Jewish Doctor in JetBlue Drama Ousted for Launching Anti-Arab Gaza Bomb 'Rant'

Official Reports Say Lisa Rosenberg Berated Palestinian

courtesy of wpbf

By Rachel X. Landes

Published July 16, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Jewish doctor who was ordered to leave a New York-bound JetBlue flight “ranted” at a Palestinian fellow passenger that she was a “murderer” who might blow up the flight, according to internal reports quoted on an airline security blog.

Lisa Rosenberg, an obstetrician with an office in Queens, was ousted because she “made a racial slur at the (Palestinian) customer,” and that “customers seated in the immediate area expressed concern for their safety because of Dr. Rosenberg,” a flight attendant told investigators.

The accounts from a flight attendant, along with a report of the Complains Resolution Official (CRO), and witnesses on the plane show were obtained by Steven Frischling, who works in airport security and posted snippets of the reports on his blog, Flying with Fish.

“(Dr. Rosenberg) accused the customer of being a Palestinian murderer, and that her people are all murderers, and that they murder children,” the unnamed flight attendant wrote. Rosenberg “ranted, and attempted to get physically closer to the (Palestinian) customer in (seat) 9C. I immediately insisted that she stop all type of that talk in the aircraft.”

The official accounts conflict dramatically with Rosenberg’s version of the July 7 incident as the plane prepared to leave from the West Palm Beach airport.

Rosenberg told reporters that was forced to leave the plane after arguing with a fellow-passenger about the Israeli war in Gaza. She asserted she was targeted for expulsion because of her Jewish faith and called the move an “anti-Semitic hate crime.”

She alerted the Anti-Defamation League to the incident, which said it was looking into her claims.

Rosenberg would not discuss the incident with the Forward and her lawyer, Fred Rosenberg, did not return calls seeking comment on the revelations.

Rosenberg is a OB/GYN who operates for the New York City area in Flushing, Queens. She went to the Medical College of Pennsylvania for medical school, and she completed her internship and residency at the Long Island Jewish Hospital. She speaks Yiddish, Hebrew and English.

The flight attendant suggested Rosenberg was entirely to blame in the incident, which caused a ruckus but remarkably only led to the flight arriving a respectable four minutes late at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Rosenberg was removed from the plane because “of an atmosphere of fear in the cabin” that she had caused with her shouting and racial slurs towards the woman sitting just two rows behind her.

Before Rosenberg was asked to leave, airline officials told her about rules against discrimination, and that, “JetBlue provides equal service to all passengers regardless of race, creed or color.”

But Rosenberg refused to listen, and continued to harass the Palestinian woman for everyone to hear, despite the fact that multiple witnesses confirmed that they had seen no instigation from the Palestinan passenger in 9C, the documents said.

The final straw came when Rosenberg implied that the Palestinian woman had a bomb on her person and intended to blow up the plane.

According to Frischling, the CRO reported exactly the same account of the incident.

Frischling later added, that given his experience in working with airport security, he was surprised Rosenberg was not detained by federal Homeland Security authorities for making false claims about a potential bombing.

The CRO filed his report in Palm Beach, where the flight left, and the flight attendant wrote hers in New York where the flight eventually landed.

Frischling says as a Jew he is offended by Rosenberg’s conduct and has no doubt that JetBlue officials acted properly in ordering her off the flight. He noted the publicity around the incident makes it unusual, but unruly passengers are commonplace on American flights.

“This to me is not a religious issue,” Frischling said. “People make it a big deal — it’s not. People are removed from aircrafts hundreds of times a day.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.