Friday, January 22

'Flying While Jewish' vs 'Flying While Arab': Poll

I'm just wondering what you readers think here about the imbroglio on US Airways Flight 3709:
On Thursday, a flight attendant on a US Air flight from New York to Louisville mistook the religious prayer article as a bomb after the Jewish passenger, Caleb Leibowitz, 17, had taken them out to pray, according to reports. Tefillin consist of two black boxes, each connected to leather straps.

The passengers and crew were taken off the plane in Philadelphia. Fire trucks and police met the plane on the runway.

Leibowitz was questioned and released. No one was arrested in the incident.

Seems to me that what's interesting in the story of the Orthodox Jewish kid being hassled on the flight for strapping up in his seat is the worldwide Jewish reaction in the news, online, in blogs, etc to the whole story: somewhat embarrassed amusement, internal backbiting, justifications and explanations, etc. followed by... ho-hum, and maybe a stern lecture from a rabbinic pulpit about "not making a 'shonda' in front of the goyim."

But nothing beyond that, except maybe some understandably ruffled feathers, if that, among the other passengers forced to switch flights towards their destinations...

Whereas in the Arab world (as per the "Sheiks On A Plane" aka the "Flying Imams" event): the usual response would be law/warfare, sometimes including riots, torched embassies, screaming denunciations, enraged fatwas, indignant press conferences and vitriolic talking heads on news programs.

That says something. What do you think that "something" is, I'd like to know. Drop a comment below, if you please.


Anonymous said...

I wonder why is it that Muslim violence is better accepted by the Europeans than just about any Israeli move. Any ideas on that?

Anonymous said...

Historically, us Jews have never been protesters - especially in a case like this when no one got hurt, no one died. We don't protest serious issues, so why this? I also think the story may have been played down due to the fact that the incident invloved a 17 year old, who didn't mind being inconvenienced a little, and had an exciting story to tell his buddies back home.
In my opinion, the real problem with the story is the fact that none of the crew were familiar with the Jewish ritual in a country that boasts ethnic/religious tolerance. Flight attendants need to be informed of religious practices that could take place during a flight.
Melanie T

Oxmyx said...

You're right. The contrast was immediately noticed. I didn't find the story amusing at all -- to me it was insulting that this boy would be mistaken for a terrorist. But we Jews don't respond with violence like the Arabs, and that says a lot about the Jewish people.

Anonymous said...

This weeks Torah portion is about tefillin. What occured is that G-d, in His infinate wisdom, used fear of terrorism, the internet, and an observant young man, to educate the entire world about tefillin. The story that ran was respectful, and most media included photos of tefillin as well as educational explanations on what it is, etc, some with how to drawings, even in New Zealand! We should wonder at G-ds infinate wisdom here, and not think too darn much about Arabs who will fade away and radiate (Blondie)


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