Air Canada Suspends Anti-Semitic Pilot Who Wished Death To Israel

Air Canada has suspended a pilot who went on a social media posting rampage against Israel and Jews. The pilot posted to his since-deleted Instagram account in uniform draped in a Palestinian flag and stating,

  • “Israel – Hitler is proud of you – terrorist state”
  • “F- you Israel. Burn in hell”
  • “Keep the world clean” as a caption to eliminating an Israeli flag

Air Canada reports they’ve suspended the Boeing 787 first officer.

Chants of “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free” in New York this week meant that the region will be cleansed of Jews. Much of my life – spent growing up in New York, going to school in California and living in Washington D.C. – I haven’t directly felt anti-semitism and as utterly stupid as it is, it’s easy to forget that it remains real – and more prevalent than I often realize.

To be clear: freedom means freedom for that which you loathe. If free expression applied only to anodyne statements it would need no protection. There would be no such freedom under Hamas rule, but it’s why Jews fought for the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois. That was back when the ACLU defended freedom, taking the most extreme cases to prove the point.

However, union contracts through which they may have ascribed certain of their rights, employers don’t have to employ people who publicly make customers feel unwelcome or unsafe, and who do so in uniform. A pilot so easily brought to irrational rage probably shouldn’t be entrusted with Boeing widebody aircraft and hundreds of lives.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Fun around and find out.

    Keep politics out of the flight deck and off of the airwaves.

  2. Air Canada flies the 787 to Tel Aviv. Having this guy in the cockpit on that flight would make me a little nervous.

  3. Thank you Retired ATLATC.
    This blog is too one sided lately.
    And I live harmoniously in a Jewish neighborhood. As a Christian.

  4. It’s very mainstream in the Arab world to love Hitler. “Mein Kampf” and “Protocols of the elders of zion” both translated into Arabic have been best sellers throughput the Arab world for years.
    And I constantly see in pro-“palestinian” social media accounts admiration for Hitler, as well as the mention of jews as “sons of apes and monkeys”, and the trope that jews use children’s blood for their “worship” is a huge main stream belief in the Arab world.
    Bottom line – they are nazis who believe that jews are something to be exterminated, and that it’s very just & noble actually to try and fulfill that.

  5. Dude26 has no clue about what is mainstream in the Arab world nowadays if he truly believes that admiration for Nazis, Mein Kampf and that Protocols junk is very mainstream among Arabs.

    It doesn’t take genius to realize that it was because of the Nazis perpetration of the Holocaust and antisemitism in general that Jewish demand for migration to Israel became much bigger and also got much more support from the US and US allies after WW2, during the Cold War and even nowadays.

  6. With regard to Dude26’s “sons of apes and monkeys”, aren’t all humans the evolutionary descendants of some such primates?

  7. I think I was much more comfortable flying before the internet … I had no idea that a nut case might be flying my plane. Silly me, I assumed that airlines routinely screened their pilots for mental illness.

  8. I’m sure he will be fired, I’m guessing suspension is just the first step…reality is he should lose
    his professional credentials. There is freedom of speech and there is demonstrating you shouldn’t be at the controls of an airplane with passengers…for sure this is the latter.

  9. …what does freedom of speech have to do with this (correct) action by a non-governmental private company?

  10. Tony…I was trying to say that this did not qualify as freedom of speech…he should be fired and he has demonstrated that in fact he should not be allowed to fly commercial airliners….clearly he is mentally unstable

  11. Here’s the thing about social media – if you’re going to use your real name, employment details, and photograph on your profile, you need to behave yourself on the platform & make anodyne posts that don’t upset the apple cart. If you’re going to be an ass; and heaven knows, there are plenty of those on social media: you’re probably best advised to stay anonymous.

  12. @JohnW – oh yes, I got that. My question related to the allusion to freedom of speech in the original post; I don’t understand how it’s relevant here (and to suggest that it’s relevant strikes me as constituting the First Speaker Privilege (the fallacy that the original a**hole deserves freedom of speech, but the people reacting to the First Speaker are not entitled to freedom of speech/association).

  13. I have to correct you. Jews did not fight for the rights of Nazis to speak in Skokie, nor did any other non-Jewish Skokians. We all were against Nazis coming here. The ACLU went to court so they could speak.

  14. I’m sure Qatar, the #2 Financial Sponsor of Hamisis, and provider of luxury hotel living for Hamisis leadership can find him a position in Qatari Airlines. The preferred airline of terrorist; flying them, not hijacking.

    PS-Fire his ass

  15. We were looking to fly Qatar next year to our Asia-Pacific destination.

    They made our Do Not Fly list

  16. So will we see lower QR demand and fares if QR were to hire the suspended Canadian pilot and also see higher AC demand and fares following from AC firing him?

    Maybe the airlines should run political sensibilities tests as part of employee hiring/retention practices and then those pilots having racist or other bigoted views get the big reject button? Who should run the political vetting checks for the major North American airlines, Al Sharpton?

