Monday, September 24, 2012

24-Sep-12: Here's what we plan to do with some of our Star Alliance frequent flyer miles

Attention, members of Turkish Airlines' Miles and Smiles frequent flyer program.

Michael Rubin reveals some aspects of the airline's charitable activities in an article published today on the Commentary Magazine website, called Turkish Air Sponsoring Anti-Israel Hatefest. He describes some of the more unlovely aspects of Turkey's recent political moves and then says that...
Turkish Airlines—Turkey’s state carrier and a member of the Star Alliance—is getting in on the action. While American Muslims for Palestine’s list of sponsors is not online, according to literature at the group’s booth at the recent Islamic Society for North America conference, Turkish Airlines is a major corporate sponsor of American Muslims for Palestine’s forthcoming conference, in addition to which it is encouraging attendance by announcing that the “first 200 Registrants will be entered into a raffle to win an international airline ticket from Turkish Airlines.” American Muslims for Palestine is not any ordinary organization. Its home page depicts the conference logo—a map of Palestine made from birds showing the Palestinian state encompassing all of Israel. So much for the two-state solution. The AMP conference is due to feature Fadwa Barghouti, wife of imprisoned terrorist Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life sentences for murder. The AMP has for several years worked to promote nakba (catastrophe) commemorations on college campuses, with a goal to delegitimize Israel’s existence. The group’s national campus coordinator moved to disrupt a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC-Irvine back in 2010... Lest Turkish Airlines support of the AMP conference be dismissed on the grounds that the AMP is merely anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic, the media coordinator for AMP earlier this month claimed that “The film was financed by 100 Jews, according to the Israeli. Let this be a lesson to our Muslim organizations that still insist it is in our best interest to work with Zionist organizations.” ...How strange it is that Turkish Airlines’ charity of choice is a group that seeks to pump money into a group which apologizes, if not expresses sympathy, for terrorists.
We wrote to Miles and Smiles five minutes before posting this blog entry to terminate our membership. There was a time, not so long ago, when it was a pleasure for us - and for many other Israelis - to visit Istanbul and to travel with Turkey's national airline.

Sadly, that chapter is receding into the distance.

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