Audio: Royal Jordanian Pilot Gets VERY Political While Flying Over Jerusalem

Filed Under: Royal Jordanian

While the status of Jerusalem has long been a hot topic, it has certainly been brought to the forefront again with Trump’s recent decision.

Jordan is one of the few countries in the region that has relations with Israel, and you can even fly from Amman to Tel Aviv.

Royal Jordanian as such is no stranger to getting political, but usually in a lighthearted way. During the US presidential election they had their fair share of things to say about Trump, and the campaign ended up being wildly successful for them, in terms of brand awareness.


However, I suspect the announcement made by a Royal Jordanian captain this past Wednesday wasn’t necessarily company sanction. There’s audio of a Royal Jordanian captain flying a 787 from Amman to New York making his “welcome aboard” announcement shortly after takeoff. Here’s the whole audio, the first half of which is in Arabic, and the second half of which is in English:

Here’s the relevant part of the announcement in English:

“Our initial route for today out of Queen Alia turn to the territory of Palestine, also northern of Jerusalem, which is the capital city of Palestine, then the west coast of Palestine, to continue to Kennedy. I’ll be talking to you again during cruise. Now enjoy the flight.”

The captain starts as if he’s going to actually share the route of flight, but then stops after covering every part of Palestine that they’ll be flying over or near.

While some passengers and crewmembers commended what the captain said, the company said “a commercial company that does not engage in politics.”

  1. Didn’t you mention that most Royal Jordanian pilots are former Royal Jordanian Air Force pilots? Military career and patriotism are almost always correlated, anyway.

    Odd and uncalled for, sure. But I get where the guy is coming from. Maybe he has friends who are from the region or live there, and he’s sympathising?

  2. To be fair, the capital of Palestine is Ramallah, which is just north of Jerusalem. The flight will go over Palestine, but outside of Gaza, there is no ‘coast of Palestine’. Perhaps he meant the ‘west bank’ of palestine.

    He did omit mention of Israel. Not sure that is news worthy.

  3. If Israel can claim a fake sovereignity over Jerusalem, so can anyone else. Kudos to that pilot (and, for the palestines, as much as for the israeli people, Jerusalem is their capital).

    This is as VERY political as anything else about the region.

  4. Deeply ironic for many reasons, as there are few forces in the world which have done more to harm the cause of Palestine and the Palestinian people than Jordan, its Hashemite Royal Family, and its armed forces. If not for Jordan, there would have been an actual Palestine created from the 1922 League of Nations Mandate, but the Jordanians refused to accept the Palestinian border or Palestine and instead chose to invade and occupy the area in 1948 and subjugated the Palestinian majority within it far worse than the Israelis ever have . . . at least until Israel ejected it while defending against Jordan’s invasion of Israel in 1967. All of this aside, I would say that this sort of unnecessary political grandstanding to captive passengers is deeply unprofessional of the pilot in any case.

  5. @Lucky..What’s with all the political commentary? I come here for travel tips! Just kidding!!! Seeding the trolls that are lurking. Ohhh wait. Most of them are Trump supporters who don’t know that Amman is NOT a city in Alabama.

  6. @Mark F.

    To really be fair, no, Ramallah is not the capital of Palestine.


    Where did you get your ridiculous propeganda bout 1948 from?

  7. so you made a whole post condemning a RJ pilot but u didn’t make a post when trump did his stupid unilateral declaration that triggered the current crisis ?

    if u want to include politics in the blog, then don’t make it so lopsided. if you want to avoid politics completely, then don’t mention the RJ pilot either.

  8. The UN rates Israel as having the best record for human rights and freedoms in the entire Middle East and Africa – higher than any Arab nation. Palestinians in Israel have more rights and prosperity than anywhere else in the ME apart from the odd tiny principality.

    So why all the hate on Israel?

  9. @Martin, Why all the hate on Israel? uuhmm because they are building homes for Israelis on Palestinian ground. Forcing Palestinians to move and Israel doesn’t take ‘No’ for an answer. Its either getting killed or move…

  10. I have Jordanian-Palestinian friends and they refer to these disputed areas as “Palestine”. Can’t say I blame them for this.

  11. @ AdamW….
    trump supporters…
    Many of them are military veterans well versed in Middle East geography.
    Have you ever served in the US armed forces? If not, shut your stupid mouth and sit down.

  12. @Julia, well, I’m a historian and human rights lawyer, so I have a keen understanding of the history and international legal violations of Jordan and its foreign Hashemite King who was installed by the English to get him out of their way in what became Saudi Arabia. If that’s not what happened, please tell us what did, and why the West Bank and Jerusalem was an annexed part of Jordan, occupied by the Jordanian Army, from 1948 until 1967, despite the League of Nations/United Nations borders providing otherwise? If they didn’t invade, how did that all happen and why was there no Palestine as had been envisaged by the LoN/UN? Do you not realize that Jordan only gave up its claims to the West Bank/Jerusalem in 1988 (by which time it had no practical hope of ever regaining it and was focussed only in maintaining hegemony over the mostly Palestinian population in Jordan proper)? Of course, the only human rights violations some people are interested in are perpetrated by Jews, and never by Arabs — I wonder why that is?

