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Israel Flights Delayed by Ultra-Orthodox


GeoBQn

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El Al, Israel's national airline, has had several incidents recently in which Ultra-Orthodox men, upon discovering that their assigned seats will put them next to women, stand in the aisles of the plane and demand either a new seat or that the women move. Pilots will not begin take-off until all passengers are seated, so the flight is delayed--sometimes for hours--until the other passengers acquiesce and accommodate the man's seating demands. Now there is a Change.org petition demanding that El Al not give in to gender discrimination.

I say treat them like any other disruptive passenger--if they don't sit down immediately, they should be escorted from the plane.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-d ... ign=buffer

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i think this will be a sticky issue from them. i certainly stand by the treating them like an unruly passenger, have them leave the plane (i'm all for religious freedom, but ridiculous things like this are just that: ridiculous). but i can totally see somebody coming by and saying that they're just abiding by their religion and who are we to judge their expression of their religion, etc. which, initially, i think is a valid question. however, this world should not be expected to cater to every little detail of every single religion. this is the world, in which there is great variety. everybody needs to learn to interact appropriately, no matter what belief system they follow. it's called acting like an adult.

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I can't get access to the full Haaretz article, but did find the YNet article:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340 ... 44,00.html

I don't see anything about several instances of planes being delayed for hours. It looks like this was a particularly bad flight - the route was the one with the most Haredim flying (New York to Israel), on the day that was the most popular for Haredi passengers (day before Rosh Hashana). I think this flight may have had more Haredi men than women, making a quick trip just for the holidays. If it's a couple flying, it's not hard to simply put the wife next to a female passenger.

I don't see anything to suggest a general policy of gender discrimination by El Al, and I'm sure the flight crew was pissed off as hell at these passengers. There's nothing on any flight to prevent passengers from switching seats (we've done it to others when flying with small children), but also nothing to say that a passenger has to agree to switch.

Praying in the back of the plane is pretty common. That doesn't mean that it's okay to pose a safety hazard in the aisles.

On another airline, one passenger creating a nuisance would be escorted out. I suppose, at that moment, the flight crew was debating whether they could realistically remove that many passengers. Would there be enough airport security to physically haul off that many people and not have a riot? How long would it take to deal with removing all of their luggage? The other thing is that they couldn't just be rebooked on the next flight, because this would have been the last flight before Rosh Hashana.

I wouldn't be surprised if El Al makes an immediate announcement that disruptive behavior including failure to sit down when directed will get you booted off the flight, and that there's no guarantee that you can switch seats.

I'm flying out in 6 days. Yes, we've already booked our seats together and no, I'm not prepared to switch (unless it's to accommodate a baby or someone needing special assistance).

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i think this will be a sticky issue from them. i certainly stand by the treating them like an unruly passenger, have them leave the plane (i'm all for religious freedom, but ridiculous things like this are just that: ridiculous). but i can totally see somebody coming by and saying that they're just abiding by their religion and who are we to judge their expression of their religion, etc. which, initially, i think is a valid question. however, this world should not be expected to cater to every little detail of every single religion. this is the world, in which there is great variety. everybody needs to learn to interact appropriately, no matter what belief system they follow. it's called acting like an adult.

There are lines that can be crossed when it comes to expecting others to respect your religious freedom. Telling every woman in the world to expect to be demoted to second-class citizen is over that line. A passenger who expects me to be demoted can get his goddamned ass off the plane and find himself another mode of transportation, or he can buy a couple extra seats and keep them unoccupied. Forcing all women to be demoted forces all women to participate in his religion.

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Let them set up their own damn airline with mehadrin flights if they feel they need this much isolation and special treatment.

I hope El Al doesn't give in to this bullshit they way the bus system did.

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i think this will be a sticky issue from them. i certainly stand by the treating them like an unruly passenger, have them leave the plane (i'm all for religious freedom, but ridiculous things like this are just that: ridiculous). but i can totally see somebody coming by and saying that they're just abiding by their religion and who are we to judge their expression of their religion, etc. which, initially, i think is a valid question. however, this world should not be expected to cater to every little detail of every single religion. this is the world, in which there is great variety. everybody needs to learn to interact appropriately, no matter what belief system they follow. it's called acting like an adult.

If the PP or Steve Maxwell refused to sit by a woman on an airplane saying their 'religion' didn't allow them to this board would be all over them. Why is it okay for another religion?

