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El Al captain indoctrinates the passengers, but only in Hebrew

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The El Al captain addresses the passengers in Hebrew on a flight from Tel Aviv to Berlin. He explains the memorial plates for Jews who perished in the holocaust (made of brass, scattered along sidewalks) and rejoices over the existence of Israel, thanks to which we will not turn into memorial plates again. But he doesn’t translate his statements on the plane into English. And I think, since when should I believe that Israel is safer for Jews, after the Nakba and the occupation and the atomic bomb?

I tell the stewardess I would like to complain, that for one, the plane is not supposed to be a Hasbara headquarters, and also that the pilot is obliged to translate his statements to the German passengers, or whomever speaks English.

Before landing, the pilot reports the temperature in Berlin, and at the end of his statement, he addresses me(!) on the speaker in Hebrew. He says he heard that there is a passenger who was offended by his statement, that he has nothing against the German people, and also that the Germany of today is not the Germany of old times. He adds that he’s glad Israel exists, that thanks to it we will not become human dust etc. Once again, he does not translate his message into English. The audience [passengers] clap. As if we’re on a reality show, titled UP – by El Al.

Translated by Ofer Neiman from the Hebrew source here

Mati Shemoelof

Mati Shemoelof is an Arab-Jewish poet, author and editor based in Berlin. His writing includes six poetry books, and plays, articles and one collection of short stories. His 2018 lecture was printed as a booklet, "Reißt die Mauer…" (Aphorisma Verlag). A German edition of his poems, "Gedicte. Texte zwischen Bagdad, Haifa und Berlin," will be published by the Berlin publisher Aphorisma in 2019. His latest book "An eruption from the east: Re visiting the emergence of the Mizrahi artistic explosion and it's imprint on the Israeli cultural narrative 2006-2019" will be published by Iton 77 publishers in Israel in 2020. He is currently working on a new literary project "Anu אנו نحن: Jews and Arabs writing in Berlin." He is the founder of the the Berlin-based "Poetic Hafla," a group that creates literary and performances events.

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49 Responses

  1. wondering jew on March 18, 2016, 12:27 pm

    A pilot communicates with his Hebrew speaking passengers and expresses his Zionism which rubs mister Shemoelof the wrong way. Get a blog or a Facebook page if you want to speak your mind, mister Shemoelof tells him. Why is Mati flying El al? Aren’t there ways to fly to Berlin without supporting an Israeli airline?

    • Mooser on March 18, 2016, 1:07 pm

      “Why is Mati flying El al? Aren’t there ways to fly to Berlin without supporting an Israeli airline?”

      Ah, truly, it’s not just an airline it’s Israel! I bet El Al executives will thank you for clarifying their policy!

      And remember, “Yonah”:

      “When you’re smiling,
      When you’re smiling,
      The whole world smiles with you…”

      • Steve Grover on March 18, 2016, 2:15 pm

        Mooser,
        Since Mondoweiss has done such a fantastic job with their recent fund raising efforts, maybe they can send you to Israel on El Al and have you report back to us. I mean they should give you something for those thirty thousand posts.

      • Mooser on March 18, 2016, 6:52 pm

        “I mean they should give you something for…”

        “Grover” I want you to know, that no matter how many comments I post on Mondo, I never ever flatter myself by thinking that my comments will be as effective, and as meaningful, as yours.
        I think your comments have, much more so than mine, the power to change minds and influence people on the subjects covered here.

      • Steve Grover on March 18, 2016, 7:19 pm

        So what are you saying Mooser? Are ya not up for the trip? Are you afraid that you might enjoy being in Israel? That you might have your inner Zionist might surface?

      • Mayhem on March 18, 2016, 9:34 pm

        Mati, knowing that Islamic terrorists don’t discriminate, probably flies by El Al because he doesn’t want to get his head blown off and El Al is the airline with the best guarantee that he will actually get to his destination in one piece.

      • Mooser on March 19, 2016, 10:45 am

        I’m beginning to think that Zionism might be the antidote for senility! After all, have you ever seen a Zionist in a ‘second childhood’?

      • Steve Grover on March 19, 2016, 11:49 am

        Come on Mooser why are you so afraid to go to Israel? I mean Horowitz and Weiss recently went and they still hate Israel. Do you doubt your ability to continue to hate Israel?

      • Mooser on March 19, 2016, 12:17 pm

        “Come on…/…hate Israel?”

        See what I mean? Absolutely no danger of any mid-life crisis or second childhood for “Grover”.

