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Palestinian Big Shots Oppose Letting Ordinary Palestinians Use Ramon Airport



A report on the latest attempt by Palestinian leaders to dissuade ordinary Palestinians from using the Ramon Airport is here: “Palestinians Want the Option to Use Ramon Airport; Their Leaders Want Them Miserable,” Elder of Ziyon, August 26, 2022:

Yesterday, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced that it joins the Palestinian Authority (PA) in opposing the Israeli plan to allow Palestinians to travel internationally through the Ramon Airport.

One of the reasons the PFLP gave is this:

The passage of Palestinian citizens through this airport is aimed at striking the communicative and emotional depth with our brotherly people in Jordan, and its goal is also to provide support for the Zionist economy, and to confirm the apartheid policy practiced by the enemy against our people. [emphasis added]

You see? Giving Palestinians more options in how to travel, and allowing them to travel from an Israeli airport sitting next to Israeli passengers, is apartheid!

Allowing Palestinians to take flights from Ramon Airport to Europe will save them a good deal of money: the total costs of fees paid for  trips out of Ramon will be one-third what Palestinians in the West Bank now have to pay in transit fees to the Jordanians; the costs of plane tickets are also greater from the airport in Amman than from Ramon. No wonder the Palestinians – the people, not the despots who rule them – are enthusiastic about this new way to travel.

One online poll shows that 66% of West Bank respondents were looking forward to traveling via Ramon, while only 29% said that they were against it because of “normalization.” Ramallah Live compared the cost for West Bankers to travel through Jordan with Ramon, and found that the Jordanian fees were triple the cost of Ramon — 180 shekels to 60. This did not include the fees on returning, and paying VIP fees the Allenby Bridge to reduce the number of hours of waiting.

On August 16, the Palestinian minister of transportation said, “We will consider imposing procedures and sanctions against travelers through Ramon Airport, and we urge all Palestinians not to use this airport because it does not represent a Palestinian sovereignty.”

The Palestinian response on Facebook has been withering, with many pointing out that the minister has a VIP pass to travel through Ben-Gurion Airport– and asking why that does not violate Palestinian sovereignty.

Ordinary Palestinians know that their rulers have no problem getting VIP passes letting them use the Ben-Gurion Airport, avoiding the discomfort and extra expense of getting to, and flying from, the airport in Amman. Why, they ask on social media, should they be prevented from saving money by using the Ramon Airport? Is that more of a “violation of Palestinian sovereignty” than the Palestinian officials who are able to use Ben-Gurion?

And there is another group of Palestinians who demand to be able to use Ramon Airport: Gazans.

The current plan is to only open it for West Bank Palestinians, but it is closer to Gaza, and Gazans would jump at the chance to use that airport rather than try to make it to Cairo, which is very difficult. Some are demanding the right to use Ramon, and given that Israel already vets many of them to work in Israel, this would seem to be a possibility. Commenters there point out the humiliation they go through to even have a chance to travel to Egypt. If for no other reason than PR, Israel should consider allowing those who pass security checks to use that airport as well.

The same vetting procedures used by Israel for the 15,500 Gazans who currently commute to work in Israel could easily be applied to Gazans wanting to use Ramon Airport. It is very difficult for Gazans to obtain permission from Egypt to enter their country to use the Cairo Airport, which is also much further from the Strip than is the Ramon Airport. The entire experience of flying out of Cairo is more humiliating, time-consuming, and expensive for Gazans than would be their use of Ramon. And as Elder of Ziyon points out, letting Gazans use the Ramon Airport would be a source of good PR for Jerusalem.

Israel is treating Palestinians with more respect than their own leaders do, and despite all the anti-Israel propaganda, the people know this very well.

Letting Palestinians from both the West Bank and Gaza use Ramon Airport will save them money, time, and hassle. Those who take advantage of this policy will recognize that it is the “hated” Israelis who are trying to help ease their travel burden, while their own leaders are trying to keep them from enjoying that new, much cheaper, and more convenient alternative. How many Western reporters in the MSM will cover this tale of three airports story and bother to point that out? Here’s a rough guess: None.