Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

El Al Vows To Boot Ultra-Orthodox Men Who Refuse To Sit Next To Women

JERUSALEM (JTA) — El Al will “immediately” remove any passenger who refuses to sit next to another passenger for any reason, its CEO announced, but not before a major Israeli tech company announced it would no longer fly its employees on the airline.

NICE System’s CEO Barak Eilam on Monday announced via posts on social media that “At NICE we don’t do business with companies that discriminate against race, gender or religion. NICE will not fly @EL AL Israel Airlines until they change their practice and actions discriminating women.”

Eilam’s announcement came days after an El Al Airlines flight from New York to Israel was delayed by more than an hour after four Haredi Orthodox men refused to take their assigned seats next to women. Two women eventually agreed to change their seats in order to allow the flight to take off.

An account of the incident was posted on Facebook by a passenger, Israeli rapper Khen Rotem.

Following the incident on Thursday evening, El Al apologized in a statement and added that: “Any discrimination by passengers is absolutely forbidden. El Al flight attendants do everything that they can to provide service to a wide range of passengers and various requests and try to assist.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.