SHOCKING EL AL INCIDENT: Girl, 18, Ordered Off Flight, Forced to Undress & Searched Without Explanation

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An 18-year-old girl was left traumatized by a recent flight on El Al Israel Airlines, after she was ordered off the plane, forced to undress and searched – all without explanation.

The victim tells YWN she arrived at Toronto Pearson airport this past Sunday afternoon and stood on line at the check-in counters. As is usual protocol with El Al, security personnel approached and asked standard security questions. Where she is coming from, who packed her luggage etc. They asked if she was flying alone or with someone else, and she replied that she was flying alone. She was asked the purpose of her trip and replied that she studies in seminary in Israel. They then asked who paid for her ticket, and she replied that she had paid for it.

The victim says she was then asked where she had money from to be able to pay for a ticket, a question she felt was irrelevant and intrusive. However, she answered that she saved up allowance money and had bought the ticket. Security then let her proceed with the check-in process. She checked in her bags and headed towards the gate.

At the appropriate time, the victim boarded and took her seat on board the plane, waiting for take off. The pilot then announced that passengers should ‘please be patient’ as there was a slight “security delay”.

What happened next was totally unexpected. A large, intimidating Israeli security guard approached her and ordered her to get up and follow him off of the plane. The victim says she was “petrified”, as any naive 18-year-old Beis Yaakov girl flying alone would be. She asked “why, what happened?” He refused to answer but said that if she didn’t do as told then she would be arrested. With no other choice, (and the entire plane watching) she gathered her belongings and followed the security guard off of the plane.

The guard escorted her to a security interrogation room, where there were two other men waiting. The victim says they began shouting at her and asked for her phone. She was petrified and then began to cry. The second she took her phone out of her coat pocket, one of the men reached out and grabbed it from her hand. He then shouted at her to remove the coat, which she did and handed it to him.

Then, she was ordered to go behind a curtain and take off her clothes because they needed to “check them.” At that point she says she began shouting for help. The men ran out of the room and called in female security guards to continue with the “security check.” The victim says she asked them to return her phone so she could call her parents. They shouted at her and said that if she disturbs the ‘security process’ one more time then they would arrest her and put her in handcuffs.

A female security guard then ordered her to take every piece of clothing. When she asked why it was necessary, the woman allegedly replied “ the truth, I have no idea, but you must comply.” From behind the curtain, she slowly handed them her clothes, one piece at a time. The men re-entered the room while she was behind the curtain. They examined her clothes, then threw them back and shouted at her to get dressed. They then shouted at her to run to plane, because they were already delayed an hour and it was HER FAULT.

The victim says they refused to return her phone, jewelry or food she had brought to eat on the plane, and that it was confiscated for “security reasons”. A security guard then grabbed her by the arm and lead her back to the plane without any of her valuables.

The victim says she was mortified when the crew announced she had arrived back on the plane, causing the other passengers to start clapping. She did not even have a chance to call her parents on a borrowed phone and let them know what occurred, as the crew announced that everyone must turn off their phones as they prepare for takeoff. She was forced to spend an agonizing 10 hours on the plane reviewing what had just occurred.

Upon arrival in Israel on Monday, she proceeded straight to the security desk to ask for an explanation. They said that they had not heard about the incident, and said they would look into it.

The victims says her parents contacted El Al ‘s Toronto office and were told that they could not track down any of her belongings. Her mother then told El Al that if they do not return the belongings promptly, then they would sue them. The next morning El Al called back, saying they had located the belongings and would send it to her on the next flight.

The victim tells YWN she has not yet heard any further explanation from the airline, other than they “are looking into this”. YWN will update our readers should El Al respond to the alleged incident.

This alleged incident comes at a tenuous time for Israel’s national airline, as it is still dealing with the fallout of last months’s fiasco in which a plane full of passengers from New York were stranded in Athens for Shabbos – an issue falsely blamed on nonexistent “violence” from Chareidi passengers.

(Nat Golden – YWN)

 




93 COMMENTS

  1. she obviously triggered a security alert and the agents kept items that may have, probably mistakenly, caused her to be suspected. simply returning items before removing what caused the problem would expose possible triggers. too bad it happened but without such procedures, we would all be less safe.

  2. To me it sounds like this girl will be winning a huge lawsuit! Sadly she was abused and for no apparent reason. They HAD to tell her why they were accusing her and they did not. I hope she wins huge from the lawsuit. She deserves it. What a shame.

  3. jack596… more to the story? Call ElAl and ask them. Unless you know something we don’t then saying there must be more to this story sounds like you doubt the frum girl.
    ElAl needs to do full investigation and probably fire the security personel involved.

  4. Sounds super sensational but there is very obviously more to this story that we do not know. I’m not excusing any part of this story in any way, all I’m saying is that there seem to be missing details. And noone ever said Israeli security agents act or talk “Bais Yaakov” style. They are tough, probably the way they’re meant to be.

  5. Poor girl, after being subjected to such embarrassment and abuse, all some hardhearted people can say ” there must be more to this story”… Because people wire earrings and rings to blow up planes and place dynamite in tuna sandwiches…

  6. Really now, were all the graphic details of this outrageous incident necessary for an article on a frum website? Did YWN’s rabbinical advisory board authorize this? I cannot imagine any other religious media reporting such details, or maybe even the incident at all. It’s a small, frum world, and it will be very difficult to keep the girl’s identity secret. Don’t you think this girl and her family have suffered enough embarrassment? Does the almighty Click View override basic decency?
    That said, the girl and her parents ought to seek legal advice if any monetary compensation from El Al should be forthcoming for this outrage. Are these security people trained professionals or dimwitted amateurs?

