Ultraortodokse vil ikke sitte ved siden av kvinner

Hans Rustad

Tendensen til at ultraortodokse jøder ikke vil sitte ved siden av kvinner på EL Al-fly er økende, skriver Ha’aretz. Det skaper problemer og gnisninger på flyvninger.

While the phenomenon of lone Haredi men approaching female passengers is not new, and has in fact gone on for years, large groups of Haredim – upwards of 15-20 people in some instances – are reportedly attempting to secure blocs of seats for themselves. Their persistence is causing consternation and friction, while setting off a host of logistical problems during the course of some flights, according to a number of sources interviewed by Haaretz.

En økende kjønnssegrasjon blant ultraortodokse, såkalte haredim, kom for alvor frem i lyset i fjor. Disse rigide vil ikke ikke bare segrere blant dem selv, de blander seg også inn i verden utenfor, dvs i kontakt med andre mennesker. Det har vakt sterke reaksjoner i det israelske samfunn.

De religiøse nyter godt av privilegier som unntak fra militærtjenste, som kan bli satt på spill hvis de forsøker å gjøre samfunnet religiøst.

Det høres ut som en bagatell, men når man leser om problemene forstår man at de ikke bare forårsaker store prktiske problemer, men også indikerer noen holdninger som får konsekvenser, hvis man gir etter.

Seat-switching is particularly acute on longer El Al flights, say passengers and tour operators, as Haredim insist not only on a separation of the sexes, but also prefer to sit together in order to expedite the formation of a quorum for evening and morning prayers. Sitting together also allows Haredim to exclude from their field of vision films that they say offend their cultural and religious sensitivities, while also creating “distance” from passengers who consume non-kosher food that they bring onto the aircraft.

Passengers interviewed by Haaretz say the repercussions of seat-switching are felt almost immediately, and include delays before take-off incurred by passengers transferring luggage from one overhead compartment to another. They note delays in the distribution of in-flight meals, as flight attendants are forced to contend with reshuffled seating plans. In some instances, passengers report waiting an hour or more after they were told they would receive their pre-ordered “standard” meals, usually distributed after the specially requested meals – such as those for children, passengers with special needs, and consumers of strictly kosher food.
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“This would never happen on Continental, Lufthansa or Delta,” stresses Feldman, a 30-year veteran of the industry who says he has fielded dozens of complaints from passengers related to the seat relocations over the last several months. “Other airlines would not tolerate this behavior,” he says.
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“This would never happen on Continental, Lufthansa or Delta,” stresses Feldman, a 30-year veteran of the industry who says he has fielded dozens of complaints from passengers related to the seat relocations over the last several months. “Other airlines would not tolerate this behavior,” he says. While Feldman acknowledges that other airlines may experience “individual or isolated cases,” he says seat-switching is “an anomaly, organized by a specific group adept at manipulating the system and exerting peer pressure upon fellow passengers.” Feldman, who calls the matter “exclusively an El Al issue” specific to an airline that is considered “Jewish,” is floating a simple recommendation: “Why doesn’t El Al announce to boarding passengers that seat-switching will not be tolerated?” Feldman asks.

The uptick in Haredi requests aboard El Al flights to switch seats coincides with recent incidents involving some rigorously Orthodox Jews insisting on the separation of sexes in certain Israeli neighborhoods, on public bus routes and in public seating spaces, even at check-out counters in supermarkets and stores.

Last month, a Hebrew Facebook page titled “Herem [excommunication against] El Al” featured an in-flight photograph taken during an El Al flight from Brazil to Israel that showed makeshift partitions taped to the backs of four passengers’ seats. The photograph garnered national coverage on Israel’s Channel 2 newscast.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews increasingly refuse to sit near women on El Al flights
El Al customers, operators say large groups of Haredim, upwards of 15-20 people in some instances, are reportedly attempting to secure blocs of seats for themselves.




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