Planes, trains, and ox-carts

More on what it’s like to be on a flight with Haredi men who refuse to sit next to women.

One passenger described the trip as “an 11-hour long nightmare.”

El Al passengers heading to Israel to celebrate the Jewish new year were delayed leaving New York on the eve of Rosh Hashanah when ultra-Orthodox passengers refused to sit near women.

Oops, left out a word. Not ultra-Orthodox passengers but male ultra-Orthodox passengers. It wasn’t women refusing to sit near women (or near men either, apparently).

The pilot asked the disruptive men to sit down and the plane took off.

But after takeoff, chaos erupted.

“I ended up sitting next to a … man who jumped out of his seat the moment we had finished taking off and proceeded to stand in the aisle,” a woman passenger identified only as Galit told Ynet. The man had asked her to move from the seat beside her husband to accommodate his religious beliefs, but she refused.

“People stood in the aisles and refused to go forward,” said Amit Ben-Natan, a passenger who was on board the plane.

That’s just what you want on an airplane of all places, isn’t it – mobs of men clogging the aisles in order to pitch fits of rage about the proximity of women. It’s got everything: intimidation, claustrophobia, noise, fear – only if they’d all been vomiting could it have been worse.

Haaretz reported that in 2012 El Al noticed an increasing number of Haredi men asking to switch seats to avoid sitting next to women. Large groups of up to 20 would try to reserve seats in blocks to avoid it. They would also approach female passengers asking to trade seats before takeoff. An American woman sued, claiming an El Al flight attendant moved her to the back of the plane to accommodate Haredi men.

You know…if you’re going to get on a god damn airplane, then you’re buying into the modern world. You’ve accepted the technological benefits it offers. Ok then – you damn well have to put up with the equal rights it offers too. If you can’t do that then you should just go live in a cave and leave the rest of us the hell alone.


  1. Katydid says

    The problem is that in Israel, these men-with-toddler-brains are given free reign to discriminate against women. In parts of the USA (particularly in Brooklyn), these same misogynistic imbeciles are allowed to bully women. They feel entitled to behave however they want precisely because they’re allowed to get away with it.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    If anyone else tried this behaviour on any other airline, the plane would be immediately diverted to the nearest available airport and the disruptor would be escorted off the plane in handcuffs… assuming they survived the initial confrontation with the air marshal. Note to Muslim potential hijackers – dress up Jewish, it’s a free pass to behave how you like on a plane with impunity.

  3. Katydid says

    @sonofrojblake: you raise a good point. One of the recent plane diversions that resulted in arrest was because of a scuffle when someone wouldn’t let someoen else recline the seat back–that’s WAY less dangerous and aggressive than refusing to sit down and causing a fuss because someone can’t tolerate girl cooties.


  1. […] you’ve heard about the disgraceful spectacle of extraordinarily dogmatic Jewish men refusing to be seated on an airplane ne…. It’s a revolting exhibition of religiously-sanctioned bigotry, but there you have […]

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