A woman who said she was ejected from a JFK-bound JetBlue flight over an Israel/Palestine debate was actually removed from the flight for accusing a Palestinian passenger of trying to blow up the plane, according to an internal JetBlue report.
Lisa Rosenberg, an OB/GYN with an office in Queens, told reporters she was removed from the July 7 flight originating out of Palm Beach after getting involved in an "ugly, racially driven altercation"; she claimed a Palestinian woman onboard overheard her having a phone conversation about Israel and called her a "Zionist Pig."
"I was saying how it was good Israel found the students that killed the Palestinian teenager and how it was exemplary not making them into heroes, but seeking to publicly try them,” Rosenberg told the Palm Beach Post. “I said any other country would have made these students out to be martyrs and celebrating them.”
Rosenberg claimed she was thrown off the flight during boarding because of her religion, and called the incident a hate crime. But a recent internal JetBlue report published on WPBF.com paints a different picture, alleging that Rosenberg "accused customer 9C of being a Palestinian murderer, and that her people are all murderers, and that they murder children. She went even further to suggest 9C had explosives in her bag and it would bring the aircraft down."
The Forward reports that a flight attendant told investigators "customers seated in the immediate area expressed concern for their safety because of Dr. Rosenberg," hence her removal from the plane.
A Gothamist commenter claiming to be the Palestinian woman in question told us the following:
While we were waiting to board the plane, the woman was engaged in a loud conversation on the phone about the current situation in Israel. She was speaking in an offensive manner about Palestinians..This went on for 15 minutes, continuing while we boarded the plane. I approached the woman, told her I was Palestinian and that her remarks were very offensive and inappropriate in a public place. She then went into a hysterical rant screaming that I, a 59 yr old woman was a danger and she didn't feel safe with me on the plane. The Flight Attendant approached to inquire about the disturbance. I recounted the story and she asked me not to engage or interact with this woman and I complied. The woman continued her rant and would not comply with the Flight Attendants requests to sit in her seat and stop shouting.
I never called her "Zionist pig" or any inappropriate slur or remark. I simply remained quiet as per the request of Jet Blue staff.
I never requested she be removed from the plane. She was removed from that flight because she created a disturbance , not because of her religion.
I don't understand why she intentionally sought out media attention...because there are witnesses on that flight that know the real account of what happened.
She created a huge scene, continues to do so and tries to appear victimized. It's ridiculous and unfair to JetBlue, myself and the other passengers.
Rosenberg, meanwhile, has asked the Anti-Defamation League to look into the incident, according to The Forward. He attorney did not immediately respond to our request for comment, and JetBlue has not responded to our request for comment.