Man wearing Jewish prayer shawl arrested for ‘anti-Semitic tirade’ on airplane

David Toaff said to have told all Jews to raise their hands so he can identify them; police arrest him on landing, charge him with obstruction, disorderly conduct

Passenger arrested after Delta Airlines flight, November 2018 (Facebook)
Passenger arrested after Delta Airlines flight, November 2018 (Facebook)

A George Washington University senior has said that a man “went on an anti-Semitic tirade” on his plane to Atlanta, posting a video of the suspect’s altercation with police officers after the flight landed.

Jordan Dale, who was traveling on Thanksgiving eve, tweeted that the man “demanded ‘all Jews raise their hands’ so he could ‘identify them.’”

The man, identified as David Toaff, a home loan officer in Bethesda, Maryland, was arrested by police when he got off the Delta Air Lines plane at the Atlanta airport, and can be seen struggling with the officers in the video taken by Dale.

What also is obvious from the video, however, is that Toaff is wearing a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl. His Facebook page includes pictures of the city of Jerusalem drawn by his father, as well as inspirational videos and a Washington Post article about the recent synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.

He did not identify himself as Jewish while being arrested, according to the video.

“I’m not a bad person,” Toaff told the police officers who were arresting him. “What did I do wrong?”

He also said: “I’m not doing anything!” and “White guy with blue eyes and he was just like Trump — he’s a Nazi!” When they handcuffed him, he yelled: “Sir, I’m not doing anything wrong. I just don’t want to die.”

“Preliminary information indicates that while in flight to Atlanta a male began uttering anti-Semitic words to passengers aboard the aircraft,” Atlanta police said, according to NBC News. “When the flight arrived at the gate the male continued the disturbance and refused to provide officers with identification.”

Toaff was charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct following his arrest.

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