A week ago, on the 7th of July, as Jetblue Flight 454 prepared to depart from Gate C12, at West Palm Beach International Airport, a conflict arose between Lisa Rosenberg, M.D., a Jewish doctor from New York, seated in seat 7E and woman identified as a Palestinian in seat 9C.
On the 10th of July the Palm Beach Post published “Woman kicked off plane at PBIA after argument about Israel conflict “ in which the article states that that Dr. Rosenberg stated the Palestinian woman in seat 9C used racial slurs, threatened her daughter and Dr. Rosenberg is quoted as saying the incident was an “ugly, racially driven altercation” and that she “was completely outraged that I would be asked to leave a plane, being a Jew” …
… however …
… prior to Dr. Rosenberg’s statements to the Palm Beach Post the Jetblue flight attendant at the center of this incident filed her report that tells a much different story of the events as they unfolded on board Flight 454.
The initial internal report and final internal reports, both filed prior to the Palm Beach Post story, which I have been able to read in their entirely, and then verify, both squarely paint Dr. Rosenberg as the sole instigator of the events on board Flight 454. Furthermore both internal reports of the incident clearly lay out Dr. Rosenberg as the person who was in the midst of spewing hateful comments towards the Palestinian passenger in seat 9C, not vise versa.
The flight attendant’s reports states that the passengers in seats 12C and 11A were gesturing for her to quickly come to the front of the cabin during the boarding process, and began pleading with her to calm the situation between Dr. Rosenberg in seat 7E and the Palestinian woman in 9C.
The official internal report goes on to state that the flight attendant witnessed Dr. Rosenberg accuse the woman in 9C of being a “Palestinian murderer” and that “ her people are all murders and that they murder children,” while Dr. Rosenberg was attempting move through the cabin and position herself physically closer to the woman in Seat 9C.
Additional passengers on board Flight 454 continued to express concern for the their safety as Dr. Rosenberg continued to rant, even after being instructed by the flight attendant to cease her engagement with the woman in seat 9C, at which time the cabin crew requested a Complaint Resolution Official from the airline be contacted to board the aircraft, and Dr. Rosenberg was informed of FAM 2-13, G PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION, G.1 Race, Creed, or Colour, which says ” JetBlue provides equal service to all passengers regardless of race,creed, or colour.”
The official internal reports go on to state Dr. Rosenberg continued to openly verbalize offensive and inappropriate language while ranting about Gaza and the Palestinians.
Upon arrival of Jetblue’s Complaint Resolution Official the crew, including the Captain, needed to make a determination regarding regulation FAM 7-4, A.3.1 On The Ground, which lays out whether of not the removal of a passenger in necessary for the reasonable safety and comfort of other passengers.
As the Complaint Resolution Official began to speak directly with Dr. Rosenberg, she began to not only continue to verbally attack the woman in seat 9C, but openly imply that the woman had explosives in her bag and intended to blow up the aircraft in flight.
At this time Dr. Rosenberg launched in to a familiar rant flight attendant are accustomed to, threatening to make sure the flight attendant would be fired as she was removed from the aircraft and met on the jetway by officers from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department.
… through all of this, Jetblue Flight 454 managed to push off the gate only four minutes late and arrive at New York’s JFK International Airport’s Terminal 5 Gate 25 10 minutes early.
Now … of course the moral of this story is this … and I say this as a Jewish guy from New York … folks … we’re all in it together.
You cannot judge someone by their religion or their nationality and people need to stop blaming religious persecution for being removed from flights when in fact they were removed based upon their own actions. Jetblue’s internal reports lay out an exceptionally detailed accounting of the incident, with multiple witnesses to the incident and it would seem by all accounts Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, M.D., was out of line and spewing all the hate towards one passenger. When a passenger is verbally abusive towards others on the aircraft and proceeds to position themselves physically closer to a person they have picked a fight with, they should be removed from the aircraft. This is not a religious or racial issue; this is a safety and security issue.
Happy Flying … except Dr. Rosenberg, may I suggest renting a car and driving by yourself next time.