Man arrested after alleged antisemitic tirade aboard Thanksgiving flight

Videos posted to social media show the man arguing with police before he was placed in custody. An off-screen observer can be heard calling him a “Nazi.”

March 24, 2019 12:28
2 minute read.
Delta Airlines airplanes at JFK airport, NY.

Delta Airlines airplanes at JFK airport, NY.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Passengers aboard Delta’ flight 1822, which flew from Washington D.C. to Atlanta on Thanksgiving, were allegedly subjected to an antisemitic tirade by another passenger aboard the plane, according to various media reports in the US.

The passenger, David Toaff, was arrested in Atlanta Airport shortly after the flight landed by authorities waiting at the gate on suspicion of disorderly conduct and obstructing or hindering an officer, according to NBC News.

Videos posted to social media showed the man arguing with police before he was placed in custody. An off-screen observer can be heard calling him a “Nazi.” In the video, Toaff is seen wearing a Tallit. 

“Today a man on my plane went on an anti-Semitic tirade and demanded ‘all Jews raise their hands’ so he could ‘identify them,’” one passenger wrote on social media. “Later, during the arrest he protested and resisted arrest.”

In one of the videos, Toaff is seen and heard telling police that he is "not a bad person" and asking "What did I do wrong."

“Preliminary information indicates that while in flight … a male was yelling, asking Jewish people on board to identify themselves and making remarks about bombings to passengers aboard the aircraft," officer Lisa Bender told USA Today.

“When the flight arrived at the gate, the male continued the disturbance and refused to provide officers with identification." the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement.

Toaff was placed in police custody and later released. 

Sources close to him said that he had been the victim of an antisemitic attack on November 23, just a day after the incident on the plane. The sources said that Toaff was chatting with the passenger seated next to him on the plane when another passenger "cringed in anger" when he noticed the Tallit Toaff was wearing and apparently routinely wears in public.

"Toaff never asked anyone on the plane to raise their hand and is as friendly and kind of a human being as one can find," the sources claimed. 

This story was updated on December 5. 

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