As a Jewish person who has written about anti-Semitism, I have no problem using the term when it is merited. But there are certainly times when an offended Jewish person wrongly labels something as anti-Semitic, which only leads to more negative stereotyping of Jews.
Earlier this week, about 100 high school students, together with their chaperones, were kicked off an Air Tran flight traveling from New York to Atlanta over their alleged bad behavior, which included refusal to take their seats and refusal to turn off their mobile devices.
So, was this a simple case of a bunch of kids who were excited to be taking a trip together to the Six Flags theme park, plus going on a rafting excursion, and they got caught up in the moment, not realizing that when the flight attendants and pilot give orders on a plane, those orders must be obeyed?
Not quite. The students were all seniors from the Yeshiva of Flatbush, located in Brooklyn, and one of them, Jonathan Zehavi, told CNN that “he felt the students were targeted by the flight crew because they are Jewish.”
“They treated us like we were terrorists,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not someone to make these kinds of statements. I think if it was a group of non-religious kids, the air stewardess wouldn’t have dared to kick them off.”
According to Rabbi Seth Linfield, executive director at Yeshiva of Flatbush, claimed that, according to the adults who accompanied the students, “Preliminarily, it does not appear that the action taken by the flight crew was justified.”
Of course, I wasn’t on the flight to observe things myself, but I have flown millions of miles and certainly understand proper decorum, in light of which the comments of another passenger on the flight ring true to me. He reported that the airline was completely justified in its actions, that a number of the kids kept switching seats and others wouldn’t turn off their cell phones, all of which is completely unacceptable when flying, especially when a large group is involved. Rules really are rules when you’re about to take off or already in the air.
What we do know is that the pilot himself came on to address the allegedly unruly students, which is highly unusual, as also noted by the airline. How often have you heard an airline pilot calling the passengers to order before taking off, telling them they must be seated and must turn off their cell phones? Not often.
Brad Hawkins, a spokesman for the airline, “said the AirTran cabin crew made ‘repeated requests’ for an unknown number of the students to behave. ‘The point at which the captain comes on the PA system and says, “You all need to sit down,” is unusual.’”
* * *
Stu uczniów żydowskiej szkoły wyprosili z samolotu za hałaśliwość i awantury
Grupa złożona z ok. 100 uczniów prywatnej szkoły dla ortodoksyjnych Żydów Yeshivah of Flatbush w Nowym Jorku została wyproszona z samolotu linii AirTran relacji Nowy Jork – Atlanta za zakłócanie spokoju, wszczynanie awantur i hałaśliwość.
Linie wydały oświadczenie, że kapitan i załoga zdecydowały się na podjęcie takiego kroku z powodów bezpieczeństwa. Młodzież nie stosowała się do poleceń personelu pokładowego – nie chciała zająć swoich miejsc i wyłączyć telefonów komórkowych. Lot został opóźniony ok. 45 minut.
Uczniowie wyjeżdżali na trzydniową wycieczkę obejmującą m.in. rafting. Linie zapewniły im dolot innymi samolotami, mimo tego, że rzecznik prasowy Southwest Airlines (AirTran to spółka-córka) powiedział, że „załoga podjęła słuszną decyzję”.
Rabin Seth Linfield z Yeshivah of Flatbush twierdzi, że jego podopieczni „nie zachowywali się tak źle” i „reakcja załogi była przesadzona”. Młodzież opublikowała w mediach społecznościowych dziesiątki zdjęć i filmików, nazywając sytuację na lotnisku LaGuardia „skandalem”.
* * *
AirTran boots 100 misbehaving Jewish students off New York-Atlanta flight
Jun 4, 2013
NEW YORK, NY – A large group of Jewish high school students have been kicked off a flight after some refused to turn off their cell phones for take-off.
The school party of 100 students and eight chaperones were removed from an AirTran flight on its way to Atlanta, Georgia from New York City.
Some have claimed that the airline overreacted to the senior students’ actions with one saying that they were targeted for being Jewish.
The disruptive scenes on board the AirTran flight, owned by SouthWest Airlines, took place at 6am on Monday.
SouthWest Airlines confirmed that 137 were on board the flight at the time when 108 passengers were asked to leave.
Teachers, who were with the group from the Yeshiva of Flatbush in Brooklyn, claimed that airline crew had over-reacted. The chaperones were also removed from the flight.
One student Jonathan Zehavi told CBS: ‚They treated us like we were terrorists; I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not someone to make these kinds of statements.
”I think if it was a group of non-religious kids, the air stewardess wouldn’t have dared to kick them off.’
In a statement SouthWest Airlines said: ‚Our crew, responsible for the overall safety of AirTran flight 345 from New York LaGuardia to Atlanta… had a group of non-compliant passengers leave the aircraft before departing the gate.
POLISH CLUB ONLINE, 2013.06.06