Orthodox Jews accuse German airline Lufthansa of 'antisemitic discrimination' after entire group barred from flight over mask dispute

An airline representative for Lufthansa suggested that it would have similarly banned all members of any other race had one customer caused problems, suggesting that the airline would have done the same with African and Polish passengers.

Orthodox Jews accuse German airline Lufthansa of 'antisemitic discrimination' after entire group barred from flight over mask dispute
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More than a hundred Orthodox Jews were banned from boarding a connecting flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary. The group accused the German airline Lufthansa of “anti-Semitic discrimination” over the ban, which was reportedly over a mask dispute.

Hebrew-language newspaper Hamodia reports that around 150 Orthodox Jewish men, who travelled from New York City to Kerestir, Hungary as part of an annual pilgrimage to commemorate the death of a famous rabbi, were banned from the connecting flight after running into trouble with German authorities.

Insider reports that German law requires passengers to wear medical-grade masks on airplanes, but only a handful of the group's members complied with the mask mandate which has already been lifted in many parts of the world.

An airline representative for Lufthansa suggested that it would have similarly banned all members of any other race had one customer caused problems, suggesting that the airline would have done the same with African and Polish passengers.

“It would have been if you were African, if you were Polander,” said the rep.

The customer pointed out that he was wearing a mask the entire time and demanded to know why he was being banned with the other passengers.

“It was one, everyone has to pay for a couple,” the rep replied.

The Jewish customer, who was also travelling from New York City, demanded to know why other Jews were banned from the flight. Following some back-and-forth, a Lufthansa representative informed them that “It was Jewish people who were the mess. Jewish people who made the problems.”

Some Jewish customers voiced their frustration at the situation and demanded to know why the German police were enforcing the ban. When one of the customers referred to one of the German police officers as a “Nazi,” the officer attempted to identify and arrest him for using “the n-word.”

Insider reported:

In an email to Insider, Lufthansa confirmed that a "larger group of passengers" was not allowed to board the connecting flight.

"This happened in connection with the previous flight LH401 from New York to Frankfurt, where some of the passengers with a planned onward journey to Budapest had refused to wear masks — even after being asked to do so by the crew," said the airline's EMEA media spokesperson in the statement.

"As a general rule, Lufthansa is obliged to follow the legal requirements valid in Germany," the statement continued.

Lufthansa is investigating the events to clarify "the exact procedures and the background," the spokesperson added.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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