Jerusalem - Charedi Man Who Tampered With El Al Plane To Prevent Inappropriate In Flight Movie Arrested
Jerusalem - A passenger flight from Poland to Israel was filled with heated exchanges between passengers and accusations of anti-Semitism, ending with the arrest of a Charedi man from Beit Shemesh who reportedly tampered with the aircraft’s in flight video screens in order to prevent passengers from viewing an inappropriate movie.
The 36 year old man was part of a group consisting of approximately three teachers and 15 teenage students who traveled on El Al from Warsaw to Tel Aviv yesterday. The group had been scheduled to fly out of Warsaw on February 23rd but had missed their flight and had been re-ticketed for the Wednesday flight.
“The problems began from the moment they got on the plane,” said Nurit Eliash in an interview with Israel’s Ch. 2 News (http://goo.gl/bdQW16).
Eliash was on board the Tel Aviv bound flight and said that members of the group were immediately unhappy with their assigned seats.
“They were scattered throughout the plane because they weren’t supposed to be on this flight,” said Eliash. “This one didn’t want to sit next to a woman. This one didn’t want to sit next to a girl. Some of them wanted to sit together.”
Passengers did what they could to accommodate those requests, according to Eliash, but eventually a flight attendant had to tell members of the Charedi group to sit in their assigned seats or the plane would not take off.
Further issues arose after television screens for the plane’s in flight entertainment system were lowered. One of the teachers walked through the plane, pushing all of the screens back up, using toothpicks to prevent the screens from descending again. Attempts by the flight crew to re-engage the system was only partially successful.
“A few didn’t come down because they tampered with them,” said Eliash. “They stuck a toothpick into the mechanism.”
Heated verbal arguments broke out between irate passengers and the group, with another of the Charedi men angrily screaming, “G-d doesn’t want…this is immodest.”
Eliash contended that there was nothing wrong with the film being shown.
“It was just a regular movie,” said Eliash. “It was a normal film. There was nothing inappropriate like they said.”
While no physical conflicts broke out between passengers on the flight, one of the adults in the group told passengers, “We know that El Al hates Charedim.” Eliash noted that while some of the adults in the group behaved like hooligans, the students were well behaved and seemed surprised by the behavior of their teachers.
Accusations of anti-Semitism flew at the end of the flight as one member of the group told the other passengers, “You are like the Nazis.”
Once the flight landed in Tel Aviv, the man who tampered with the video screens refused to leave the plane, saying that he wanted to see the actual damage to the aircraft’s in flight entertainment system.
“Finally the captain told him he was in no position to make any demands,” said Eliash. “He told him to tell his story to the police.”
The Beit Shemesh resident was arrested by Israeli police after he disembarked from the plane.
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