(photo credit: REUTERS)
An Uber driver who ordered an Israeli diplomat to leave his vehicle in the middle of Chicago traffic for speaking Hebrew has been barred from the transportation service.
Israel’s deputy consul general to the Midwest, Itay Milner, took to social media on Thursday night to express his shock and dismay.
In a TV interview with NBC Chicago
news, Milner explained that he said, “How are you?” in Hebrew after answering a call from colleague while riding in the cab.
“That was enough for the driver to stop in the middle of Lower Wacker Drive [a major Chicago motorway] and start yelling at me ‘Get out of my car!’ using the F-word,” he said. “It was scary because you saw that he lost it. I saw that he was enraged... He had a look in his eyes that you could see there was a lot of hate.”
Milner asked the driver if he was being kicked out because he was speaking Hebrew and the driver said “Yes.”
“I did feel the danger because I didn’t what this guy was capable of,” Milner added.
After getting out the car, Milner took a picture of car and license plate and a screenshot of the driver from the app.
He added that he was “so overwhelmed” by the kindness people were showing him following the incident. “People are strengthening me, offering me rides – people who are not Uber drivers, but are offering to take me places.”
The company said it “does not tolerate any form of discrimination. We are [reaching] out to the rider to extend our support ... As soon as we were made aware of this, we removed the driver’s access from the app as we look further into this.”
The driver has been identified as a man named Yuva.
Posting on Facbook, Milner called the incident “one of the worst experience[s] in my life.”