Charedi Lawmaker Threatens El Al With Boycott Over New Anti Charedi Seating Rules


Israel’s El Al airline was threatened with a consumer boycott by a charedi Knesset member on Wednesday should the airline decide to remove a passenger who is unwilling to sit next to woman in the future.

The threat made by Israeli lawmaker Yisrael Eichler from UTJ comes after an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed more than an hour due to a number of ultra-Orthodox men refused to sit next to women.

Following the dispute, El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin vowed that in a similar incident in the future, passenger who refuse seating “will be immediately removed from the flight.”

The statement caused lawmaker Eichler to threat to boycott El Al if Usishkin follows through with the vow. “Never has anyone been forced to move against their wishes. In any airline, and in El Al as well, there are various requests to change seats… Each person has his considerations over where to sit. But to say women are being excluded is a lie,” he said.

“I’m telling El Al that if you give in to the terrorism of Charedi-hating groups and remove a passenger who behaved properly and asked nicely to sit next to a man, we will remove hundreds of thousands of your passengers every year. Terror against terror.”

Read more at i24NEWS.



  1. If the “chareidim” who insist on not sitting next to a woman would practice some menchlichkeit and reserve seats in advanced that would allow them to board without imposing on others, this wouldn’t be a problem.
    They are willing to spend so much every year on a nicer esrog which is just a hiddur, but to spend extra so as not to bother others, which is basic halacha, doesn’t even occur them.

    • Not always can you get a seat that you want. If you book a flight a day before you won’t get your choice seat.

    • Before spewing nonsensical advice, consider if your idea is even feasible. Reserving a seat in advance does not guarantee a seat near a person of the same gender. You have no control over the person reserving the seat next to you.
      Asking somebody to change seats is a bother only for secular Jews who hate frum people.

    • What a naive redneck and foolish comment! Reserving seats in advance does NOTHING to guarantee a place next to a man instead of a woman.

    • @N. Oyb reserving in advance does not tell you who you will sit next to.
      please don’t be so quick to criticize those with different/higher standards than you.
      and I don’t see what shaychus your esrog argument has, since as I already wrote no amount you pay will tell you in advance what gender you will sit next to.
      also, your grammar is a bit peculiar,and although I can see what you mean, it seems like you are saying that it’s basic halacha to spend to spend extra money which is incorrect, as opposed to what you were apparently trying to say,that it’s a basic halacha to not bother someone, which is totally questionable based on circumstances etc
      (I know, talk about the kettle calling the pot blackwhen I have run on sentences, and I am criticizing your grammar.)

  2. It’s anazing how a handful of shrieking feminist known as women off the wall have been able to intimidate the Israeli government and El Al. It’s time the sleeping giant chareidi population wake up. Why are we tiptoeing like meek mice. We have an opportunity to say it like it is. We can close down the israeli government today not tomorrow. We have billionaire chareidim throughout the world plus president Trump hates the reform liberals and admires us Orthodox Jews. We have the growing manpower to put an end to these fanatical deformed liberals who spout racism against Orthodox Jews. Enough is enough. We need planes that have a kosher space for davening. A jewish airline should have a Shul for at least a steibel on board with extra pairs of tfillin. There should be three sections. Family seating. Men only and women only. The stewardess should dress jewish at least 4 inches below knee. In men’s section no women allowed. No movies except Torah videos for adults and kids. Let’s start with a few planes. And El Al will see how full those planes become. Also instructions can be announced in yiddish. These chareidi planes will be very successful.

  3. They Should boycott!!!!!!!
    For every other stupidity they happily accommodate seat switches, e.g. so a man CAN SIT near his girlfriend, but not to respect a religious person ??????? Surely people should be respectful and considerate, but you should be able to request a seat change.

    N.oyb: how would reserving a seat in advance help??? you still dont know who will be next to you!

  4. Why both extremes? Why not make a 5 minute limit? Let them ask to change seats and if nobody says yes in 5 minutes, we tell the person either take your seat or get off. This way we allow asking, but don’t allow the flight to be delayed for an unreasonable amount of time.

