United Airlines Pilot Argues Hostage-Taking And Killing Of Children Is Justified

Shortly after Hamas slaughtered Israeli civilians, including children, and took hostages an Air Canada pilot appeared in uniform, draped in a Palestinian flag and called for the destruction of Israel. That didn’t go over well with the airline.

United Airlines has a pilot, highlighted by Stop Antisemitism, who seems to cheer on the Hamas death cult as well, posting a steady barrage of messages to Facebook. My takeaways from his page, he seems to suggest:

  • no civilians were killed on October 7
  • it was actually the Israeli military that killed civilians on October 7
  • Hamas’s atrocities of October 7 represented “resistance by brave people”
  • Jews control America

To be clear, he isn’t just expressing concerns, for instance, with the Netanyahu government. He actually appears to be pro-Hamas. And he seems to argue that hostage-taking and killing of children is justified. I don’t know what’s in his heart. People say crazy things on social media. But, wow, for an airline pilot to take a position that seems pro-terrorism is just striking.

I generally think it’s fine for people to express abhorrent opinions. The government certainly shouldn’t stop this, which is why it was important that the ACLU stood up for the right of Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois (National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977)).

Here’s where I want you to check my opinion. I would not feel comfortable as a passenger on a plane piloted by someone who is pro-terrorist. I don’t even feel comfortable on the ground in the flight path of such a person. Am I wrong?

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. You are 100% correct. The same ideological group hijacked 4 planes on 9/11 and killed around 3,000 people. I’m going to send an email to Scott Kirby and 1K voice, and if I’m ever on a plane with that shred of human debris pilot, I’ll deplane.

  2. Pro-terrorist or not, I never prefer my pilots to be bat-crap crazy. Can’t see how this asshat would be able to set aside his crazy well enough to do his job without incident.

  3. Pull his license immediately. Before the last thing a couple of hundred people here is Allah Akbar as a plane slams into something.

  4. I think the FAA should get involved when someone expresses sympathy for terrorism. I cannot imagine that they are a safe choice for flying in aircraft full of people.

  5. I would not be comfortable on a flight piloted by that individual and UA should seriously consider grounding that pilot! As a former airline pilot I would not accept a pairing with anyone like that either!

  6. People were fired for saying “all lives matter” This is far worse, akin to holocaust denial combined with a whack job. Shouldn’t be anywhere near the controls of a jetliner.

  7. All that truly matters here is how woke United is and its diversity, equity, and inclusion and affirmative action policies

  8. regardless of whether there is a question of his fitness to pilot an aircraft, he is likely in violation of United’s social media policy by including his post w/ himself in a UA uniform etc.

    I would strongly bet he has been summoned to the chief pilot’s office by now.

  9. I personally know a U.S. doctor from “Palestine” who is 100% pro hamas. He’s very bright and competent, but would he give the same level of care and treatment to a patient named Mahaskovits Bernstein as he would Abdul Mohamed? These days, I’m not so sure. Can the same be said for a part 121 pilot? With the level of insanity at its peak these days, these are serious questions to ponder.
    As for the 1st amendment? Yes completely entitled to his opinion and to yell it as loud as he wants, but when do these statements turn into actions?
    There’s a lot to this. Much more than the bored, moronic former BLM protesters who need a reason to get out of bed before noon realize.

  10. He is purposely challenging the upholding of his rights under the first amendment. Of course, all for his need of 15 minutes of fame. If United fires him, he has a lawsuit and a nice big settlement. However, If they don’t, and I ever see this man on a UA flight, it will not be a cordial greeting. This time it will be me expressing my first amendment rights in calling him a supporter of butchering animals,

    I feel sorry for UA in this case. It’s an impossible situation. I feel sorry for anyone who has to fly with him. I know I would not be comfortable.

  11. Phew, I’m sure glad he’s got 1500 hours.
    So would it be okay to be a very vocal member of your local KKK chapter while being a pilot at United? Free speech right?
    Look if this a-hole decides that it’s time for his 72 virgins and takes 150 innocent people with him, what could the response from United possibly be? “Oh yeah, we knew about the terrorist stuff but hey, we hired a muslim guy….see how non-racist we are!”
    Also ALPA, care to comment on your member?

  12. This is incredible. Sincerely appreciate your bringing this to your readers’ attention. I’m flying UA 4 segments this week. I just emailed their 1K desk asking if this individual is flying any of my segments this week. Will most definitely change flights, if not airlines. He has every right to speak his mind publicly (and I would fight for his right to do so), but not as a UA pilot, rather as an individual. I can’t imagine making such public statements under my signature, with my company and title. Just the unprofessionalism alone leads me to believe he isn’t qualified to be a pilot.

