CAIRO: British airline Virgin Atlantic came under fire this week for removing the word “Palestinian” from an in-flight menu after it received online backlash from pro-Israel supporters.
The flight’s economy menu included a “Palestinian couscous salad” — a dish that was a mix of Maftoul, couscous, tomatoes and cucumber seasoned with parsley and mint and served with a lemon vinaigrette.
However, the word “Palestinian” has been dropped off the menu after complaints by pro-Israel customers, who accused Virgin Atlantic of being “terrorist sympathizers,” a report by The Independent said.
Dani Williams tweeted a picture of the menu in December 2017, writing: “#virginatlantic this is the menu I received yesterday nothing like some BDS … with your salad, last time you get my money #TerroristSympathizers.”
— Dani Williams (@Thedaniwilliams) December 23, 2017
David Garnelas posted a picture of the menu in the Israel Advocacy Movement Facebook group with the caption: “VIRGIN ATLANTIC. I thought this was an Israeli salad...obviously Branson showing his true colors...Israelis must boycott Virgin and Israel must ask for an explanation. When I complained, the stewardess tried to take back the menu from me.”
Despite the fact that the salad features Maftoul, a traditional Palestinian grain made from bulgur and whole wheat flour, Virgin Atlantic has removed the reference in its in-flight menu.
The airline said in a statement: “Our customers’ experience on board is a key focus and we are constantly refreshing our food offerings on our flights.”
The move was not taken lightly, and people took to Twitter to leave scathing remarks about the airline.
Palestinians have been so dehumanized over the years in the West, that even using the term to describe food is somehow deemed “offensive”. SHAME ON YOU @VirginAtlantic #BoycottVirginAtlantic https://t.co/R0jW2C2Pax
— Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (@ASE) February 11, 2018