United Airlines criticised after allowing Orthodox Jews to not wear masks on flight to Israel

Passengers refuse to wear mask for entirety of flight.


Dozens of ultra-Orthodox passengers reportedly refused to wear masks onboard a United Airlines flight from New York to Tel Aviv without any consequences from the flight crew or law enforcement.


Friday’s flight departedΒ Newark without incident, however, once in the air a number of passengers removed their masks and refused to put them back on.


Tali Tenenbaum, a passenger onboard the flight toldΒ Radio 103FM, “the flight was three-quarters full, there were empty seats. In all honesty, in my whole life I have never seen such behaviour, such contempt. We sat for the whole flight in the coronavirus breeding ground because one does not know if they were tested.”



“People sat without masks for the whole flight, for almost 10 hours. We did not eat, did not sleep. We went into the bathroom to drink because we were afraid to remove our masks.”


In addition to being asked to put face masks back on, the rule-breaking passengers were also told to not congregate to pray – but again were ignored.


Upon landing atΒ Ben Gurion Airport, no action was taken on the unruly passengers, which has drawn criticism of the airline.


United has been blasted for not protecting its abiding passengers and crew by carrying out a diversion to deplane the rule-breakers.


There have been multiple instances of violations among some sectors of the ultra-Orthodox community, particularly in New York.


Last Monday in Brooklyn, thousands of guests had packed into the main synagogue of the faction of Bobov Hasidism on Monday night to celebrate the wedding of the youngest son of Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam, the grand rabbi of the sect.


Oddly, the New York City Sheriff’s Office said the wedding was in compliance with state Covid-19 restrictions, despite pictures and video showing crowds of men packed together with no social distancing or masks.