Several readers have contacted me or posted links to the story of the 81 year-old woman suing El Al Airlines for gender discrimination after she was pressured to change her seat. El Al relocated the female passenger, Renee Rabinowitz, to accommodate a haredi man who did not want to sit next to a woman.
It’s the kind of story that many former Failedmessiah readers have seen hundreds of times.
Daily Mail UK is one of many sites featuring the story.
The Israel Religious Action Center, a liberal advocacy group, is representing Rabinowitz. The organization has been watching these types of incidents for a good case like this to sue El Al for discrimination.
An 81-year-old woman is suing Israeli airline El Al for discrimination after she was allegedly forced to move seats because an ultra-Orthodox man refused to sit next to her.
Renee Rabinowitz, a retired lawyer who lives in Jerusalem, was settled in her aisle seat in the business class section of Flight 028 from Newark to Tel Aviv last December.
However, when a man assigned the window seat on her row showed up and did not want to sit next to a woman, a flight attendant offered Rabinowitz, who walks with a cane, a ‘better’ seat to accommodate the man’s religious beliefs.
Liberal advocacy group The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) has taken up her case.
‘We needed a case of a flight attendant being actively involved,’ IRAC’s director, Anat Hoffman told the Times ‘to show that El Al has internalized the commandment, ‘I cannot sit next to a woman.’
The grandmother said during the December 2 flight the flight attendant had a brief conversation with her seatmate-to-be, which she could not understand, before she was offered the other seat.
When she asked the flight attendant if he was suggesting her to switch seats was because the man wanted her to move, Rabinowitz said ‘without any hesitation’ he said ‘yes,’ according to the Times.
Later when she returned to her original seat to collect her hand luggage she said she asked the man why it mattered and he replied, ‘it’s the Torah,’ she said.
(hat tip: to all who mailed and posted)