After Public Outcry Of Discrimination El AL Airline Has Changed Their Policy
El Al, the national airline of Israel, has announced it will not cater to any requests from travelers who refuse to sit next to any other traveler. Such demanding travelers, Gonen Ushishkinm, the CEO of the company warned, would be kicked off the plane. The El Al response came after a few ultra-orthodox Jews delayed a flight from New York to Tel Aviv after they refused to sit in a seat next to a woman.
This is not the first incident on El Al. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish people of both sexes have caused multiple delays and disruptions due to their stance against sitting beside the opposite sex. They justify their position by claiming religious modesty laws.
Critics say that such behavior during travel can only be regarded as discrimination. They claim the real victims are women. In a public statement, the Israeli airline has apologized and claimed there is no discrimination against passengers.
There has been building public pressure against the moving of passengers. Barak Eilam, the CEO of a noted Israeli technology company, has threatened that his company would boycott El Al if the airline continued to discriminate against religion, race or gender. In 2017, Renee Rabinowitz, a Holocaust survivor, filed a complaint against the airline. She claimed she was requested by airline personnel to change her seat during an El Al flight in 2015. She eventually won her case.
There has been a backlash from ultra-Orthodox Jewish members, including calls to boycott the airline. Some members of Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, have equated criticism of such passengers to “terrorism” and being “anti-Semitic.”