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A Real Jewish Plot

January 25, 2013 – 8:13 am17 Comments

David Werdiger unfolds his map and puts on his navigators cap, as he plots the fastest route from Oz to Israel. But can you find a faster path from Melbourne (or Sydney, or Perth…) to Tel Aviv?

Recent plans for a trip to Israel had me thinking about the route Australians have to travel to get there (or as I write this, here). The most common ways to travel are via Asia or via Europe, but unfortunately, no matter which way you go, it’s the long way.

The Asia options are via Hong Kong, Bangkok (each connecting to El Al), or via Seoul. The table below compares the travel times for each option. For the purposes of this analysis, I will exclude airport-waiting times.


Melbourne to Asia leg

Asia to Israel leg

Total flight hours

Hong Kong












Now, for 20 hours of travel time, I can get to many destinations in Europe. But with these options, I only get as far as Israel. Why? Well, the El Al flights from Hong Kong and Bangkok are not able to fly over Israel’s many enemies who refuse to recognize her. So the Hong Kong flight travels north, through China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, eventually crossing through Turkey. The Bangkok flight heads out over India but then detours to the south and then snakes up the Red Sea.

Now, we all know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. When you add to this principle the notion that the world is round, the shortest distance is actually something called a Great Circle route. Whatever the case, it’s clear that we aren’t going as directly as possible. How much out of our way? It’s been estimated at 3-4 hours! So if the Arab countries recognized Israel and allowed travel in their airspace, we could get there in “only” 17 hours of air travel!

What if Singapore Airlines offered a flight direct from Singapore to Tel Aviv? Well, firstly their Malaysian neighbours wouldn’t be very happy. (Every passport contains an official statement from the head of state or similar asking for safe passage of the bearer. I’ve seen the Malaysian passport, which has this same statement with the proviso “except Israel”. But interestingly, if Singapore Airlines did offer a flight direct from Singapore to Tel Aviv, it would likely be commercially damaging for El Al as the route would be so much more direct as to take away business from Israel’s national carrier. So in the current political environment, it would not be in Israel’s best interests for a flight to be available via Singapore.

What about the Seoul flight? While Korea Air doesn’t have the same restrictions as El Al, Seoul is far enough northeast of the other Asian transit cities so that the travel time is stretched to be equivalent to the other options.

Are there any better options? You can get to Dubai – gateway to Europe and the Middle East – in just 14 hours. It’s only 3 hours as the crow flies from there to Israel; tantalizingly close yet so far! So where to go from there? Well, you could fly from Dubai to Amman in 4.5 hours, and then somehow make your way into Israel (bus, car). Another interesting option is Larnaca, Cyprus, which is about 4 hours from Dubai, and then only an hour to Tel Aviv. At a total time in the air of 18 hours, that would be the fastest way from Australia to Israel.

So while we wait for peace in the Middle East, El Al loyalists like me will just have to sit back for an extra few hours in those dinky old 747s with no decent entertainment system, enjoy the kosher food, and remember that just because other passengers stand up and start packing their things while the plane is still taxiing, that doesn’t mean it’s correct!

Nesiah tova!

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  • Seraphya says:

    You can also fly from Amman to Tel Aviv. If you don’t have Israeli citizenship you can easily cross near Yericho to Jerusalem. If you have Israeli citizenship then near Be’et shan or Eilat, they aren’t too bad depending on where you are trying to get to, takes longer than a flight but is much cheaper if you share a cab with a few people.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Here’s another issue where the Elders are letting us down.

  • frosh says:

    Very true Sadducee. You’d think that if our elders could control the US Govt, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, then they could at least plot to give us direct air passage to Israel, so that we don’t have to plot such tortuous tours of the world’s airpots.

  • Ian Grinblat says:

    No, no, Frosh.
    If the elders made it so easy for us they would show their hand. The lost time in travel between Oz and Iz is just one of the cossts of world domination.

  • Sam says:

    Does anyone think that it is a financial ploy by the oil rich Sheikhs.
    Doing some maths from figures available on the web it could be revenue to the oil companies of at least $300,000 per day. As the Sheikhs get royalties or similar it is in their interest financially to never make peace with Israel.

    The maths exercise goes like this.

    Cost of Av gas is approx. $1.40 per litre.
    Consumption of fuel is around 6 litres per klm. traveled at cruising speed, say 900 klm. per hour.

    If the journey takes an extra 3.5 hours then that is about 3150 klm.
    The cost is calculated at $8.40 per klm. This comes to around $31,500 per journey for the extra distance.