Edit- I mean this as a valid question, not being a jerk.

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If the PP or Steve Maxwell refused to sit by a woman on an airplane saying their 'religion' didn't allow them to this board would be all over them. Why is it okay for another religion?

Edit- I mean this as a valid question, not being a jerk.

If this same thing had happened and the men in question happened to be Muslim, Homeland Security would have been called.

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If the PP or Steve Maxwell refused to sit by a woman on an airplane saying their 'religion' didn't allow them to this board would be all over them. Why is it okay for another religion?

Edit- I mean this as a valid question, not being a jerk.

i don't think it's okay. i only posited the question because i know it will come up (not necessarily in this board, just in general). i think all uber-religious people need to get a grip when out in society. i won't cater to anyone's nit-picky bullshit.

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I have severe flight anxiety, so I choose my seat VERY carefully. I get upset when I'm asked to switch. I only agree if it means I can stay toward the front of the and have an aisle seat. I can NOT deal with window seats, as I need to be kept as far away from windows as possible. Even shut ones.

Most flight attendants figure out pretty quickly and discourage anyone messing with me, as they we afraid I will really flip out.

These men would probably have me screaming at them and panicking.

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Judaism, even ultra orthodox Judaism, does not forbid a man from sitting next to a woman on a plane. The closest things that I can think of are that it is forbidden for a man and a woman who are not related or married to be ALONE in a room together, and that it is forbidden for a man to say certain prayers if he is looking at an "immodest" woman. These guys are not being religious; they are being assholes.

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A few years ago these guys invented "purity" eye glasses which they would put on when they went into areas filled with potentially defrauding women. The glasses would blur their vision enough that seeing a woman would not awaken their snake, but it left enough vision that they wouldn't step into traffic. I dunno know why they stopped wearing those. Probably they decided that keeping their penises flacid is the women's responsibility.

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Judaism, even ultra orthodox Judaism, does not forbid a man from sitting next to a woman on a plane. The closest things that I can think of are that it is forbidden for a man and a woman who are not related or married to be ALONE in a room together, and that it is forbidden for a man to say certain prayers if he is looking at an "immodest" woman. These guys are not being religious; they are being assholes.

obviously they must think themselves as SOOPER HOLY U GUISE. LOOK AT US BEING SO HOLY AND GOOD AND RELIGIOUS. *eye roll* sorry for the puddle of sarcasm on the floor. clean up on aisle six!

i find it fascinating that men on this religious spectrum seem to be so afraid of innately human desires. i mean, i was in that ballpark before, but even then i thought it was slightly ridiculous that the men seemed to be so afraid of "losing control" that women had to dress to certain standards and such. i seem to remember hearing sermon after sermon about self-control and self-discipline. did they really think themselves such poor practitioners of their own faith?

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Can't they request that they be seated next to a male passenger if it's such an issue?

I already have my seats assigned for my El Al flight on Sunday, and have no idea who will be seating in any seats that aren't part of our reservations. That's not how the system works.

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I already have my seats assigned for my El Al flight on Sunday, and have no idea who will be seating in any seats that aren't part of our reservations. That's not how the system works.

Yes, but if it really is an ongoing issue, when they check in for the flight, either online or at the airport, if El Al has a block of seats reserved for orthodox men and one for orthodox women that they can request to be seated in, on the understanding that if the seats weren't all requested in advance they would be available to all travellers, wouldn't that solve the problem?

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Yes, but if it really is an ongoing issue, when they check in for the flight, either online or at the airport, if El Al has a block of seats reserved for orthodox men and one for orthodox women that they can request to be seated in, on the understanding that if the seats weren't all requested in advance they would be available to all travellers, wouldn't that solve the problem?

I wonder if it would just create more problems.

Reservations in the airline industry are part of a complex system, and there's not a lot of slack in the system. How do you predict how big the block of seats needs to be? Some flights may be mostly secular youth groups, some may be seminary students, some are popular for family vacations, etc. It's not going to be a steady percentage. Will seats show as unavailable until the ticket block is released, and would that cause El Al to lose potential bookings?

What happens when there's a lone middle seat in the Haredi men's section that's unsold 14 days before, and it gets released to the general public and purchased by a young woman looking for a last minute flight? You'll have 2 unhappy Haredi passengers beside her, who will probably be irate since they were led to expect a male-only section.