  13. @Rich GG:

    Trump supporter or otherwise, serving overseas does not magically bestow upon the deployed servicemember any enhanced knowledge of the geopolitical nuances of the Middle East beyond what they themselves are willing to learn of their own accord. In fact, generally the opposite is true; most servicemembers are wholly unaware of the intricacies of the area aside from what is provided to them in various pre-deployment briefs. And yes, I served. And yes, I am serving still. And yes, I deployed. So please take your own advice.

  14. On my October flight from Amman to Beirut our Royal Jordanian plane was required to fly around Israel rather than over it. This doesn’t just double the flight time; it’s also a reminder that ____ uh you know what, I’m just not going to finish that sentence and leave it there.

    By the way it was a very nice flight.

  15. Does this happen on every flight over Israel/Palestine? Maybe the pilot was upset by the recent Trump announcement to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Afterall, 20% (or more) of the people living in Jordan are Palestinians that have lived there since 1948 or 1967. Many have intermarried with Jordanians and their kids born in Jordan never seeing the Plaestinian soil.

    @Mak, true the Hashemites did betray the Palestinians (read Avi Shlaim’s book: Collusion Across the Jordan) but Jordan did not treat the Palestinians like Israel is doing nowadays. The Israeli system of control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including the ID system, Israeli settlements, separate roads for Israeli and Palestinian citizens around many of these settlements, military checkpoints, marriage law, the West Bank barrier, use of Palestinians as cheaper labour, Palestinian West Bank exclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories, resembles some aspects of the South African apartheid regime, and that elements of Israel’s occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, contrary to international law.

    Your recent visit to a country with a (current) government oppressing 5 million people and gobbling their land daily meter by meter is nothing but a support for such regime.

  16. Whatever your feelings on Israel, many in the Middle East aren’t fans of it and there’ve been constant protests and attacks on US embassies all over the Middle East (including Amman) ever since Trump’s rather brazen announcement. The Amman embassy apparently partly suspended services for a few days and a Jordanian minister was urging for people to protest against the US and to rise up against Israel.

    The pilot, as many people around the world are is probably quite annoyed/upset at the US government’s announcement, and most since by some estimates there are more Jews in the US than Israel, this is his chance to vent his frustration at a target audience. To have said such things while on the job representing his company and his country probably says just how strong those feelings are.

    Thank God the new US embassy to London has such high security – it will need it at this rate!

  17. If you’re dumb enough to enlist in the military and support America’s illegal imperialism, you’re probably too dumb to really know about military geography. “Serve” my ass, our troops are war criminals not heroes. He only people they serve are our corporate overlords.

  18. It’s shaky enough buzzing about the skies above the unstable ME region. Not exactly an announcement that inspires safety, comfort, calm, or Swiss type of stability. Think the last words spoken by a few pilots before the end as in Allah… Frightening. Uh, maybe that flight to Tahiti sounds good. Steer clear of the coming firestorm in the ME.

  19. @Mak

    What Zilfo said.

    “Palestinians in Israel have more rights and prosperity than anywhere else in the ME apart from the odd tiny principality.”

    Well, they’re citizens of that country, and yet they still are treated like second class citizens. I’m not sure comparing citizens of one country versus non-citizens of another is a good example.

    Also, did they rate how well Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are treated? What rights and prosperity they have due to Israel’s control over those regions?

  20. Ryan

    Yet those displaced Palestinians still have more rights, freedoms and prosperity than Arabs in the rest of the middle-east. And they are not going to get stoned, beheaded or thrown off buildings.

    As for taking some extra land well, yeah, when your neighbors invade you five times and lose, there are always the spoils of war.

  21. The pilot was correct it is Palestine. The Jews were all living in New York in the 1800s and doing just fine until they decided to go back to the biblical land and steal it from the Arabs. I’m disappointed that President Trump gave Jerusalem to the Jews. Jerusalem belongs to the Arabs.
    My parents sent me to Israel in high school where I was tortured and brainwashed into thinking that Arabs are bad and so is America. They tried to make me move to Israel and become a nazi I mean Zionist.

  22. Palestinians claim ALL of Israel as Palestine so the reference to the coast of Palistine is the coast of Tel Aviv etc. As long as the Palestinians say no to peace, there will be no peace. Just look at the Palistinian school books purchased by the UN which claims Palestine from the river to the sea and demonizes Jews and Israel. There are apartid states in the Middle East, where citizens who are woman are very unequal under the law. In the Palestinian Authority areas it is a death penalty to sell land to a Jew. That is apartid- defined as unequal under the law. In Israel proper the 15% of non Jewish citizens are equal under the law and until recently there was an Arab (moslem) member of the Israel Supreme Court. If you want to be anti Jewish then support BDS and call for the ecI mic embargo against the only Jewish state in the world. Doing so follow es the ec Mimic boycott of Jews by the Nazi’s. We know what followed that. Just don’t be for BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) and claim you are not anti Jewish.