  5. As I understand it, even reserving a seat in advance does not assure a man that he will not wind up being placed next to a woman. What I don’t understand, is why a reservation system is not set up that will guarantee that a passenger can choose in advance whether he wishes to sit next to a man or a woman. Why is there no mention of this possibility in the numerous articles on this subject?

  6. And how would it help to reserve a seat in advance? Or even three seats? With El Al’s policy of overbooking, would the deplored charedi even stand a chance of keeping his extra seat?
    Secular Israel will accommodate any idiot’s wild meshuggassen. Why is so hard for them to make a G-d fearing Jew’s life a tad easier?
    (I’m not condoning last week’s episode).

    And, sitting in that sardine can sized seat for twelve hours, without inadvertently touching (and breathing the air of) the passenger next to you, is impossible.
    For this reason, I, as a woman, would refuse to sit next to a strange man.

  7. Why can’t the man move? Why does the lady need to move? I really don’t get it. What would R Shmuel Kamenetsky do, or R Yaakov, R Moshe have done?

  8. Reserved air. The man will be hopeful to his family and wife. The woman to her father or husband her mind of good.

    Listen to the money. We want a good flight. Help this issue.

  9. There are two separate issues which need to be addressed here. I fly frequently and what El Al is doing is pure discrimination against frum yidden. On almost, every full flight Im on there are requests for seat changes. Usually, the request is to sit next to a family member, a medical issue or someone with a young child that needs a better seat and other reasons like not wanting to sit next to the bathroom. Airlines are very accommodating for these people. The same should be true for a frum person who politely asks for a seat change. The problem is when no one wants to change seats. If someone has a broken leg, or a young child has a seat away from his parents and he needs a better seat and after begging every passenger to change a seat no is willing to. You may say these people are cold-hearted but should the flight be delayed 45 minutes because of it? The same is true in our case. there is no reason why El Al or at least the passenger can’t ask politely for a seat change. To hold up the flight because of it is also wrong. Personally, I try to put a pillow between me and my neighbor.

  10. Mr N Oyb – exactly what type of seats are you referring to? Even in Business class you can’t choose your neighbor. And why should not a chareidi or any other person not have a right to request a seat change if they don’t want to sit next a woman, an Arab, or someone that smells foul for example?
    When you are in business you service your customer. Else the customer will take his business elsewhere. Not a threat, just simple common sense.

  11. Kol hakavod to the chareidi lawmakers. Secular coercion must be stopped. Boycotting is the way to go. When El Al was boycotted about their chillul Shabbos it helped instantly.

  12. Let them. If they are so frum they should not leave EY for any reason. Why should others be inconvenienced because they decided to have a chumra that leads to kullot?

  13. I have a way to make a immodest woman move. Bring crackers with slice raw garlick. Eat a few and start talking to her. She will gladly move then if you ask her to move. Then after she has moved use Katz mouthwash and rinse for a moment.

  14. There is a vast difference between “COULD I please sit near my family, friend, fiance etc,” and “I REFUSE to sit near a woman”.
    In the first instance, it’s a request, which, if not honored, will still have all the passengers seated and flying, while the second one is an absolute demand, which will inevitably result in a delay, and, possibly, in someone not being on the flight.

  15. I just flew business class to Israel this week. I’m still here in Israel. I went to sleep and next to me was a secular Israeli. Of course I tried to make him chareidi and we had a wonderful conversation. I went to sleep and when I awoke,lo and behold a woman is sleeping next to me. In business as you know the seats go all the way down forming a bed. What happened was this secular israeli next to me had his wife in economy. Why I was asleep he switched seats with his wife. It’s not enough to have a male secular israeli near you for he can bring his wife from economy. You must have chareidim sit together. My idea would be is to reserve last ten rows for chareidim who seek to daven. Also why not give us business class customers an option to buy two seats as we would like to be near the back to catch the minyan.

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