Also, if El Al did put in a policy like that, wouldn't it encourage the expectation among Haredi travelers that they would always be accommodated? At least now, El Al never promised them anything and they can be told that nobody ever guaranteed that switching seats was a sure thing.

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I'll be damned if I ever give up my seat because my existence offends someone else's "religious" beliefs. And I will be damned if I fly some Apartheid Airline that seats me according to my gender or what they perceive me to believe.

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I was reminded of an article someone posted on here a little while ago, about how to disagree with Isreal without being called anti-semitic. Fundie dudes - you make a huge fuss over not getting girl germs and tell us we should just aquiese. And then try and say you're not misogynists? Well, let me tell you about tens of thousands of years of persecution of my people by your people, rape and murder and belitting of my people by your people, disenfranchisement and enslavement and beatings and being asked if we have our periods and just settle down, don't be strident and hysterical by your people. And then you ask me again if I'll move away from my travel partner so you don't have to sit next to my dirty self. But watch out, because I have my period, and better than punching you, I'll make sure I only tell you after you're in my contaminated seat.

Fucking misogynist assholes.

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Oh, extremism -- such fun. :roll:

I'm guessing that this nonsense is an outgrowth of the Orthodox practice of a man not touching a woman he doesn't know, since he has no way of knowing if she is menstruating. I suppose they are afraid they might touch a woman they don't know by accident, if she is sitting next to them.

In theory, the no-touch rule just another religious tradition I don't get. I would shrug it off, but, in practice, it's yet another thing that makes fundie men act like women are dirty, second-class citizens.

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Can't they request that they be seated next to a male passenger if it's such an issue?

They should buy three seats if it's that important. If fat people have to, why not misanthropic assholes? Would a passenger refusing to sit next to a black person because they're a member of the KKK be accomodated? Of course not.

Would there be enough airport security to physically haul off that many people and not have a riot

All they'd need is a couple of flight attendants to hold their arms out and the assholes would flee before them like they were poisonous. Girl germs FTW!

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A few years ago these guys invented "purity" eye glasses which they would put on when they went into areas filled with potentially defrauding women. The glasses would blur their vision enough that seeing a woman would not awaken their snake, but it left enough vision that they wouldn't step into traffic.

Wasn't that a joke?

Judaism, even ultra orthodox Judaism, does not forbid a man from sitting next to a woman on a plane. The closest things that I can think of are that it is forbidden for a man and a woman who are not related or married to be ALONE in a room together, and that it is forbidden for a man to say certain prayers if he is looking at an "immodest" woman. These guys are not being religious; they are being assholes.

It's about shomer negiah. Their messed-up charedi society brainwashes them into believing that touching or looking at a woman is one of the worst sins.

Honestly, charedi men seem to get shafted just as much as women, but differently. Their entire life path is dictated to them and they're forced to focus on nothing but a 3000-year-old book and its minutiae of laws to the point that everything is a potential sin. Apparently they also don't get taught manners or humility, so outrageous behavior like this happens.

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Judaism, even ultra orthodox Judaism, does not forbid a man from sitting next to a woman on a plane. The closest things that I can think of are that it is forbidden for a man and a woman who are not related or married to be ALONE in a room together, and that it is forbidden for a man to say certain prayers if he is looking at an "immodest" woman. These guys are not being religious; they are being assholes.

I should know this, but is touching a woman one is not married to forbidden for ultra Orthodox Jews? I'm guessing the issue is the leg to leg contact that commonly happens when two people are seated next to one another on a plane (and the insidious elbow wars over the arm rest).

I was seated next to a conservative Muslim man on a plane once and during some jetlag, things got...awkward (he was actually very nice about it, and didn't say anything, just tried to move closer to the other side of his seat. I tried to stay on my side as well, but it was like the Scrambler at an amusement park at some point).

August does make a good point about just paying for three seats. I believe people have the right to practice their religion in whatever way they wish, no matter how outlandish it may seem to others. But I don't believe people have an entitlement to that practice being easy (or cheap). And it is certainly not incumbent on others to alter their own lives for those beliefs.

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[quote="August"

Would there be enough airport security to physically haul off that many people and not have a riot

All they'd need is a couple of flight attendants to hold their arms out and the assholes would flee before them like they were poisonous. Girl germs FTW!

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