Israeli passengers on a Aegean Airlines flight from Greece to Israel demanded that the crew remove two Israeli Arabs from the flight before it took off.
Although the cabin crew attempted to ignore the passenger’s baseless claims that the two men were a security risk, the crew was forced to remove them after the passengers became unruly.
According to the airline, a small group of Israelis vocally complained to the flight crew about the two Arab passengers. People then began to stand in the aisles to prevent the flight from taking off.
Eventually, the flight crew gave in and called airport police to run an additional security check on the Arabic passengers’ documents. The police found nothing wrong with the two passengers, but then a “much larger group” of passengers protested and attempted to stall the flight from taking off by continuing to stand in the aisles.
Outrageous racism on Aegean airlines flight to Tel Aviv, 2 arabs forced to abandon plane after passenger complaints https://t.co/NB6y4z747o
— Prof Tom Higham (@tommyhigham) January 6, 2016
Ultimately, the two Arabic men agreed to the requests of the passengers and crew by leaving the flight in exchange for a hotel room and compensation.
The passengers were still unhappy and insisted that the crew provide another security check, prompting captain to warn them that they would be removed from the flight without compensation if they continued pushing the issue. The delay lasted over an hour and a half.
“We again thank the two Israeli passengers who agreed to disembark for their understanding and collaboration and we apologize for the whole episode, which was indeed extremely unfortunate,” said the spokesperson for Aegean Airline.
Michel Rozin, a member of the Knesset, Israeli’s legislative body, felt that the State of Israel must take responsibility for the actions of its citizens abroad. Rozin blamed members of the government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for creating an environment of fear and hate in the country.
Aegean air comments on the incident with the 2 Israeli Arabs passengers of the flight to Tel Aviv on January 3rd https://t.co/jLYPbqZt4n
— Anastasios Telloglou (@telloglou) January 6, 2016
“The prime minister and his ministers sow fear and hate through slander and incitement, and this is the result,” said Rozin. “The government must understand that marking Israeli-Arab citizens as potential terrorists leads to the loss of morals and values that endangers our future as a society.”
Featured image via Wikipedia Commons