“Safety Must Be First”: Israeli-Arab and Palestinian Forced Off Flight To Tel Aviv Due To Objections From Israeli Passengers

Boeing_737-33A,_Aegean_Airlines_AN0387722There appears another profiling incident on an airline after an Israeli-Arab and a Palestinian were forced off an Aegean Airlines flight from Athens to Tel Aviv. There was no reason given for the objections to flying with the two men other than their being Muslim or Arab. It is extraordinary that these men would have to deplane rather than those objecting take another flight but the airline insisted “safety must be first.”

The flight was delayed more than 90 minutes after, according to the airline, an “initially small group of passengers very vocally and persistently asked for two other Israeli passengers to be checked for security issues.” Both men has valid documents — one had an Israeli passport and one an Israeli residence permit — and the airline admits that it appeared a case of “racially profiling the customers, indeed their fellow Israelis … safety must be first.”

Notably, the police checked out the men and cleared them but then the rest of the Israeli passengers started to demand their removal: “It started with three or four people and by the end there were 60-70 people standing up, demanding that the pair disembark.”

Notably, the pilot did the right thing and “said anyone who does not feel safe to fly should disembark and would not be compensated. But by that stage, the two men were in a poor state and wanted to leave themselves.”

That is an incredible result that the unruly passengers prevailed. The men has to stay overnight (at the airline’s expense) and take an El Al flight on Monday.

It seems like the pilot and the airline tried to protect these men but the result remains highly disturbing. It is an illustration of the continuing problems faced by Arabs and Muslims in traveling around the world.

Source: Haaretz and the Guardian.

48 thoughts on ““Safety Must Be First”: Israeli-Arab and Palestinian Forced Off Flight To Tel Aviv Due To Objections From Israeli Passengers”

  1. Po,
    You’ve lost it. What do you perceive to be a legitimate response to the western nation’s exploitation of the Middle East? Now that Obama has apologized for all the bad stuff we have done, what are the repercussions we deserve? I ask simply because you seem to want to find some moral equivalency. Do you believe it is just to violate the natural rights of innocents as retribution for the violation of natural rights of innocents? Hint: I don’t.

    1. Olly, what did I lose? And where did I state to believe it right violating anyone’s natural rights in retribution for anything?
      Don’t worry, I’ll answer your question, just need to know what exactly you are referring to.

    2. I can hear former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders after hearing a tearful president yesterday:

      “We need safer and smarter guns and safer and smarter bullets!”

  2. KCF, Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and turned into a stone cold, hit list, drone killer. Angela Merkel is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for bringing in gangs of killers and rapists to Germany. Al-Baghdadi is reportedly a favorite for the Nobel next year. The other favorite is Kim Jong-un.

  3. Since when was simply not liking another person for any reason imaginable a violation of any one’s rights? It’s fine if this planeload of people NEVER like certain folks; but when they are permitted to infringe their rights, that is a problem. This airline took action against the wrong group of people. Done. End of story.

    1. KFC, I agree with you…
      Let’s corral them, buss them out of town, and gas them…aren’t they subhuman?

  4. “The Israeli’s do this all the time.” EL AL IS AN ISRAELI AIRLINE THAT FLEW THESE PEOPLE the next day!! Jews corrected the injustice committed by Aegean Airlines, A GREEK company. You might be an anti-Semite if you make STUPID statements like that.

  5. Nick – I think agree with you that profiling can be effective if done correctly. It’s used every day to try to catch criminals and solve crimes. People get profiled who fly with no baggage. Young European girls wearing hijab flying to Syria should definitely be profiled, and pleaded with not to be an ISIS bride. As you know, profiling covers a whole list of characteristics, including ethnicity, travel destination, baggage, demeanor, and general behavior. Asking questions and determining behavior during answers.

    A Caucasian traveling to Syria would raise possible red flags of radicalization. A group of laughing and joking Arab family members would not.

    When I returned from South America, I basically stepped out of a jungle onto a plane. I had just barely made a little hopper flight the day before to my departure city, having ridden on the roof of a bus to get there, got a tiny bit of sleep, and rolled bleary eyed onto the flight. I was wearing a native woven alpaca poncho, had little baggage, and I swear I went through so many security checks on the way home. I don’t know what they thought I might be bringing back, but they opened my bags at least twice. I was still answering their questions in Spanish before I realized, wait a minute, I’m at the US airport now and can speak English again. I didn’t begrudge them for profiling me, a gringa traveling to a region known for drug cartels. It’s just part of international travel. As long as it’s not abused, I have no issue with profiling in general.

  6. If the two passengers were no threat, then the unruly other passengers should have been deplaned and charged with interfering with the operation of an aircraft.

    Unfortunately, terrorism works. All that “Death to Israel” rhetoric scares people. But you can’t give in to the temptation to act like this. You may have a right to be upset or scared, but you don’t have the right to demand no Muslims board a flight ever.

