Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D – MI) has condemned American Airlines after flight attendants required a young man wearing a controversial Palestine t-shirt either remove it or turn it inside out onboard an American Airlines flight to Arizona.
Flight Attendants Force Man To Remove Palestine T-Shirt On American Airlines Flight
A young man claims that upon boarding AA2829 from New York (JFK) to Phoenix (PHX) on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 he was confronted by a flight attendant over his t-shirt, pictured above, which includes what appears to be an innocuous image with a series of cities listed below:
Do two of those cities stand out? Akka, known as Acre or Akko in Hebrew, is located in Israel. So if Yafa, which most known as the great port city of Jaffa. Jaffa was a diverse city of Christians, Jews, and Muslims during the British Mandate but after a period of Arab violence followed by strict marshal law, was annexed by Israel and added to Tel Aviv in 1949 (there’s a great deal more that can be said about this). Akko became part of Israel after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
The Arabic above the city names on the t-shirt says something like, “Hope you are welcome.”
Rashida Tlaib Demands Answers From American Airlines Over Palestine Shirt
Tlaib, who voted “present” on a bill affirming Israel’s right to exist earlier this week, has taken up the cause and demanded a response from American Airlines:
Yesterday, a young man who I have known most of his life informed me that on his @americanair flight AA2829 home from New York, he was instructed by a flight attendant to remove his sweater that said Palestine on it.
Does American Airlines have a bias towards Palestinians? Is there a policy that enables this kind of targeting and mistreatment?
He was devastated and felt like the erasure of Palestinians in our country has no limits. I emailed @americanair and I’m waiting for a response.
Palestinians exist. We are human beings. And we will not be erased.
Of course Palestinians exist. Of course Palestinians are human beings. But just who is trying to do the erasing here?
Calling Akko Akka or Jaffa Yaffa is certainly making more than an affirmation that Palestinians have the right to exist, right?
Now it isn’t clear whether flight attendants actually noticed those details on the shirt. Even if they did, the fact that these were historic Palestinian cities does not strike me as reason alone to conclude that this shirt crossed an unacceptable line.
We’ve analyzed AA’s dress code many times in the past. It is deliberately vague:
“Dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.”
My position is that as understandable as it is that a pro-Palestinian t-shirt on a flight from New York can be seen as hurtful and even a danger to other passengers onboard (if it stirred up a fight onboard), this shirt should not have been deemed as a dress code violation.
Most political messages without vulgarities, calls for death, or violence should be permitted. That’s just me and I tend to prefer more speech or over less, even if it tends to inflame…the policy has wiggle room for a reason.
That doesn’t mean I find the shirt tasteful…it would be like Israel including a list of Israel cities including Yeriẖo and Hebron…
Rep. Tlaib wants answers after a young man was forced to remove a Palestine t-shirt onbaord an American Airlines. AA has not yet responded.
Contrary to some, I do not think this is the time to avoid facing the difficult questions concerning Israel and the Palestinian people in this war, even on an airplane. And for a matter this important, it is understandable that people are going to express viewpoints that may be uncomfortable. A shirt like this stops far short of crossing the line.