Lufthansa on Tuesday issued an apology after Orthodox Jews complained that all Jewish passengers had been expelled from the plane because one group had not followed German Airlines’ concealment rules.
In a video clip of the incident, a Lufthansa supervisor can be heard saying “everyone should pay for the couple” and that “the Jews are coming from JFK. The Jews who were the mess, the ones who caused the trouble.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Lufthansa said only “non-compliant guests” should have been denied boarding and not the entire group. “Lufthansa regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude passengers from flight LH 1334 on May 4. Lufthansa sincerely apologizes,” it said.
“What happened is not in line with Lufthansa’s policies or values. We do not tolerate racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination of any kind.”
However, some officials did not accept the plane’s apology sufficiently.
In response to the statement, Yad Vashem director Danny Dayan wrote on Twitter: “Do you regret ‘the circumstances surrounding the decision? “Do you not regret the decision itself? What is the behavior of your employees? What is their position and statements? This is not an apology. We expect you to do better. It is not too late.”
do not shut up #Anti-Semitism!
– DansDeals (@DansDeals) May 9, 2022
The Anti-Defamation League criticized Lufthansa’s statement and called on the airline to investigate the incident further and compensate passengers who were prevented from flying.
“This non-apology failed to acknowledge the error or identify the prohibited passengers as Jews. He also refers to them as a group, although many of them were strangers. The Anti-Defamation League said in response to Lufthansa’s statement that they had one common denominator – being clearly Jewish. .
The video, first reported and shared by Dan’s Deals website, was posted on YouTube and Instagram, drawing angry comparisons to the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.
Passengers were also prevented from buying another ticket to Budapest for 24 hours.
Jewish travelers were on an annual pilgrimage to visit the tomb of Rabbi Isaiah Steiner, a supposed miracle-working rabbi who died in 1925 and was buried in a village in northeastern Hungary. According to Dan’s deals, an estimated 135 to 170 Jews were on board, and 80 percent of them wore visible Hasidic clothing.
According to a statement issued by Lufthansa on Monday following the accident, there was a larger group of passengers who “refused to wear the mask (medical mask) legally prescribed on board”.
“For legal reasons, we cannot disclose the number of guests involved in the incident,” the statement obtained by Dan Dills said. “Lufthansa will continue to comply with all legal requirements, including the mask mandate imposed by the German government and those of the countries it serves. We do this without bias and [for] the well-being of all our guests.
Rabbi David Zoebel of Agudath Israel of America wrote a letter to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr on Monday calling for an investigation into the incident after hearing “disturbing accounts.”
“People were punished simply for sharing their race and religion with the alleged lawbreakers,” the letter read.