Follow-up to this previous post:
From: Rodney Sanders
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 5:28 PM
Subject: RE: Inbal Hotel flies PLO flags ... protest this insult to Jerusalem
I am responding to your note of concern regarding reports of "PLO flags" displayed at our hotel during the last two days of May.
Firstly, let me say directly that I am very sensitive to the concerns of our guests, and that I, too, felt uncomfortable when asked, even by the Israeli government, to fly the colors of the Palestinian Authority at the hotel.
But that is exactly what happened. The Israel Minister of Public Security Avi Dicter chose the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel to be the venue for the International Security Forum, a conference on “Challenges to Homeland Security”, of which MK Avi Dicter was the chairman.
US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertkoff and a dozen other internal security ministers from Europe and beyond were invited and Minister Dicter also invited the Palestinian Minister of Interior.
We were instructed by the Israel Ministry of Public Security and the organizing committee to fly the flags of all those participating in the conference, including that of the Palestinian Authority.
While not meaning to add to anybody's distress, I think it important for me to mention that other prominent hotels are often asked by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to host Israel-Palestinian negotiating sessions. Sometimes this also involves flags.
I can assure you that I, as the General Manager of the hotel had no intent of making a political statement and have no desire of doing so in the future.
I would like to apologize for placing the flag on the building. I have now since learnt how sensitive this issue is to the feelings of our nation and our people, but I believe I had no choice but to follow the request of the Ministry.
News of the enemy flag adorning the popular Jerusalem hotel spread quickly after Arutz-7 blogger Yisrael Medad published a letter by Yonatan Adler informing of the Inbal-PLO flag display. Various grassroots organizations quickly took up the gauntlet, and letters by citizens expressing extreme concern began arriving at the Inbal Hotel.