Jewish misogynists disrupt El Al flight
The problem began when a group of Haredi men bound for Israel last Wednesday to celebrate the Jewish New Year refused to sit next to female passengers on the plane.
Why they were on the plane to begin with is a bit of a mystery, because Orthodox Jews were specifically told in 2009 to boycott El Al. Rabbi Yitzhak Goldknopf said they should fly with airlines that only screen:
Movies showing water and scenery, and not dirty movies.
But back to last week’s flight, described by one passenger as:
An 11-hour nightmare.
First the flight was delayed because The Men in Black refused to be seated next to females. Regular passengers claimed that hundreds of the ultra-Orthodox men demanded that they trade places with them before takeoff, saying they could not possibly sit next to women.
Their behaviour not only delayed the flight, but caused actual chaos. Said one passenger, Amit Ben-Natan, who snapped the picture (inset) above:
People stood in the aisles and refused to go forward. Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane wouldn’t take off as long as they kept standing in the aisles.
Passengers claimed that though the El Al flight crew informed them they did not have to agree to a switch, the flight’s captain said over the PA system that the flight would not take off as long as people were standing.
Said Bar Natan:
This is completely inconsiderate of the non-Haredi travelers. I don’t know many airlines that would allow their passengers to act like that.
Galit, another traveler on the flight, said the ultra-orthodox passengers suggested she and her spouse split up to better accommodate their desired seating arrangements. She angrily declared:
Why should I agree to switch places?
After she refused, the haredi man reluctantly plonked himself down next to her. But:
He jumped out of his seat the moment we had finished taking off and proceeded to stand in the isle.
After takeoff a large portion of the haredi travelers took to the aisles to pray which, according to their fellow travelers, crowded the aisles and caused the flight to be unbearable. Galit said:
I went to the bathroom and it was a mission impossible, the noise was endless.
In response, El Al promised to look into the issue, saying:
El Al does everything it can to give its passengers the best possible service year-round. These days bring with them a peak in air traffic to Israel, and our crews on the ground and in the air are doing the best they can to address the needs and requests of all our travelers while trying not to fall behind schedule.
The company will examine the complaints and if some passengers are found to have acted out of line the company will examine its future steps.
A while back a frequent flier and blogger Ze’ev Back (who works in Israel), was reported here as saying:
El Al goes out of their way to accommodate extremely religious Jews to a fault. Flights are delayed because these fanatic Jews refuse to take their seat next to a woman. The air companies are afraid to lose this clients or be accused of antisemitism, so instead of throwing their suitcase out of the plane and leave them behind – the flight attendants start going down the aisle looking for a volunteer to swap seats. In the meantime the pilot loses its slot and has to wait for a new allocated slot, damaging everybody in the name of their religion.
Perhaps the answer is to issue all Haredi travellers with all-encompassing plastic bags as protection against women.
Hat tip: Michael Cohen.