The Jerusalem Magistrate Court delivered the decision.An Israeli airline has been ordered to stop asking women to change seats to accommodate ultra-orthodox Jewish men. Judge Dana Cohen-Lekach of Jerusalem Magistrate Court has handed down this decision. The Judge has awarded additional monetary damage compensation to Renee Rabinowitz, a grandmother, and a Holocaust survivor. Rabinowitz was asked to sit in a different seat when she flew to Jerusalem from Newark on an El Al flight in 2015. The Jerusalem Court these requests break the country's discrimination laws.
Rabinowitz, now 83 years old, was asked to move from her preferred seat at the insistence of an ultra-Orthodox person who was unwilling to sit adjacent to a seat occupied by a woman. Rabinowitz moved, but felt insulted by the request.
She ultimately took the decision to approach the courts to challenge such policies. When she learned about the ruling, she was exhilarated. According to Rabinowitz, she was happy as the Judge understood the issue and went on to praise Judge Cohen-Lekach. The Holocaust survivor said he Justice understood money was not a pivotal factor in this case and has thus awarded her a small sum. The matter concerned El Al airline changing policies as per the court order.
The Israel Religious Action Center or IRAC, an Israeli civil rights group, who represented Rabinowitz in this case, proclaimed the outcome of this case as “a huge victory” when it comes to the fight “against gender segregation in the public sphere.” As per Israeli news reports, Rabinowitz's case is nothing new. Forced swapping of seats cause flight delays and may cause multiple problems. These happen only when men take seats prior to takeoff. This ruling ends the long fight against discrimination.
El Al, the concerned airline, had put forward the argument in court that company policies and the action of its employees cannot be regarded as discrimination. It added that gender-centric seating preferences could be applied not only to women but the men too. According to the airline, flight attendants must accommodate such preferences. The airline said these compromises are similar to the instances when family members prefer to sit together. Many passengers are also disturbed by children and want to switch seats.
— Irene Vautour (@irenevautour) June 25, 2017