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Thursday, June 28, 2018 

El Al planes got in trouble over allowing Haredis to delay flight over women again, and MK Eichler defends discrimination

Earlier this week, El Al once again caused a needless scandal by caving to Haredi men who didn't want to sit next to women on a plane from the USA to Israel. They say they're sorry and won't allow it anymore, and we have to hope this time they'll be true to their word:
Israeli airline El Al said it would "immediately" remove any person from a flight who won't sit next to another passenger following outrage after four ultra-Orthodox men refused to take their assigned seats because they were next to women.

An incident last Friday at Kennedy Airport on El Al's New York-Tel Aviv flight prompted one of Israel's largest tech firms to say it would boycott the national airline. The women in that case were moved away from the men — despite a court ruling against the practice.

Barak Eilam, CEO of Ra’anana-based software company NICE Systems, said his company would not fly with the Israeli flag-carrier until it changed its “practice and actions discriminating [against] women.”

"At NICE we don't do business with companies that discriminate against race, gender or religion," he wrote on LinkedIn.
Well I hope this time, they'll conduct business properly, and immediately remove any Haredi passenger who makes petty issues over gender, even keeping their eyes shut during the whole journey. And this is almost a year after a landmark ruling forbidding such practices as even asking passengers to move.

As if this case couldn't get irritating enough, now the Haredi MK Yisrael Eichler's threatening to counter-boycott El Al if they dare to uphold the law:
An ultra-Orthodox Knesset member has threatened El Al with a consumer boycott should the airline remove ultra-Orthodox passengers unwilling to sit next to women from its flights, characterizing criticism of such passengers as “anti-Semitic” and “terrorism.”

An El Al flight from New York to Israel last week was delayed for over an hour amidst intense arguments, as a number of ultra-Orthodox men refused to sit next to women. The flight was only able to depart after two women agreed to change seats.
Wow, he even has the sheer disgust to pull out antisemitism cards, and worse, use wordings like "terrorism" in Orwellian ways to describe the case. This is atrocious. Does he also think it's anti-semitic to criticize community members who allow child abuse to be carried out within the community without opposition?
Following the incident and in light of intense public backlash, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin said that in the future, any passenger who refuses seating “will be immediately removed from the flight.”

United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler pushed back against the notion that the men’s behavior on the flight was illegitimate, saying Wednesday in the Knesset plenum that claims the women were in any way humiliated or excluded were “malicious… anti-Semitic libel.”

Eichler asserted, “Never has anyone been forced to move against their wishes.

“In any airline, and in El Al as well, there are various requests to change seats… Each person has his considerations over where to sit. But to say women are being excluded is a lie,” he said. “After all, just as there are men who do not want to be seated beside women there is an equal number of Haredi women who do not want to sit beside men.”
That's no excuse for such behavior either, and their religious beliefs are petty. He ignores that even some religious folks on the plane expressed disgust at the ultra-Orthodox passengers' conduct. Even if the women didn't object, what the men did was still disrespectful of their humanity, to say nothing of the entire passenger body, and was a violation of the law. If he sees nothing wrong with lawbreaking and thinks Haredis are exempt, then he's only done even more of a disfavor even to his constituents.
Eichler went on to threaten El Al with a massive boycott by his constituents should it make good on its vow.

“El Al shuttles hundreds of thousands of Haredi Jews every year,” he said. “The last thing I expect them to do is remove passengers who ask to change seats. I’m telling El Al that if you give in to the terrorism of Haredi-hating groups and remove a passenger who behaved properly and asked nicely to sit next to a man, we will remove hundreds of thousands of your passengers every year. Terror against terror.”
Gee, wasn't that what already happened when Yishai Schlissel murdered Shira Banki at the LGBT march 3 years ago? In any case, threatening terror while falsely accusing the actual victims of the same is offensive in the extreme, and he should be ashamed of himself for his repellent socialist-influenced attitude. Anyway, if that's the way he wants it, then fine, boycott the airline and make it easier for everyone else to fly without petty interruptions. I'll be glad if his ilk does decide to boycott, for all the good it'll do them, given it's a felony to cause such disruptions on American airlines, for example.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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