Belgian airline stops serving Israeli halva on flights


Brussels Airlines has been accused of taking part in a boycott after removing Israeli halva from its flights.

Some Israeli news sites reported that the carrier had banned the halva because it deemed the West Bank-made confectionary treat to be “controversial”.

The halva is produced by Achva, an Israeli food company based in the Barkan Industrial Park in the West Bank, near the city of Ariel.

The move, which was reported by the Israeli news website Ynet, triggered many angry responses on Twitter – with some people even suggesting a boycott of the airline.

However, the airline has said the decision was taken after an incorrect order of the snack was discovered. The company claimed that it was actually a customer who had called the product "controversial".

Brussels Airlines was said to have taken the decision after it was lobbied by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which claims the products are made on occupied land.

Hen Mazzig, who describes himself on his feed as an ‘IDF humanitarian officer’, tweeted: “Shocked that @FlyingBrussels removed Israeli snack "Achva" halva because it's Israeli. RT if UR joining me&stop flying w/them! @StandWithUs”

A spokeswoman for the airline explained: “We got a letter from a customer who alerted us to this product and told us about it being controversial. Because we are a company, not a political organisation, we wanted to see why this product was on board.

“We then saw that this product was not the one that we ordered from our suppliers, so we stopped it.”

She added: “We have many Israeli products on our flights - this one came from the West Bank, but we do not take a political stance on it.

“It is not a boycott on our side. We don’t have a guideline, in any case.”

The company said on Twitter: "Brussels Airlines has been flying to Israel for 13 years, and we have never ceased to do so, not even during the conflict of two years ago (only 1 flight cancelled during that period).

"It is our only destination in the Middle East and we were the fastest growing airline in Israel last year (+40 per cent passengers). We are there to stay and we offer many Israeli products on board our flights, which we choose sovereignly. [sic]

"We do not mix in political discussions and stay neutral. The product, which was accidentally offered in a vegetarian meal that is ordered rather rarely, was removed because it was not the product that we had ordered."

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