By Christopher Thielen on October 11, 2014 | Discuss
Flight delays and accusations of sexism are abound in flights to and from Tel Aviv due to ultra-orthodox Jewish men’s refusal to sit next to female passengers. Speaking on a radio show in Israel, former executive director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance Elana Sztokman explains:
What happened to me on this flight isn’t that different from what happens on almost every flight. You get on a plane, and the plane is about to take off but a whole bunch of ultra-orthodox men start playing around, moving around, whispering, moving back and forth trying to find different seats … Anyone who’s ever travelled on El Al has experienced this.
There is a petition on change.org asking El Al Airlines to take appropriate action:
If a passenger was being verbally or physically abusive to airline staff, they would immediately be removed from the plane.
If a passenger was flouting the rules for take-off, thereby causing flight delay, they would immediately be removed from the plane.
If a passenger was openly engaging in racial or religious discrimination against another passenger or flight attendant, they would immediately be removed from the plane.
Why then, does El Al Airlines allow gender discrimination against women?