airline over its controversial “no Jew” policy.
OK, so it turns out that Delta Airlines does not have a “no Jew” policy.
The confusion stems from this article on the right-wing website WorldNetDaily. (To give you an idea: these are the people who thought Barack Obama's birth certificate was forged.)
On June 22, WND reported that Delta's partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines “would require the American carrier to ban Jews” from flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The story quoted the wife of a Republican congressman complaining that Delta would be “the first Shariah-compliant airline in the United States.”
Shockingly, this turned out not to be true. But that didn't stop the story from spreading. It got picked up by Religion News Service and other outlets, and pretty soon Delta was getting denounced by the Anti-Defamation League.
Delta pushed back, explaining that it does not discriminate against Jews. Religion News Service then corrected and retracted its initial report. USA Today, which had briefly posted the RNS report, clarified the misunderstanding. The story became a learning exercise in how misinformation spreads online, and then it pretty much went away.
Until Paul Koretz got wind of it. He's more than a month late to the party, but he's making up for his tardiness with a strong dose of righteous indignation:
It is very disturbing to learn from the media that Delta Airlines has adopted the so-called “No Jew Policy” of Saudi Arabian Airlines. Delta will add Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam Alliance of partnering companies and would require Delta to ban Jews and holders of Israeli passports from boarding flights to Saudi Arabia.
So this nonsense has now migrated across the political spectrum, from its right-wing origins to the left-wing L.A. City Council. And Paul Koretz is behaving like your crazy uncle who won't stop forwarding conspiratorial emails to you, even after they've been debunked on Snopes.
Except, unlike your crazy uncle, Paul Koretz is making policy.
So, for the sake of good government, here's what's wrong with what Koretz wrote. First, Delta hasn't adopted anybody's “No Jew Policy.” Second, Jews are allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia — it's Israeli passport holders who are banned. Third, that's Saudi Arabian law — not the policy of any particular airline. Fourth, Delta doesn't fly to Saudi Arabia, and its partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines doesn't include a code-sharing agreement that would allow the airlines to sell each other's tickets. So nobody can board a Delta flight to Saudi Arabia — Jews, gentiles or otherwise.
But other than that, dead on.
It gets worse, because now Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Mitchell Englander have signed on to this boycott idea.
Who will tell them they've been punked by WorldNetDaily?
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