      • echinococcus on March 19, 2016, 5:17 pm

        Grover,

        Going to “Israel” for any non-Palestinian American is participating in the war crime of illegal invasion, except if expressly invited by legitimate Palestinians

      • talknic on March 19, 2016, 6:01 pm

        @ Steve Grover March 19, 2016, 11:49 am

        “… Horowitz and Weiss recently went and they still hate Israel. Do you doubt your ability to continue to hate Israel?”

        Asking that Israel adhere to International Law, the UN Charter and the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel = hatred. Asking motorists to adhere to the road laws = hatred for motorists.

        It seems Mr ZioClown, that if someone murdered your family, you’d be pleased

      • Steve Grover on March 19, 2016, 6:37 pm

        Have no fear Talknic, if you go to Israel you can find Vegemite in some Shufersal stores. The larger ones are more likely to have it.

    • John O on March 18, 2016, 2:26 pm

      I was holidaying in Spain last week. I speak enough Spanish to hold conversations in that language with our tour guide, Xavier. But we didn’t, because to speak in a language that excludes some of those who are likely to be listening is BLOODY RUDE.

      And to start talking politics/religion to a random group of listeners just plain stupid.

      • Qualtrough on March 19, 2016, 1:44 am

        @John O – Excellent point. It is indeed extremely rude and unprofessional, which someone else further down pointed out. But it should not surprise us as the entire premise of the Zionist experiment is excluding others.

      • El Cazador on March 19, 2016, 9:48 am

        Doing the hasbara shoah history lecture in the passenger speaker system, during a flight to Germany, by the flight captain is something unheard of… Of course there’s an automatic pilot and a second officer to take care of the flight, but I though pilots were not rabis, nor netanyahoo… Now, will it become an initiative turning into a trend? As for El Al being the best garantee of flight safety, I hope Mayhem is right as you never know what could happen as a consequence of Israel’s warmongering history, continuous wrongdoings and murdering, etc., taking into account that there are missiles in the area that could fall into the wrong hands and fly at whatever plane is flying over them, El Al passenger planes included.

      • Steve Grover on March 19, 2016, 11:22 am

        You are right El Cazador, El Al pilots aren’t Rabbis. But they could lead the Shecheyanu Bracha after landing in Israel. That would be very nice.

    • Mooser on March 18, 2016, 3:08 pm

      Why is “Yonah” commenting at Mondoweiss? Aren’t there ways to get on the Internet without supporting an anti-Israeli website?

      • Mayhem on March 18, 2016, 9:31 pm

        @mooser, I think Yonah’s conscience like mine cannot hold truck with free roaming Israel bashers.

      • Marnie on March 19, 2016, 4:10 am

        1) – con·science
        “an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.”

        2) – “belief” in British English
        “the ​feeling of being ​certain that something ​exists or is ​true”.

        3) de·lu·sion
        “an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.”

        I don’t know “Mayhem” or “Yonah” but feel they don’t have consciences to guide them and are strictly following the path their idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions take them. Have a safe trip and be sure you always fly HasbrAir (formerly El Al).

      • eljay on March 19, 2016, 9:57 am

        || Marnie: … I don’t know “Mayhem” or “Yonah” but feel they don’t have consciences to guide them and are strictly following the path their idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions take them. … ||

        With Zio-supremacists, I think it’s less a lack of conscience and more some sort of mental deficiency that overrides conscience when it comes to the belief that Jews are entitled:
        – to Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
        – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      • Marnie on March 19, 2016, 10:40 am

        @eljay– “to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.”

        Sounds like a ziocommandment!

      • Mooser on March 19, 2016, 10:42 am

        “cannot hold truck with free roaming “

        ROTFLMSJAO!!!! Hold that truck! Free that roam! Patsh zich in tuchis und schrei “hooray”

      • eljay on March 19, 2016, 11:37 am

        || Marnie: @eljay– “to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.”

        Sounds like a ziocommandment! ||

        They may not have 10 of them, but the ones they have are doozies! ;-)

    • bryan on March 19, 2016, 6:16 am

      Yonah – “Why is Mati flying El al? Aren’t there ways to fly to Berlin without supporting an Israeli airline”

      Agreed, but just how far would you take this approach of boycotting those entities whose policies you find disagreeable?

  2. Kay24 on March 18, 2016, 1:03 pm

    Totally unprofessional, but since it is Zio Airways it is no surprise. They will take every opportunity to spew their hasbara, or tell their people they are perpetual victims. It seems the like minded passengers enjoyed it all in Hebrew, and applauded to show how loyal they are to the cause.

    “You get in with a certain state of mind and get off indoctrinated – we love to lie and it shows. Zio Airways.”

