A Jewish physician from New York claims she was forced off a JetBlue flight leaving Palm Beach, Florida last week because of anti-Semitism.
WPBF, a local Palm Beach area news station reported that Dr. Lisa Rosenberg said that she had been sitting in her seat speaking on her cell phone to a friend about Israel. Rosenberg was reportedly complimenting Israel on how it has been handling the current conflict with Hamas. She also said she had expressed concern about the safety of her daughter, who is planning to study in Israel next year.
According to Rosenberg, a woman who had apparently overheard her conversation came up to her and identified herself as a Palestinian. “Zionist pig. This is just the beginning,” Rosenberg claims the woman cursed at her.
Apparently an altercation ensued, and a JetBlue flight attendant intervened. A supervisor appeared on the scene and told Rosenberg she needed to get off the plane.
“I can’t believe it. I said, ‘Why would you do that?’ I said, ‘Why don’t you have her leave the plane?'” the doctor recounted.
Rosenberg believes the only reason she was made to leave the flight was because she was a Jew. She has characterized the incident as a hate crime and has filed a complaint with the Anti-Defamation League.
“We are looking in to it,” ADL spokesman Todd Gutnick told The Times of Israel. “We are actively looking in to what happened.”
While there have been heated arguments between Jews and Palestinians or pro-Palestinians at a number of rallies and demonstrations across the US in recent days, Rosenberg’s case is unique. “It is the only case we know of someone having been thrown off an airplane,” Gutnick said.
JetBlue has refused to answer questions about the incident or Rosenberg’s claims.
“We respect the privacy of our customers, and won’t share details for public discourse. We will say that the story presented [by Rosenberg and in the media] in no way reflects the reports from our crew, whose decision to remove the customer we support,” the airline said in an official statement.