Yesterday I wrote about a female Israeli journalist who claimed that her observant seatmate on a United Airlines flight from Tel Aviv asked her to move due to his religious conviction that men and women could not be seated together. That seatmate denied such claims, but the journalist is adamant that she is telling the truth. However, as witnesses come forward, her side of the story is increasingly being called into question.
Discrimination Story Of Israeli Female Journalist On United Airlines Called Into Question
Earlier today, Israeli Channel 13 journalist Neria Kraus again took to X (Twitter) to insist upon her narrative:
Nasty and serious lies are spread against me. Bloodletting. It’s amazing that after long hours they admit that they did pressure me to change seats, but the best they found is a sketchy story that doesn’t correspond with the simple facts.
1. First lie: It is claimed that they wanted two friends to sit together. Practical: they had two seats of their own, and another separate seat. I mean they could both sit together, but next to me. And they didn’t want to sit next to a woman. For the avoidance of doubt, it was explicitly stated that they did not want to sit next to me. That’s why the pressure started on me to change seats.No, there is nothing nice and pleasant about pressuring a woman to change seats.
2. Fact: When I didn’t agree to move, they kept looking, and found a woman to sit next to me and allow the pair of young friends to sit next to a man.
3. The worst lie of all: hatred of ultra-Orthodox. Every time a woman complains about exclusion, she is attacked as being against Judaism. Gross lie. There is no connection between the humiliation of women and Judaism. Who saw a hat or no hat on the man’s head. Gross lie, slander and complete fake.
But other passengers have come forward as well and those accounts tell a different story. DansDeals has done an excellent job of putting together the puzzle pieces and has interviewed several passengers on the flight who witnessed the incident.
We already heard yesterday from Nigel, the man who asked Kraus to move in the first place. Here are a few more details directly from DansDeals, which helps to put the story into context:
- Nigel was in 48D and his son was in seat 47C, both aisles on the United 787-10 Dreamliner
- A non-religious family wanted 48D so they could sit together, so he happily traded them for 47D, another aisle directly across from his son
- Sitting next to Nigle in 47E, a middle seat, was a friend of his son
- Kraus was in 47F, an aisle in the center section
- Nigel asked Kraus if she would trade 47F for 47C, an aisle for an aisle, so his son could sit next to his friend in 47E
- Per Nigel, Kraus agreed but promptly changed her mind when she saw his yarmulke and began making a scene, assuming the seat change request was for religious reasons
- When a flight attendant did not clearly take her side, she became unhinged and began photographing Nigel and his companions and yelling about discrimination
- Ground staff came onboard and threatened to remove Kraus if she did calm down, warning the flight would not hesitate to divert if she became unruly in the air
- There was no drama for the rest of the flight
One other interesting note per DansDeals. After all of this happened, Nigel claims that young religious woman sitting in 47B and was uncomfortable there between his son and another young man, and she wound up trading with his son’s friend in 47E. Thus, during the flight the young woman sat between Nigel and Kraus while Nigel’s son and friend sat next to each other across the aisle.
I still do have one question.
Kraus suggests above that the problem may not have been Nigel, but his son and friend, who did not want to sit next to a woman. My question is why the young woman in 47B would request to move to 47E when she still would be seated next to a man? (my best guess is that sitting next to one older man is somehow more appropriate than sitting between two younger men…?)
In any case, DansDeals subsequently spoke to passengers seated in 46E and 46F who claim to have witnessed the incident.
They corroborate Nigel’s story, sharing that Kraus agreed to move seats until she saw Nigel was wearing a yarmulke.
Another reader reached out to Live And Let’s Fly, sharing that his daughter, Adina Levine, was seated in 47J and also witnessed the event. Levine was also interviewed by DansDeals and claims that Nigel was calm and instantly denied asking Kraus to move because of her gender.
She did add that the passengers in 46K and 46L accused Nigel of discrimination as well, but that was based upon Kraus’s interpreataion of the what transpired.
I have a lot of questions I would like to ask Kraus about what took place onboard (and also talk to the girl who moved from 47B to 47E), but I think it is undeniable at this point that her story must at least be questioned in light of the witnesses which have come forward. We will continue to monitor this story and provide updates if United or Kraus decide to go on the record.