“Good job El Al; Hatari anti-Semitic out,” said a commenter on a Facebook post protesting the Israeli airline’s action.
The Icelandic band Hatari didn’t seem the friendliest bunch as they arrived in Israel for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
If Israelis had any doubt, the group made their feelings clear at the end of the final round of the competition on Saturday night, May 18, when they displayed banners of a Palestinian flag as their final tally in the scoring was announced.
After the contest, on Monday the 20th, they flew from Tel Aviv to London .
“Much to their surprise, they had been given the worst seats on the El Al Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner,” reports the Simple Flying website.
“The incident became public when an individual on Facebook posted photos he took of a screen at the airport,” says the website, adding that “the photos show the three band members’ names and their assigned seats, as well as the locations on a seat map of the El Al 787.”
The Facebook account on which this was posted belongs to Daher Dahli, who lists himself as a Tel Aviv resident who went to the Orthodox Arab College School, which is located in Haifa.
“EL AL‘s ground crew bragging about assigning the worst seats (middle seats and separated) on the aircraft to the Icelandic band Hatari, stating that ‘this is what they get’ for protesting against the Israeli occupation and violation of human rights,” wrote Dahli.
“The Israeli crowd gets very defensive when they see the Palestinian flag,” he wrote on one of his Facebook posts about with the matter.
However, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which runs the Eurovision Song Contest, disapproved of the flag display as well, saying that the holding up the banner was a political act forbidden under the rules of the contest.
Comments which Dahli received on his Facebook post included: “Good job El Al; Hatari anti-Semitic out.”