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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Michael Barclay

Social Justice Warriors Silent After Lufthansa Boots Over 100 Jews From Flight

For those who still live in a world of pink unicorns and think that there is no longer mainstream hate and anti-Semitism, I suggest that we present them with the story of the airline Lufthansa’s overt act of anti-Semitism on May 4.

More than 100 Jews, mostly Hasidic (and dressed in typical Hasidic clothing), were on a flight from JFK to Hungary through Frankfurt to observe the memorial of a great rabbi. Apparently, one or two of them did not wear a mask between sips of drinks, which caused great consternation with the flight attendant and pilot as Lufthansa still requires masks. As a result, ALL visible Jews (the ones who “looked Jewish”?) were banned from their connecting flight to Budapest.

To quote the Lufthansa representative, as recorded on video, “Everyone has to pay for a couple. It’s Jews coming from JFK. Jewish people who were the mess, who made the problems.”

For a moment, let’s ignore the obvious anti-Semitism, illegalities, and discrimination. Let’s skip over the fact that over 100 people were punished as a group for the questionable actions of one or two people. Instead, we need to look at the reactions and lack of reaction as a result of this overt hate.

Lufthansa issued a qualified apology: “Lufthansa regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude affected passengers from the flight.” This is similar to someone apologizing by saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” It is simply not an apology for a clear act of hate. Rather than apologizing for their anti-Semitic action, they’re sorry for the circumstances surrounding it? Has the corporate world become so affected and scared by the hate of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, BLM, and the far left that they can’t even take ownership for the obviously ugly action of discriminating against an entire class of people based on how they look?

What about the silence from the many who feel that Islamophobia is so dangerous because it lumps all Muslims together? Shouldn’t the same people who champion not judging all people wearing a hijab as terrorists (despite the fact that 88% of 2916 attacks and 99% of 14,017 deaths were caused by Islamic extremist groups) be just as concerned when a group of Jewish looking people are profiled and not allowed on a flight over a medical mask not being worn by only one or two individuals? Where is their outrage now? Sadly, it is non-existent. Where are all the social justice warriors who are supposedly committed to canceling any company over the slightest mistake? Again, they are noticeably silent when the hate is not directed towards one of their pet causes.

We are all aware that if the same thing had happened to Muslims, blacks, or any other minority group, there would have been outrage from Washington D.C. to the streets. Calls to boycott Lufthansa would have sprung from Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and every activist group–many of which might even have demonstrated at the airports. While those reactions are extreme and should not happen, should there be the deathly silence about Lufthansa’s actions that we are currently experiencing?

Pastor Martin Niemöller, a 19th century Lutheran, is credited with the concept that Jews are the societal “canary in the coal mine.” How a society treats Jews is a preface as to how they will treat all minority groups, especially those that speak out against authoritarianism. When we allow this type of anti-Semitism to go unnoticed and unanswered, we are opening the door for more attacks on the Judeo-Christian world.

In the past I have encouraged all people of every faith to support the Christian clergy who courageously stood up to the authoritarianism of the last two years, to boycott any organization that supports the hate of BLM, and to hold politicians to task for their hate. We need to take a lesson from the left and demand that Lufthansa takes responsibility for their anti-Semitism in a much greater and more specific way than a qualified apology. I ask that every person stand up and speak about what happened to friends and family, and, if inspired, to use other airlines until Lufthansa demonstrates remorse over removing over 100 Jewish passengers because one or two individuals were not wearing a mask properly.

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May we all stand up to all forms of hatred, and bring peace into this world through demanding righteousness of ourselves, others, and corporations.

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