    • pabelmont on March 18, 2016, 6:27 pm

      Gee Kay, I dunno. whenever I fly on some USA airline, the pilot always comes on and says, “The temperature in Houston is 78-degrees, the sky is overcast, and isn’t America the greatest country in the world, not just this world, but in all possible worlds?

      Of course he does, It’s just human nature.

      Seriously now folks, these guys get paid to do their jobs, and Mr. El Al has a more comprehensive job than merely flying a plane and announcing the weather in Berlin.

      • Steve Grover on March 18, 2016, 7:02 pm

        Gee I dunno Pabelmont, maybe this is what Germany has to put up with when a plane load of Jews who paid to go to Germsny lands in Germany after murdering 6 million Jews. A little different than flyin’ into Houston doncha think?

      • Mooser on March 18, 2016, 9:14 pm

        “when a plane load of Jews who paid to go to Germsny lands in Germany after murdering 6 million Jews.”

        Well, you got “murdering 6 million Jews” into the sentence, “Grover” that’s the important thing, not that the sentence make any sense. Score one “murdering 6 million Jews” for “Grover”!

        How many more of those Zingers can this place take?

      • eljay on March 19, 2016, 11:42 am

        || Steve Grover: … maybe this is what Germany has to put up with when a plane load of Jews who paid to go to Germsny lands in Germany after murdering 6 million Jews. … ||

        I don’t understand why a plane-load of Jews would fly to Germany after murdering 6 million Jews, but there’s no reason Germany should have to “put up with” them.

        Or…wait a minute…was that another “zinger”?

      • Theo on March 19, 2016, 2:23 pm

        “in Germany after murdering 6 million jews!.

        The question is, how many palestinians did those passengers on the plane murder over the years? Why do they fly to Berlin, the capitol of those murdering nazis? Why do 10,000 young israelis live in Berlin, opening up businesses like cafes, restaurants, bars, etc.? Is there something more interesting than in Israel? I make a bet with you Steve, if the arabs ever get a leader who will unite them, a great number of israelis, who today curse the germans, will head toward that country.
        Besides, the 6 million jews murdered is just a zionist number, because nobody knows the exact figure of those victims. That 6 million number was already circulating before WWII.

      • Marnie on March 20, 2016, 6:51 am

        “The temperature in Houston is 78-degrees, the sky is overcast, and isn’t America the greatest country in the world, not just this world, but in all possible worlds?”

        Explains the need for air sick bags.

  3. Citizen on March 18, 2016, 1:24 pm

    Always fun to part of the in-group. That’s why codes were invented.

  4. eljay on March 18, 2016, 2:45 pm

    … Before landing, the pilot … adds that he’s glad Israel exists, that thanks to it we will not become human dust etc. …

    Evidently the pilot hasn’t heard that Israel remains existentially threatened and perpetually on the verge of being wiped off the map and pushed into the sea.

    Or maybe the thought of his Zio-supremacist co-collectivists and his religion-supremacist “Jewish State” grinding non-Jews into human dust gives him comfort.

    • Steve Grover on March 18, 2016, 7:14 pm

      eljay’s Zio-supremacist rants are a “yawn” snoozefest.

      Have ya heard the one about the Zionist that hates Jews? Pssst don’t tell eljay there ain’t even one. Ya don’t wanna spoil his schtick!

      I’m a Zio-supremacist and I’m OK
      I sleep all night and I work all day.
      I plant new trees I eat me lunch
      And I go to the lavat’ry
      On Wednesdays I go shopping
      And have buttered scones for tea.

      • Mooser on March 18, 2016, 9:18 pm

        “Steve” every comment you zing past the Moderators is a hammer-blow for Zionism!

      • James North on March 18, 2016, 9:22 pm

        Moose: “Grober” has been stuck into the Manischewitz since he got out of shul this evening.

      • eljay on March 18, 2016, 9:18 pm

        || Steve Grover: eljay’s Zio-supremacist rants are a “yawn” snoozefest. … ||

        And yet you’re an avid fan.

        || … Have ya heard the one about the Zionist that hates Jews? Pssst don’t tell eljay there ain’t even one. … ||

        Don’t be so modest: What ever an anti-Semite can do, you Zio-supremacists can do better. Captain Israel believes in you.

      • Mooser on March 18, 2016, 9:38 pm

        “Moose: “Grober” has been stuck into the Manischewitz since he got out of shul this evening.”

        Can anything other than intoxication account for it? I sure wish he would show his comments to his choice of Rabbi and ask “Rebbe tell me,am I helping, or hindering?”