  13. He’s ok with flying his plane into a tall building too.
    Plus, political correctness and all that. Means he stays.
    Hope you aren’t on his “last” flight. The one to the virgins.
    It’s Russian roulette. Just pay your taxes. That’s all your government cares about.

  14. I wonder if United prioritized hiring him over a white candidate
    Hope you (and I) aren’t the ones paying for it.
    With our lives.

  15. @Gene
    He is openly supporting an organization recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. The First Amendment allows you to say what you want, it doesn’t protect you from the consequences.

  16. 1) @ Gary — No, you aren’t wrong.

    2) @ K Helldoge; @ Gene — I agree that that there is a First Amendment issue here, *and* that people do have a right to express their opinion, regardless of how abhorrent that opinion may be. HOWEVER… First, he’s in his pilot’s uniform and that is probably a violation of United’s “policies and procedures.” (If it’s not, it should be IMHO.) However, there is more at stake here than one’s free speech rights. There are valid times and valid reasons to *lawfully* restrict free speech. (Think yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.)

    Several comments above speak to whether or not one would feel safe being Jewish and having him as the pilot. Hamas is a terrorist organization and there is no excuse for the killing of 1,400+ civilians. Even if you consider Hamas an “army” — fine, fight the IDF, but not civilians. (Note: the IDF is equally in the wrong to target Palestinian civilians; two wrongs do not make a right.) Had Mr. Mossallam posted his views wearing a T-shirt and jeans, no one would know his profession and people would continue flying United. But he made it a point to wear his uniform, and I — and others — have every right to be nervous, scared, to fly United and I would expect United to issue me a refund were Mr. Mossallam on the flight deck. I would not fly with him.

  17. To be clear, this pilot has done NOTHING to warrant being pulled from service, and I see a lot of comments advising UA to do just that. As an employer, what is their justification to do that? He is speaking his opinion. He is exercising his freedom of speech, not making terroristic threats or remarks.

    And by the looks of what some of you are commenting here, there is plenty of hatred to go around on both sides. Everyone yells they have a freedom of speech, until they disagree with what the other person says. We don’t have to agree with what he is saying, but he has a right to say it so long as he is not making any threats.

    As for Gary calling Hamas a “death cult”? Obviously, you have never read up on the atrocities that Israel has committed in 1948 by the Zionists Israelis against the Palestinian people, and how the Israelis treat Palestinians as 2nd class citizens since in their own country and continue to commit atrocities against them. But then our Christian based news here in America ignores all of that. I’m not picking sides, just pointing out that there are no innocent parties here, and the Zionists started all of this in 1948. But this blog isn’t about middle east politics, or did you just make it about that?

  18. Not for nothing there’s plenty of video of IDF choppers blowing away concert goers. It’s ugly all around.

  19. Would you feel comfortable if this terrorist-sympathizing pilot was left alone in the locked cockpit midflight, while his first officer leaves to use the restroom?

  20. It’s always Muslims that get away with this kind of talk and what’s shocking is how casually they say it. Islamofacism.

  21. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the scope of the First Amendment in these comments. UA deciding to fire or not fire him on the basis of these comments has no bearing on his 1A rights. 1A only protects from government (not private employer) sanctions for speech.

  22. Israel, Hamas, Palestine, and related topics are so heated that if you don’t 100% agree with someone’s view, that is an offense that makes you deserve to die or be fired.

  23. As a 35 year pilot for UAL, I can say that I’ve encountered way worse individuals in the cockpit than this pilot. Some pilots are actual nut cases but are allowed to fly because the “good old boy” network that protects them. Many are QAnon followers, Trumpsters, election deniers, Jan 6 deniers, conspiracy fanatics…those are the people flying you around… and you’re upset at a guy who’s asking that you view mainstream media with a critical eye?

  24. For those defending his right to say what he wants under 1st Amendment protection, you’re misinformed. The 1A only protects you from Government censorship. United Airlines, Inc is free to do as they want under their collective bargaining agreements with Pilots. 1A doesn’t protect you from the consequences of your speech from private companies (such as Twitter, etc either).

  25. The Skokie case was wrongly decided.
    Targeted harassment and intimidation of a minority who is not a part of government should not be considered protected, because it is targeted harassment and intimidation.
    In the case of this Hamas-loving pilot, the issue is that his public statements prove that he does not have the character to be trustworthy, from now on, as a airplane pilot.
    I will add that there is no context that makes rape acceptable or that justifies rape in any way.
    Rapes were part of the Hamas October 7 attack.
    The pilot who contrives justifications for the attack is saying that rape is OK when he says it is OK.
    That is a sick and warped view. The pilot is morally depraved.

