Amid public uproar, Royal Jordanian forced to disavow sponsorship of Israel tourism conference

The Israeli-government sponsored “Jerusalem International Tourism Conference” website as it appeared before the Royal Jordanian and Turkish Airlines logos were removed.

Royal Jordanian has disavowed sponsorship of an Israeli government tourism conference to be held in occupied Jerusalem later this month amid public uproar in Jordan that the airline’s logo appeared on the “supporter” page of the conference’s official website.

The Royal Jordanian logo appeared alongside those of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Turkish Airlines. The website also reveals that the conference is sponsored by the Israeli prime minister’s office and the Jerusalem occupation municipality.

Both the Royal Jordanian and Turkish Airlines logos have now been removed after users on Twitter objected to the companies’ sponsorship of the conference.

Turkish Twitter users mounted a campaign calling on their country’s airline to pull out of the conference using the hashtag #İsrailinSponsoruTHYyeBoykot.

One of the speakers at the conference is Sheldon Adelson, the American billionaire and financial backer of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who notoriously claimed that Palestinians are an “invented people.”

Dubious Denial?

Royal Jordanian tweeted out the following statement in Arabic today:

Royal Jordanian denies reports that appeared in various media that it sponsored a tourism conference in Israel.

Royal Jordanian confirmed in a press statement that the use of its logo on the website of The Second Jerusalem International Tourism Conference was done without its knowledge or agreement.

To clarify, an Israeli travel agent provided the logo to the abovementioned website without the permission of the company.

The statement said that the company logo was removed from the aforementioned website after the company contacted the conference organizers who offered Royal Jordanian their apologies for the error.

More than just a travel agent

Although the Royal Jordanian statement did not name the Israeli travel agent, the name of the person that appeared on the conference website was Dvora Bruchstein, who was identified as “Representative to Israel, Royal Jordanian.”

On its own website, Royal Jordanian identifies Bruchstein as the General Manager of its Tel Aviv station.

Her now deleted biography on the conference website stated:

Dvora has over 30 years experience in the aviation industry. She started her journey with El Al, and after seven successful years with El Al and three years as Sales Manager at Korean Air she joined Royal Jordanian. During 18 years of work as representative of Royal Jordanian to Israel she helped promoting relations between the two countries, tourism cooperation in particular. Royal Jordanian became more and more popular among the Israeli passengers, especially because of the security in the Air Craft and on the Sky Routing.

Dvora contributed to a significant increase in the number of Israeli passengers flying with Royal Jordanian. Today Tel Aviv station is one of the top five most profitable branches of the company worldwide. Royal Jordanian is ranked among the world’s leading companies and is a member of the One World Alliance.

Royal Jordanian has flown to and from Tel Aviv since soon after Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994, and the airline actively markets itself to Israeli passengers to travel to, among other destinations, New York, using Amman as a transit point.

Although staunchly defended by the government, Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel remains deeply unpopular. Yesterday, the lower house of the Jordanian parliament passed a resolution calling on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador to protest Israel’s attacks and restrictions on Palestinian worshippers at occupied Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque.

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My information is that Turkish Airlines has also withdrawn from this arrangement.

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I believe that the world's desire for a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian people would be made more likely if all governments demanded that Israel remove/end its settlers, wall, settlements, and siege of Gaza and used sanctioning tools such as suspending commercial air-travel to and from Israel to enforce such demands.

Accordingly, people world-wide should encourage their countries and their air-lines to suspend commercial travel to/from Israel.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.