  23. Please be careful here – not all Israelis are Jews and not all Jews are Israeli. And not all came from NYC, NJ or Brooklyn. Rather, most Israelis are from Russia, Iraq, Morocco, and Eastern Europe. I can go further and tell you that not all Zionists are land grabbing people, it’s only a small vocal (right-wing) minority that wants to dominate the occupied territories supported by one percenter organizations such as AIPAC and ZOA. Some of the most vocal and eloquent defenders of the Palestinians rights are Jews, ie Chomsky, Finkelstein, Grace Lile (JVP), Alison Weir (the activist not the British author), Miko Peled, and many others Americans and Israelis. So, please don’t paint an entire religion/ethnicity with the same brush – that would be the real anti semitism.

  24. LOL this ignorant pilot can say what he wants, Jerusalem has always been (since 3000 years ago) and will always be Israel’s capital.

  25. Justin h

    Palestinians have been oppressing Jews for centuries.

    In 1839, the British consul, William Young, said that the poor Jew in Jerusalem…lives from day to day in terror of his life….Young attributed the plight of the Jew in Jerusalem to “the blind hatred and ignorant prejudice of a fanatical populace,”

    New York Times December 29, 1878
    Crowded together in the worst lodgings, or in the dark cellars under a synagogue building, without food, fuel, or water –even water at Jerusalem being a commodity of price – numbers died of starvation and various diseases, while others went raving mad. Those who could labor were denied employment by the bigotry of the Mussulmans and of the Oriental Christians.

    Notice the date. This was before the first Zionists arrived in Palestine. Notice the word bigotry.

    Jews had lived for centuries in Hebron & Gaza until they were ethnically cleansed from those areas in 1929.
    During the week of riots from 23 to 29 August, 133 Jews were killed by Arabs and 339 others were injured,
    and now Palestinians oppress Israelis

    Running over Israelis is oppression.
    Stabbing Israelis is oppression.
    Shooting Israelis is oppression.
    Firing rockets at Israelis is oppression.
    Blowing up Israelis is oppression.
    Throwing rocks at Israelis is oppression.

  26. Julia

    Khaled Abu Toameh, the journalist who reports for the Jerusalem Post, U.S. News & World Report and NBC News, put it: “Israel is a wonderful place to live … a free and open country.

    Arab women in Israel live longer than Arab women in any Arab country.
    Arab babies in Israel have lower infant mortality than Arab babies in any Arab country.

    Hadassah University Medical Center in Israel established a registry for Arab donors of bone marrow and stem cells to facilitate life-saving transplants. The registry at Hadassah Hospital is the only one in the world for Arabs and will no doubt save the lives not only of Arab Israelis but also of some citizens of Arab countries, not a single one of which has a registry of its own.

  27. Ryan

    No one would have been displaced if Palestinians had not tried to exterminate the Jews.

    The day after the UN Partition Resolution in November 1947, some racist, xenophobic Palestinians started a genocidal war to exterminate the Jews. Haj Amin el-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – “I declare a holy war, my Muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!”

    The war started with Palestinians attacking a Jewish bus driving on the Coastal Plain near Kfar Sirkin killing five and wounding others. Half an hour later they ambushed a second bus from Hadera, killing two more. Arab snipers attacked Jewish buses in Jerusalem and Haifa.[19]

    Wars create refugees!

  28. Zilfo

    No occupier treats the occupied the same way it treats its own citizens, but no one ever calls that apartheid unless they’re talking about Israel.

  29. Sounds like this RJ pilot is one step away from the Egypt Air pilot who crashed his JFK-CAI flight in the name of Allah.

  30. Pretty pathetic and a sign of weakness, really. When you can’t do anything actual, what do you do? You make outlandish statements like this pilot and feel better about yourself, or you go to the streets and burn Israeli (and US) flags. Totally weak people without any courage to do anything….They can think what they want, they can also think the world is flat, won’t change reality – Israel is and will always be the victor in any circumstance. Deal with it:)

  31. @Jack Green

    You seem to be well trained in the art of Hasbara and your opinions above are one sided. Palestinians massacring Jews as inflated by Zionist for the sole goal of demonizing Arabs and Palestinians is racism. Did the news you cited explain the real stories about how these riots came about or what the origin of the early Jewish settlements in Palestine. Please google Ilan Pappé’s Ten Myths About Israel or his Youtube video interview with Journalist Max Blumenthal.

    Again, as in the case with any population, most Israelis are decent people and the same goes with the Palestinians. Jerusalem should be an open city to all Abrahamic religions, but more importantly religious myths (regardless of which religion they come from) should not dictate policy, borders, and life & death in this 21st century.

  32. “Thank God the new US embassy to London has such high security – it will need it at this rate!”. @tom it sure seems like it’s the common Londoners and tourists getting mowed down like bowling pins the last year or so. I would worry less about the embassy.

  33. Mak:

    >”well, I’m a historian and human rights lawyer”

    This is the introduction of a man who’s never getting laid.

  34. Zilfo,

    When you invoke confirmed frauds such as Max Blumenthal and Ilan Pappe to make your argument, you clearly identify yourself as being of certain mindset, and make it clear that you should be given no credibility.

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