    If the two Arab/Palestinian men were no threat, then the other passengers were wrong, and giving in to their anger. If they were retaliating for a different airline not booking Israeli passengers, then they were wrong to target people who had nothing to do with it. And the airline was wrong for not following its own guidelines. These two men should be compensated for their disrupted travel plans.

    If the passengers had a safety concern, but were unable to prove anything was wrong, then they could have just disembarked. They can always vote with their feet. I assume there was no credible threat because otherwise the men would have been detained and interrogated.

    I pray that one day this violence will be over, Israel will be safe, and Jews, Christians, atheists, and Muslims can coexist in peace and harmony.

    1. Incredible!
      I am a genius! I mean, didn’t I call it? Didn’t I?
      From a previous thread:
      Here is our dear friend karen’s methodology anytime a post is offered featuring muslim actors:

      1- Makes a comment tying it to shariah law/extremist islam. Offers shariah law as the source of all problems, talks quite generally about islam but throws in “”extremist islam”” at some point to cover her nakedness.
      karen says: Unfortunately, terrorism works. All that “Death to Israel” rhetoric scares people.

      what does that have to do with this topic? The 2 passengers were Israeli-Arabs, which means they don’t go around yelling death to israel.
      But the death to israel note had to be offered in order to establish the narrative where the victims are actually either deserving of their fate or somehow responsible, all of which for the sole aim of absolving the Israeli bad guys. Standard fare for our friend karen the hidden islamophobe.

      This is further supported by her suggestion that perhaps they did something to warrant their mistreatment, when the facts are pretty clear as to that.
      Reminds me of the young black girl who got smashed by the cop, and the video, though clear, was superseded by her suggesting that perhaps the girl did kick the cop and therefore deserving of being maimed.
      Reminds me also of the thousands of Palestinians women and children murdered, whom she blamed for their death.
      Ah…the dark arts of the dark harted!

      1. po – there is nothing about being an Israeli Arab that prevents you from shouting “Death to Israel!”

        1. Sure, Paul however, “‘death to Israel”” has not been been found, usually, to be coming from Israeli-Arabs!
          It was brought up in this discussion relative to Iran…hence your surprise, as well as mine, that karen used it to excuse and justify booting the Arabs off the plane.
          But, hey, to each Islamophobe its method!
          bambam is raging, karen is sly…

  7. What John Smith wrote, and we sprinkle $10M a day on the Israeli regime.

    I’d bring up Rosa Parks’ bus ride, but Paul would claim that was a set up, not milky white racism.

    1. stevegroen – Elizabeth Jennings Graham desegregated public transportation in NYC starting in 1854 when she was refused to be thrown off a horse trolley. Now, she was not a set-up.

  8. “The more severely people suffer discrimination, the more severely and desperately they will retaliate.

    Horsehockey. Muslims have been terrorizing in the same way for 700 years.

  9. I tried to follow the pretzel logic in the 9:58a comment but I ran out of bread crumbs

  10. What could possibly be a better recruitment tool for terrorists? The more severely people suffer discrimination, the more severely and desperately they will retaliate. That is why US citizens are more afraid of blacks and Muslims than they are afraid of angry farmer redneck thugs occupying a wildlife management center. The angry farmer redneck thugs have never been mistreated by others so have no real reason for their anger. Clearly the more people are mistreated, the more fearful are their oppressors.

  11. It should be noted these 2 men flew El Al the next day. El Al has the best security in the air transport world. They use profiling. My old man was a foreman @ Pratt&Whitney in CT. He worked in the overhaul and repair dept. His crew worked on Air Force One jet engines as well as El Al engines. Secret Service would be present when they overhauled the prez jet engines. They would stand and sit stoically, watching every move. The El Al guys chatted my old man up, getting to know and trust him. Then, they would ask him about different people working in the plant, “Tell me about” questions about certain employees. They watched like the Secret Service, but they used interrogation and interview skills to evaluate potential risks. My old man had great respect for them.

  12. The Israelis do this all the time. Not news. Just typical Israeli apartheid state stuff.

  13. <"Religious extremists, who are in the same general category as terrorists, should be identified and placed on no fly lists.

    So, no Muslims on any flights anywhere then.

  14. Religious extremists, who are in the same general category as terrorists, should be identified and placed on no fly lists. These bums should have found themselves standing on the runway as the plane took off, with oodles of extra leg room for the two supposed terrorists.

    There are neighborhoods in Israeli cities where you get stoned if you drive a car on the wrong day. If they want to regress into a neanderthal state in their own countries so be it. However, in the world of the more evolved types, out there on airplanes and where the air is free, fu*k em.

  15. In 2013, Saudi Arabian Airlines refused to let Israeli citizens fly from U.S. airports.

    Dec. 17, 2015: Kuwait Airways decided to discontinue all flights between New York’s JFK airport and London Heathrow rather than be forced to sell tickets to Israelis.

    I suspect the subject of this post more recent action is related. Tit for tat.

  16. There was something about these two that made the other customers nervous. Something was sending up red flags. The passengers should be interviewed to find out what it was.

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