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Lufthansa Accused of Anti-Semitism After Over 100 Orthodox Jews Were Barred From A Flight
German airline Lufthansa is being accused of religious discrimination and anti-Semitism after more than 100 Orthodox Jews were prevented from boarding their connecting flight. The incident occurred last Wednesday after some of the passengers, who were traveling to Budapest, Hungary for a religious pilgrimage, failed to wear face masks on the previous flight from JFK International Airport to Frankfurt, Germany.
Though the United States has stopped requiring face masks to be worn on flights, they are still mandatory in Germany and must be worn on all flights.
The Jewish passengers were not all traveling together, however they were all prevented from boarding the second leg of the journey. The airline allegedly banned anyone believed to be Jewish from continuing on to the connecting flight to Budapest.
In a video posted on Twitter, a Lufthansa employee seems to confirm that the decision to punish so many people based on the actions of a few was indeed made based upon the fact that they all shared the same religion.
In the video, the employee can be heard telling a passenger, “If you want to do it like this, Jewish people who were the mess, who made the problems.”
Lufthansa is currently investigating the incident, however, the airline has denied the decision was based upon anti-Semitic sentiment, but rather the passengers’ refusal to mask up.
“We find the claim of anti-Semitism unwarranted and without merit,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement made to Jerusalem-based Israeli newspaper Hamodia. “We confirm that a larger group of passengers could not be carried today on Lufthansa flight LH1334 from Frankfurt to Budapest, because the travelers refused to wear the legally mandated mask on board.”
“As safety and security of our passengers and staff is our top priority, Lufthansa will continue to abide by all legal requirements, including the mask mandate imposed by the German government and those of the countries served. We do so without prejudice and with the wellbeing of all our guests.”
The passengers eventually rebooked their flights to Budapest on other airlines.