    If there are 5 trips to Israel from the southern hemisphere per day and 5 going the other way, (that is a guestimate only), then the cost of the extra fuel is over $300,000 per day, a nice little earner.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Yeeeh Sam perfectly put and so precisely and preciously calculated, yet you missed a few items used excessively during the prolonged flights, such as :

    – bottled water consumed by travelleres during the flights
    – coffee cups by the same
    – snacks icl. some additional kosher stuff – the type I prosnally insist on – here comes the Jewish kabala –
    – footwear worn by flight attendants while providing all of the above and some.
    – extra bathroom items – paper for ex. and how many extra trees will have to die per extra Kilometres travelled – work it out !!!
    – additional textile products also known to be part of the “shmate game ” ( !!!!….!!!)
    – additional “thank yous !” uttered by gorgeous flight attendants in several foreign – to me at least – languages, for instance on Korean Air they say “mida” at the end of every sentence and I shall have to fly Tadjik Air to find out what THEY say with annoying monotony in their Turcik family language etc. etc. and who on earth – actually on air, restrains me from wanting to touch their body parts as they pass my isle seat oblivious to what any middle age male is compelled to do !!! ( still on topic AND clean, mind yourse !!)

    While still on topic, who of the Elders is proffiting from the badly selected music programmes during the inflight so called entertainment and what position does Mr. Frosh hold within the same World domination coniuratione ( Latin for “plot” ) as to keep normal and innocent people like me awake at night writing these kind of compulsory/inescapable postings on HIS CONTROLLED site !!!???
    And, finally, who is responsible up there for all my spellink mistackes posted right here !!!!
    Work all that out , Sam !!!

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    …belated inspiration; shouldn’t I have said: ” Work all that out AGAIN, Sam ! ”

    ……..you must remember this, a miss is juat a miss………

  • Harold Zwier says:

    This isn’t directly related to flying times, but when I went on El Al this trip – from Israel to Europe – I checked that my kosher meals had been organised, for both El Al and a subsequent flight to Japan. The El Al desk said that they had no record of a request for a kosher meal and their computer didn’t tell them about my connecting flight. Of course, all meals on El Al are kosher aren’t they? The El Al desk confirmed this. But..

    On a flight 3 years ago I sat next to someone streets more observant than I am who got a “real” kosher meal. You know, the flight attendant bringing the meal specially to the person in that seat, etc. So I asked what the difference between my kosher meal and their kosher meal was. Apparently you have to be much more seriously Jewish than I am to get one of those meals. Of course, when you think about it, the sky’s the limit (so to speak) on the possibilities. Perhaps, if you have the appropriate Jewish registration you get a kosher meal based on your particular sect and what they deem as kosher – Satmar, Naturei Karta, Lubavitch, Mizrachi, Karaite, Charedi, Chassidic, Sephardi, Adass. I’m one of those Jews who sees a kosher certificate on the wall as being entirely sufficient for eating out kosher.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

    Wow Harold, how did you survive a life so chockers with hostilities, daredevil escapades, risks and adversities……….!!!
    Charedi, SZatmar and even Sephardi – who would have thought that I married a Ladino speaking Szatmar !? – all ganging up on you, what a bunch of anti Semites !!
    Anyway, I reckon your story will make an ideal episode # 1543 on “The Adventures of Scooby Do “.

  • harry says:

    Harold Zwier – the main difference between the standard meals and the mehadrin (“extra”) kosher ones is the meat. The latter only contain “glatt” meat – it’s all to do with adhesions in the lung of the animal that is shechted… (look on Wikipedia for more info). All “mehadrin” hechsherim offer glatt meat only. All Australian kosher meat is glatt, as is the majority of kosher meat in the US (notably except for Hebrew National). Most meat in Israel is not glatt…

  • Levi (a Refugee from the USSR) says:

    @Harold Zwier

    “On a flight 3 years ago I sat next to someone streets more observant than I am who got a “real” kosher meal. You know, the flight attendant bringing the meal specially to the person in that seat, etc. So I asked what the difference between my kosher meal and their kosher meal was. Apparently you have to be much more seriously Jewish than I am to get one of those meals. ”

    But that was just your own “interpretation…”

  • R B says:

    El Al su**s – rough service, cramped aircrafts, small leg pitch, hordes of noisy and rude Israelis (especially if you fly via Bangkok) – not to mention being a target for terrorists.

    It seems that the author has a lot of sympathy for El Al, much more than most Israelis do. And I say – it is a private corporation, which should provide good service as its competitors do, so don’t worry for them.

    The best option to fly to Israel, in my opinion, is to take Singapore Airlines via Singapore and Europe (or Istanbul), where the last, short leg is with another airline. This is a slightly longer route (about 28 hours), but much more comfortable than with El Al. The aircraft is new and cozy, and the service is excellent. The only drawback is that the quality of Kosher food is not uniform – it depends on the specific European supplier.

  • Ari says:

    I thought this was all just a way to further the Jewish interest in building an apartheid wall is St. Ives.

  • Otto Waldmann says:


    so perceptive and humorous. Yeah, bloody Jews traditionally persecuting minorities and now have expanded in terrorising majorities, such as the various hoardes of anti Semites who, just like you, have a point. Looking for the exact place of that point, scan yourself, it’s the blank blotch between your ears.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Man, the Elder’s are having a bad week – now the election is on Yom Kippur!

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