Israel’s El Al airline was threatened with a consumer boycott by a charedi Knesset member on Wednesday should the airline decide to remove a passenger who is unwilling to sit next to woman in the future.
The threat made by Israeli lawmaker Yisrael Eichler from UTJ comes after an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed more than an hour due to a number of ultra-Orthodox men refused to sit next to women.
Following the dispute, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin vowed that in a similar incident in the future, passenger who refuse seating “will be immediately removed from the flight.”
The statement caused lawmaker Eichler to threat to boycott El Al if Usishkin follows through with the vow. “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.
“I’m telling El Al that if you give in to the terrorism of Charedi-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.”
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