  26. @unionthat – If the Zionists started all this in 1948, please explain Hebron 1929 and the subsequent riots all across Mandate Palestine. Or the list of Muslim massacres of Jews across the centuries. I think you’ll find the list of Jewish massacres of Muslims across the same time period much shorter. Asshat.

  27. If you want to talk about killing children, let’s talk about Israel murdering a child in Gaza every ten seconds. You won’t have the balls to publish this comment. Explain to me how the mass slaughter of innocent children by Israel is justifiable, yet you take grave offense at someone espousing the same tactic from the Palestinian side? You can’t have it both ways, try as you might.

  28. Hmmm. I think I’d be scared if any of about 75% of the commenters here was a pilot on the plane I’m on.

  29. It’s amazing how many people fail to understand the first amendment. It applies to the government’s ability to limit or punish speech.

    It doesn’t mean freedom from consequences from your employer. Which is why I can’t tell my boss to go F himself and then sue him when I get fired. I’m free to tell him to F himself. But not free from the consequences. So yeah, he loses his job. Period.

  30. I glad at least some people posting understand that free speech doesn’t apply to companies ability to terminate you because of your speech.

    For the racists posting about United’s diversity policy, how do you explain the mushroom pilot on Alaska. It also must have been diversity that caused Germanwings to hire the pilot who flew his plane into a mountain. White males flying a plane is no safer then any other race, sexual orientation or religion.

    For the person who said this would never happen on Delta, you forgot the recent Delta pilot who threatened to shoot his Captain when the Captain wanted to divert.

  31. Freedom of Speech is a necessary corollary of the Freedom of Expression . . . but so is Freedom of Association. This racist imbecile might be completely within his rights to spout his violent nonsense (absent contractual restrictions to the contrary), but United certainly has a right to refuse to associate with a person who would rationalize and justify the torture, rape, mass murder, and kidnapping of many of it’s employees and passengers. I wouldn’t want him flying me or my family, and his employment should absolutely be terminated with extreme prejudice.

  32. For the myrmidons that blindly post to social media everything from when they took their last bowel movement to their hideous ideologies… it’s payback time! It’s kinda like the flight attendant that took some rather risqué photographs of herself in the airplane. She took great care to remove all semblance of her company from her uniform before posing. Problem was…the seat back clearly showed the company logo! TERMINATED. This pilot, like most morons who post everything, is stupid…UAL doesn’t need that type of person. I hope he has a backup plan because he’s “nuclear” when trying to get another flying job!

  33. Per the original poster on X (formerly known as Twitter), United has removed this pilot from service pending an investigation into his statements.

  34. @Disillusioned Globalist – If you are unable to distinguish between walking up to a child and deliberately cutting their throat or shooting in the head or lighting them on fire vs. inadvertently killing a child because someone decided to stand in the middle of a kindergarten and launch rockets at your children, there’s not much hope for you, you moral midget. Hiding among civilians is itself a war crime, and those hiding are themselves responsible for the civilian deaths, not those targeting them.

    If the Israelis deliberately wanted to kill civilians, why not just carpet bomb all of Gaza, why risk your soldiers on the ground when you have complete air supremacy? Now justify rape as a weapon of war…

  35. Helldoge – it’s not free speech, and there’s no apartheid involved.

    Gene – you’re an idiot. The First Amemdment does not apply to private business. Ask a Fifth Grade Civics student.


    Jason – add yourself to the muppet list for your agreement.

    Uniontwat – <– that's not a typo. You are why unions need to be disbanded.

    Post-Meridiem, Peter & Ryan – Thank you, you get it.

    Globalist – KMA, terrorist boy.

  36. Where in the airline employee’s tweet did he actually justify “Hostage-Taking And Killing Of Children”? Or was he doing what the pro-IDF propagandists do?

    What say you about pro-IDF propagandists still justifying the IDF’s killing of Palestinian children in Gaza by justifying it behind the language of human shield, collateral damage, and this is what happens in war?

    And what about Musk’s peddling more explicitly anti-semitic and other xenophobic content on Twitter? That’s a bigger problem than some random airline cockpit crew employee tweeting his idea of why there were and are such criminal acts being perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist agents.

  37. The problem, as I see it, is if he believes killing innocents is okay, then it is not a long step to killing all on board in the name of Allah by crashing the airplane. I bet the pilot’s union will protect him.

  38. @C_M – 100% agree with you.
    The number of ppl who believe Hamas propaganda and their numbers (of killed civilians, children) is amazing. People have no memory of Hamas lies, no critical thinking.

  39. I think Mr. Mossallam’s opinions are misguided, sure. It’s his decision to post them to social media wearing his UAL pilot’s uniform that causes me to serious question his judgment, however.

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