  5. Ossinev on March 18, 2016, 2:49 pm

    I hope that he followed El Al`s ad hoc guidelines of not allowing female passengers to sit alongside male passengers and that includes pilots and co-pilots.(I am assuming of course that he was not sat alongside a female co-pilot – perish the thought )
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/27/world/middleeast/woman-81-to-sue-israeli-airline-over-seat-switch.html?_r=0

    BTW I wonder if they have plans to have male only and female only toilets on their aircraft or secular and orthodox toilets or assimilated and non- assimilated toilets – the list could be endless.

    Neanderthalism is truly alive and kicking in the Land of Desecration.

  6. lysias on March 18, 2016, 5:13 pm

    I bet in the 1930s there would have been similar pep talks in German on Lufthansa flights into Berlin.

  7. lysias on March 18, 2016, 5:28 pm

    Remember when Israeli passengers on that Iberia flight to Tel Aviv complained because they thought he said “Welcome to Palestine” (the original Spanish they claimed to have heard: “”Queridos pasajeros, en breve aterrizaremos en Palestina”), as opposed to what Iberia said the pilot actually said: “We are about to land at our destination” (” “Queridos pasajeros, estamos en descenso para aterrizar en nuestro destino, Tel Aviv”)? Iberia dice que el piloto al aterrizar en Tel Aviv dijo ‘nuestro destino’ y no ‘Palestina’.

  8. Xpat on March 18, 2016, 9:34 pm

    EL AL is much more than an airline. Israel’s only (sorry, Eilat) international airport is Israel’s only door in and out of the Middle East. El AL is its only airline (sorry, Arkia). El Al pilots are trained by the Israel Air Force and are the creme de la creme of Israel’s militarized culture. So, the company’s tag line is pretty accurate.
    So El Al, aka Israel, delivers up one last shot of hasbara before its Israelis escape for a few days of sanity in Berlin.
    There is something sad and desperate in this announcement. Back in the day when Israel was the place were cute girl soldiers carried Uzis and the men were making the desert bloom, everything was proudly translatable. Now, even the Israelis concede that this stuff is better kept in the family. They are talking to themselves. No wonder Israelis like Mati Shemoelof prefer Berlin to the Jewish national home where Jews talk to themselves about how safe they are.

  9. Dan From Away on March 18, 2016, 11:23 pm

    30 El Al/related posters from 1949 – present:

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/el-al-airlines

    My question re the pilot’s Hebrew-only announcemtn: Does El Al policy call for this kind of announcement for every country it flies to or only Germany?

  10. Peter in SF on March 19, 2016, 2:53 am

    I’ve never flown El Al, but I have flown Air Canada a number of times, and on Air Canada, most announcements are in both of Canada’s official languages. Do El Al flights have announcements in both of Israel’s official languages?

    • Marnie on March 19, 2016, 5:39 am

      Hebrew and English, English being an unofficial language – yes (at least from usa to israel).

      Hebrew and Arabic – official languages – lo aravit, rok ivrit (no Arabic, only hebrew).

  11. diasp0ra on March 19, 2016, 9:33 am

    I have been wanting to learn Hebrew for a while now. Nothing that gets translated to English from the Israeli media comes close to the original uncensored versions that they publish westward.

    Not that I’d ever get to use my Hebrew at an El AL flight, since I can’t even visit Jerusalem, let alone Ben Gurion Airport, but I think it would come in handy. There is so much juicy nuggets in Israeli media that would never get translated, but it’s much more honest than whatever reaches us.

  12. Rashers2 on March 19, 2016, 3:07 pm

    Seems an awful amount of dedication, @diasp0ra. You’re right (I know from the second language in which I am fluent) that it’s more satisfactory to read news and literature in the original; but, if I were going to the effort of learning a new language, it would be an important one spoken by many people in more than one country, such as Spanish or, er…, Arabic (which I assume you already speak). It certainly wouldn’t be the synthetic re-invention of a “dead” language, spoken by a few million people in one small place and which, in 50 years’ time, probably won’t be spoken there!

    • diasp0ra on March 20, 2016, 5:02 pm

      @Rashers2

      I agree for the most part. I wanted to learn Spanish. But I personally believe that we are headed for a one state solution sooner or later. Being able to build bridges between traumatized populations will be crucial. I want to be able to engage and talk with Israelis, because anti-Zionist Israelis will also be a major ally in any transition.

      As Mandela once said, and it stuck with me: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

  13. Mary T on March 19, 2016, 8:17 pm

    In 50 years’ time I won’t be here. However, I have been considering learning either Arabic or Hebrew. In the short term, perhaps Hebrew is the better choice. “Know thy enemy.” Sun Tzu

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