An Israeli woman is suing El Al for gender-based discrimination after she was asked to switch seats on a flight from Newark to Tel Aviv in order to accommodate an ultra-Orthodox man who asked not to be seated next to her.
According to The New York Times, Renee Rabinowitz, a Holocaust survivor who is now retired following a successful career as a lawyer, reluctantly agreed to switch her aisle seat in the business-class section of El Al Flight 028 this past December after a man wearing "Hassidic or haredi garb" took his place in the same row near the window.
El Al flight attendants, wanting to defuse the controversy, asked Rabinowitz if she would like a seat closer to first class.
“Despite all my accomplishments - and my age is also an accomplishment - I felt minimized,” she told The New York Times. “For me this is not personal,” Rabinowitz said. “It is intellectual, ideological and legal. I think to myself, here I am, an older woman, educated, I’ve been around the world, and some guy can decide that I shouldn’t sit next to him. Why?”
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