German airline apologizes for excluding Jewish passengers

May 11, 2022, 5:28 AM | Updated: 12:25 pm

BERLIN (AP) — German airline Lufthansa has apologized for refusing to let any members of a large group of Orthodox Jewish passengers onto a flight after some of them had refused to wear masks.

In a statement late Tuesday, Lufthansa said that it “regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude the affected passengers from the flight, for which Lufthansa sincerely apologizes.”

The airline said it was reviewing what had happened during the incident on May 4, involving passengers from New York transiting in Frankfurt for a flight to Budapest.

Some of the passengers had allegedly refused to comply with rules requiring them to wear face masks, whereupon Lufthansa staff allegedly blocked all passengers who were visibly identifiable as Jews from boarding their connecting flight, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung reported.

Local German media reported that the staff excluded those passengers who were recognizable as Jews because they were wearing skull caps or had sidelocks.

“We regret that the large group was denied boarding rather than limiting it to the non-compliant guests,” the airline said.

“We have zero tolerance for racism, antisemitism and discrimination of any type,” it added.

The antisemitism commissioner of the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, sharply condemned the incident.

Uwe Becker said that apparently an entire group of people — solely because of their recognizable faith — had been held responsible for something that obviously only affected individual travelers.

“This is discriminatory and not a trivial matter, and all the more reason why the company’s top management should also feel personally responsible for apologizing for this incident and taking a clear and unequivocal stand,” Becker told German news agency dpa.

Becker said he would be happy to have a conversation with Lufthansa on the matter.

“Something like this must not be repeated,” he added.

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, a Berlin rabbi and head of the local Chabad community, said German companies should be sensitive to possible anti-Semitism in light of the country’s Nazi past.

Teichtal welcomed the fact that the chief executive of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, had called him to offer an apology for the incident.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - More than 100 opponents of the Republican redistricting plans vow to fight the maps at a ral...
Associated Press

Abortion ruling puts spotlight on gerrymandered legislatures

In overturning a half-century of nationwide legal protection for abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Roe v. Wade had been wrongly decided and that it was time to “return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives” in the states. Whether those elected officials are truly representative of the people is a matter […]
17 hours ago
People salute the casket of Hershel "Woody" Williams set up in the first floor rotunda of the West ...
Associated Press

WWII Medal of Honor recipient to lie in honor at US Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, will lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday. A date and other details will be announced later, Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

West Africa leaders lift sanctions on 2 junta-led neighbors

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — West African leaders attending a regional summit agreed Sunday to lift sanctions on two neighbors led by military governments that are now promising a return to democratic rule. The summit of the Economic Community of West African States resolved to lift all economic and financial sanctions imposed on Mali and Burkina […]
17 hours ago
People evacuated from the Field's shopping center gather outside,  in Orestad, Copenhagen, Denmark,...
Associated Press

Several dead in Copenhagen mall shooting; suspect arrested

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A gunman opened fired inside a busy shopping mall in the Danish capital on Sunday, killing several people and wounding several others, police said. A 22-year-old Danish man was arrested after the shooting, Copenhagen police inspector Søren Thomassen told reporters, adding there was no indication that anyone else was involved, though […]
17 hours ago
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, briefs the media after a meeting with her counterpart fr...
Associated Press

Germany, Ireland slam UK move toward overriding Brexit deal

LONDON (AP) — Germany and Ireland have condemned the U.K government’s move towards unilaterally rewriting parts of the post-Brexit deal with the European Union. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Irish counterpart Simon Coveney said there was “no legal or political justification” for overriding the agreed trade rules in Northern Ireland. Writing in British newspaper […]
17 hours ago
FILE - California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the recent mass shooting in Texas during a news confe...
Associated Press

‘Join us in California’: Newsom targets GOP in Florida ad

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is running for reelection in California, but his latest television ad is airing in Florida. The 30-second spot scheduled to air on Fox News starting Monday takes shots at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his policies, while drawing a contrast with California. “Freedom, it’s under attack in your […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
German airline apologizes for excluding Jewish passengers