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El Al

El Al Under Fire After Re-Seating Women Away From Orthodox Men

El Al Under Fire After Re-Seating Women Away From Orthodox Men
Ryan Boyd

Israel flag carrier El Al is facing a boycott from Israeli tech firm NICE Systems after an incident in which the airline again re-seated female passengers aboard a flight due to requests from male Orthodox Jewish passengers that flight staff do so.

“At NICE we don’t do business with companies that discriminate against race, gender or religion,” said Barak Eilam, CEO of Nice Systems.

To read more on this story, go to NBC News.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (13)


  1. pdsales

    June 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Pax: “I can’t sit in my assigned seat.”
    FA: “If you can’t sit in your assigned seat you have to get off the plane now so we don’t miss our departure slot.”

    Problem solved.

    There is a 50/50 chance that any time you fly that a woman will be in the seat next to you. If sitting next to a woman is unacceptable, buy the seat next to you to be sure it is empty.

  2. Cedar Jet

    June 26, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Arent Israel always saying they are the only true democracy and equal opportunity country in the middle east- which may well be true but when you hear things like this you may as well be on Iran Air.

  3. drvannostren

    June 26, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    I’m gonna play devil’s advocate ONLY for the sake of argument. I think the tech firm is totally right here (that said, are they a huge EL AL client, or some random drop in the bucket?)

    This is the problem we’ve created in the “pc” society. Where does one persons’ rights end and the next persons’ begin? So this Orthodox Jew doesn’t want to sit next to a woman, is that a religious belief? If so, then doesn’t he have the right to have his recognized religion’s beliefs adhered to? He’s not asking her to be thrown off the plane, but simply to be moved. If this was a bus, he could change seats. But in a conveyance where your seat is selected for you (maybe he paid for a seat selection, maybe he didn’t, maybe SHE did, maybe she didn’t) the reasonable option is to ask for a change. Now, a less selfish/arrogant person would offer themselves to move, but if I paid for a seat and had an unsavoury (for whatever reason) seatmate, I certainly wouldn’t want to move.

    So where is that line drawn?

  4. JackE

    June 27, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Cedar, their equal opportunity law is about employment, not airplane seats.

    While I would have told the men to reseat themselves, if you are going to compare Israel and Iran, perhaps you can tell us how many Jews can live in Iran vs how many Muslims can live in Israel.

  5. Dianne47

    June 27, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Solution for El Al: notify Orthodox communities that they have a new policy. No Orthodox men will be seated in business class. All Orthodox will be allocated the last X rows of the aircraft designated for men only. If there are more men than seats in the allocated rows they can not board and fly another day with the appropriate change penalties.

    Or Israeli Orthodox men could just step into this century and be seated like everyone else.

  6. thebug622

    June 27, 2018 at 9:05 am

    If the worst thing that happens to you today is being asked to sit in a different seat then you probably had a pretty good day.Why is it such a huge problem?

  7. Mordor2112

    June 27, 2018 at 11:02 am

    If these orthodox dudes feel they’re so important they should ask for their own plane, or just shut the hell up and come live in the 21st century.

  8. ioto1902

    June 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Dear JackE
    Jewish religion is not unlawful in Iran. There are several active synagogues in Tehran. I can tell first hand : I’ve been inside. On the other hand, the Jewish state (Israel) is not recognized.
    Please check facts before writing.

  9. secondsoprano

    June 27, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    “Where does one persons’ rights end and the next persons’ begin?

    Very simple. Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.

    … doesn’t he have the right to have his recognized religion’s beliefs adhered to? ”

    No. Your beliefs do not give you the right to interfere with other people going about their lives. The fact that you are on a diet does not mean you can stop me eating a donut.

  10. Dubai Stu

    June 29, 2018 at 11:06 am

    El-Al is required to abide by US anti-discrimination laws when it flies to/from US ports of entry. El-Al recently lost a suit about this in a suit brought by a concentration camp survivor who was forced to move because an Orthodox Jew complained. The Orthodox Jew should have been politely escorted off the plane. If we accept this behavior, we will see racist beliefs get treated as religiously protected rights. If one person’s religion prohibits them from sitting next a woman, what do you do when the next person claims a religious objections sitting next to a black?

  11. mvoight

    July 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    If there is a seating issue with the ultra conservative men, MOVE THEM. Why were the women moved?


    November 21, 2018 at 5:10 am

    How predictable, the same people that accuse others of hate are ignorantly displaying their own hatred here in the comments. This article is deliberately written to make it seem sexist however women can, should and do make the same complaints when women are the majority and the man needs to move.

  13. mvoight

    November 26, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    If he feels a need to not sit next to a woman, HE should be the one moved, either to another seat or off the plane, I don’t care which. Alternatively they can move the woman up to a higher class, if that is her wish.

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