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German Airline Allegedly Bars More Than 100 Orthodox Jewish Passengers from Flight After Some Refuse to Wear Mask

The German airline Lufthansa allegedly prevented more than 100 Orthodox Jewish passengers from boarding a May 4 flight from Frankfurt to Budapest after a couple of passengers refused to wear a mask on their previous flight.

The Jewish Chronicle (JC) and Business Insider (BI) reported that the passengers had just landed in Frankfurt after flying from New York as part of their trip to Budapest to pay tribute to a late well-known rabbi. Per the reporting, the non-Jewish passengers from New York were allowed to board the flight to Budapest but the Jewish passengers were not. 

The JC reported that a video circulating on social media showed a representative from the airline telling a Jewish passenger who was questioning her as to why they couldn’t board the flight that “one” passenger didn’t wear a mask on the flight, so “everyone has to pay for a couple.” When pressed by the passenger, the representative said that it was “Jewish people … who made the problems.”

A couple of the Jewish passengers told Hamodia that the airline had subjected them to “antisemitic discrimination.” “Why should they ban everyone for just one or two people not wearing masks?” one of the passengers said. The Jewish passengers ultimately had to take different flights to get to Budapest.

A Lufthansa spokesperson told The JC that passengers were kept off the flight to Budapest because “some of the passengers with the planned onward journey to Budapest had repeatedly refused—even after repeated requests from the crew—to wear masks and to follow the safety regulations during the flight.” The spokesperson added that the airline is investigating the matter.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeted that the airline’s actions were “outrageous.” “Banning ALL Jews from a flight because of an alleged mask violation by some Jewish passengers is textbook antisemitism from @Lufthansa,” the AJC tweeted. “While this is infuriating, the airline’s apathetic response to this incident is equally shocking.”

StandWithUs Israel Executive Director Michael Dickson also tweeted in response to the video of the Lufthansa representative arguing with the Jewish passenger, “Replace the word ‘Jewish’ any other race or type. Does it hit harder? Because it should be equally unacceptable.”

Former New York Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted that the airline representative’s comments were “undeniably sick and antisemitic.” “What’s the excuse this time? ‘Just following orders’?!” he wrote.

Source: Jewish Journal

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