Jewish Doctor Bounced From JetBlue Flight Over Gaza Spat With Passenger

Image: jetblue

A Jewish woman was ejected from a JetBlue flight after arguing about the Israel-Hamas conflict with a Palestinian passenger.

The Jewish woman, physician Lisa Rosenberg of New York, was asked to leave the July 7 John F. Kennedy Airport-bound flight from Palm Beach International Airport not long after concluding a telephone conversation about Israel’s conduct in the conflict. Another passenger, who overheard the conversation, began arguing with Rosenberg.

“I was saying how it was good Israel found the students that killed the Palestinian teenager and how it was exemplary not making them into heroes, but seeking to publicly try them,” Rosenberg told the Palm Beach Post. “I said any other country would have made these students out to be martyrs and celebrating them.”

After the phone call concluded, Rosenberg said a woman approached her, identified herself as a Palestinian, and the two then had an “ugly, racially driven altercation” in which the other woman called her a “Zionist pig,” according to media reports.

But a commenter on the website Gothamist, who identified herself as the passenger who confronted Rosenberg, said that Rosenberg “was the only person yelling and actually said a Palestinian on the flight was a ‘danger to her’. She was removed from that flight for making a scene, refusing to sit in her seat and not complying with staff. Other passengers , if they come forward, will verify this.”

JetBlue confirmed that it asked Rosenberg to exit the plane, which was still on the ground in Florida and said that Rosenberg’s account is not accurate.

“The story presented in no way reflects the reports from our crew, whose decision to remove the customer we support,” the airline said in a statement.

A JetBlue spokeswoman told JTA that the details of the incident, including the identity of the other passenger, could not be disclosed “for privacy reasons.”

“A crew member may request a customer to deboard and be re-accommodated if the crew member feels as though the safety of the plane or customers on board is impacted, or the customer on board is unable to comply with in-flight instructions or obstructing a crew member’s duties,” corporate communications manager Morgan Johnston said. Rosenberg flew back to New York the next day, but not on JetBlue.

“I just was completely outraged that I would be asked to leave a plane, being a Jew,” Rosenberg told ABC’s local affiliate in Palm Beach County.

Written by


Your Comments

The 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 Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Jewish Doctor Bounced From JetBlue Flight Over Gaza Spat With Passenger

Thank you!

This article has been sent!