  17. @GUWonder-

    Al Sharpton. Perfect.
    The once Cocaine dealer turned FBI informant then a lavish career as a race hustler and poverty pump,

    A national career launched by the Tawana Brawley rape hoax.

    The leader of The Crown Heights riots leading to the murder of an innocent Jewish man and tens of thousands of dollars in damaged stores and looting. Fitting for a “reverend.”

    His shakedowns of business and American Airlines over threats of harassment and boycotts have profited him quite well.

    Of course, he’s off the hook with the millions owed to the IRS.

    I’d be happier to see Gutter Airways fail.

  18. Barbara,

    The ACLU — much like its partner org in NYC — has had a lot of Jewish leadership and Jewish staff lawyers contribute to its mission even back around the time of those freaky marches in Skokie and in the related court matters that followed from the marches.

    The defense of civil liberties in the US during the 1960s and ever since wouldn’t have been so strong if not for the contributions of progressive Jewish Americans contributing toward the ACLU mission at that time and ever since.

  19. The Air Canada screening process for pilots: “Do you have transportation to the airport?” “Yes, you can start on Monday”

  20. Raif,

    That’s more like El Al’s whispered sister airline PIA or some other Asian carriers than Air Canada.

  21. Steve,
    You are as sick as any of them. Full of much more hate and you are truly anti-Christian … SMH

  22. After the incident of his friend plunging a plane into the ocean I think it’s reasonable to be a little concerned that such a nutjob would be flying planes.

  23. @Chris,

    Agree. Air Canada would be risking huge liability keeping him. And as a reminder to both the left and right, the 1st Amendment guarantees that the government will not infringe your right to free speech (with exceptions like yelling fire in a crowded theatre when there is not fire -) but freedom of speech is not a protection from economic consequences. Whether you are an outspoken football player fired or a conservative professor fired.

  24. They are right to remove him as a pilot. This hate has no place in the world.

    I hope they would also remove someone who wished for Palestinians to be eradicated and Gaza to be flattened. It would be unimpressive if only certain forms of extreme hate are considered bad.

  25. Where are all the Lord Trump supporters and anti-Clinton voters now on “cancel culture”? Did they suddenly get “woke” and realize that freedom of hate speech and expression is not freedom from all peaceful societal consequences applied by non-governmental parties?

  26. Kind of makes the porn pictures that were hidden in the cockpit escape rope hatch a non issue.

  27. @GUtlessWonder – Per the usual Leftist Playbook, you are redefining terms to fit your narrative. Cancel Culture is the practice of digging up years old social media posts and demanding someone be punished for what was acceptable and/or punishing someone for saying something today that was acceptable five minutes ago or normal political discourse.What the pilot said never acceptable, except maybe in your Leftwing Edgelord Community.

    What’s an acceptable number of intentionally dead babies, both headed and beheaded? You’re still scum.

  28. CM/Chuck

    It doesn’t take a gut full to note hypocrisy.

    Zero “collateral damage” dead babies, to answer your question. Sadly, the number of young minors killed by political violence in the region since this past weekend is way above zero and still rising.

  29. @GUWonder:
    > With regard to Dude26’s “sons of apes and monkeys”, aren’t all humans the evolutionary descendants of some such primates?

    Good one!

    Apes, yes. Monkeys diverged earlier, they’re our cousins, not our ancestors.

  30. @GUtlessWonder – It’s a war crime to hide military HQs, ammo dumps, and armaments factories among civilians and to impede the movement of civilians away from military targets. Hamas wants dead kids, so idiots like you blame the people fighting them. Hamas tells us who they are, why do you insist on not believing them? You’re either ignorant or evil. You don’t seem unintelligent, so I can only guess it’s the later.

  31. CM/Chuck,

    You would have made about as “good” a military lawyer as “I love Gitmo and detainee torture” DeSantis.

    Hamas is not a military actor. It’s a criminal militant gang without lawyers. The IDF is a state actor and has lawyers who should know better but they care about rule of law as much as DeSantis since they count on impunity thanks to political cover..

    You know who is also. impeding the movement of civilians away from the military targets in Gaza this week? The Israeli security forces who have sealed Gaza, disabled the fishermen’s seaport, upped the naval blockade and shot up around what was the last remaining exit port from Gaza available to some Palestinians (and some others) so that it can no longer be used even by desperate children who were rushing to escape the open-air prison that way.

  32. Air Canada has now fired him, and presumably he’s off or going to be off to find other work. That was done expeditiously.

  33. GoWanderOfftheDeepEnd,

    Are you in Denver with your Flyertalk Moderator buds and preparing for dinner tonight?

    Saw that your buddy, or maybe it’s you, posted photos from the Kimpton Hotel Monaco before they were pulled down. How’d you know?

  34. @GUtlessWonder – Hamas repeatedly tells us who they are. Why don’t you believe them? Hamas supporters tell us who they are. Why don’t you believe them? “Ackshwally, what they really mean is blah, blah, blah.” You are telling us who you are as well. It ain’t pretty.

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