  7. This article is written like a teenage novel. There is certainly more to the story. Btw – i just came back yesterday fron a trip involving 2 el al connections – tlv mia and bos tlv. Both were phenomenal in service and efficiency. With all the security concerns sometimes a mistake can be made but better to make an occasional mistake than to jeopardize the lives of the passengers. I am sure rhere were many more details than this article reported.

  8. This is El Al’s famous security, which is why people pay extra to fly with more confidence that they won’t be blown out of the sky. Non-Jews regularly report they get this sort of treatment; if this were a Moslem girl many people here would be congratulating El Al on doing a thorough job. Well, if we want the benefit of this sort of security we have no right to complain when one of us experiences the rough end.

    One thing that struck me, is the passenger’s attitude that the security questions were “irrelevant and intrusive”. They’re supposed to be. Anyone who’s flown El Al knows that they ask all sorts of “irrelevant and intrusive” questions; how else are they to get an idea of who’s potential trouble? The question asked was not at all irrelevant; a genuine passenger would know how she financed the trip, and would not hesitate to answer. If she argued or appeared thrown by the question then I’m not surprised they selected her for a close and intrusive look.

  9. What is wrong with El Al?? Just because it is a “security” check does not mean they should be inhuman and rude by embarrassing and intimidating an inexperienced teenager. That turned up nothing no less. Unacceptable and terrible.

  10. dr yidd your crazy.
    a person ought to get an explanation of his/her accusations and if she didn’t then this whole thing sounds awfully wrong.

  11. El Al searches thousands of people, and assesses relative risks of unknown people, thousands of times per day. Suppose they search 100,000 people per month. The story above (let’s assume it’s all accurate) is what happens if they make a 1 in 100,000 mistake of “oversearching” a suspected person; the other 99.999% of passengers are not unnecessarily harassed, demeaned, humiliated, etc. But suppose that they “undersearch” someone — what happens? An airplane blows up midair and 400 people lose their lives? So yes, of course mistakes happen, and El Al certainly attempts to minimize them, but they happen, we all roughly understand how they could happen, and we all prefer that the “oversearching” mistakes happen 1000 times more often than an “undersearch” mistake. So let’s cut El Al some slack, even assuming this is the entire story.

  12. It’s amazing how many people here are dan chaf z’chus on the security people. That’s idol worship of the state in action. Can’t imagine that Israeli military types are anything but infallible and wonderful and perfect, like gods.

  13. american_yerushalmi

    I think AY wanted to write the following:
    Thankyou TYW for publishing this story so that we can prepare our children not to mention ourselves for such flagrant abuses by any “security personnel” on any airline.
    AY obviously did not notice the missing word in the article:
    quote:
    A female security guard then ordered her to take ________ every piece of clothing.
    unquote.
    You see, they even catered for AY who has such sensitivity.
    (AY surfs the net, but Sshhh, don’t tell anyone)

  14. Thank you to the One Above for the huge Siyato Dishmayo that ELAL security has had (100% success to my limited knowledge) in keeping their flights terrorist free!

    Having said this, could somebody INFORMED please provide us with EDUCATED guidelines what to do in such situations?

  15. in retrospect while still on the plane she should have told them OK then arrest me. That would have called her bluff as they can’t arrest her for nothing and if they had the whole story would have been officially handled, it would be much easier to get an explanation than from elals security team

  16. M at 2.44am there is nobody saying Elal security should not be doing there job. But have the decency to respect the person even if hes a suspect. There is no shortage of torah sources about respecting a person even if hes a suspect.
    The problem is these people get so caught up in their job they forget or just dont bother to treat others with respect. And thats why Elal are to blame. they should be ,making sure that people are treated with respect and common courtsey.
    And when you are in position like this theres no room for mistakes. Otherwise you can justify everyone in a position of power who makes mistakes. Doctors Presidents Teachers Rabbis etc. and we dont and we dont have to. Take responsibilities for your actions or dont take the job

  17. The telling part of the story is that this girl felt certain questions were “irrelevant and intrusive”. Obviously this passenger (“child”) doesn’t get it and was not grasping how El Al security works. Fundamental typical entitled person lacking an understanding of the big picture and how you choose to answer a question may be more important than the question itself. Her mental attitude is a setup for a bad outcome. Clearly we are missing info here.

  18. That was not a mistake. It was a definite attempt to trsumitize this poor girl. I’m guessing elal security. Obviously this company needs a major management and personnel change

  19. Hundreds of women are routinely required to undergo more intensive screening on el al flights as well as other airlines when they trigger one or more screening flags. Men are subject to more intensive screening at a rate 3x to 4x times higher than women. The undressing part is almost always done with same-gender security personnel even though male security guards are almost always involved in the intitial stages of the security screening process. There are several elements to her story that might have been blags. We all know of cases where young women have been part of terrorist actions. He claim to being a “naive 18 year old” beis yaakov girls is really stupid since at that age, the secular would say she is eligible for military service and the chareidi tzibur would say she is ready for marriage.
    Bottom Line: If you want to fly commercially, go along with the security directives, answer all question honestly and submit to searches if requested. If you feel you have been treated inappropriately, file a complant later and provide all the facts you can, including names of he secuity officers (most wear badges), the exact time and location of the incident, etc.

  20. OK could be she was not revealing her whole lifetime history at the time of answering the preliminary questions and didnt know ELAL is like that. but I applaud her for screaming when 2 already rude males told her to take off clothes.

  21. Well even the family will be paid off a wholesome of money , there is no money in the world that could heal this trauma of this girl, a 18 yr old frum girl to get asked to get undressed before strange men Israeli bullies is a lifetime nightmare …

    Its sad that people still call them jews or a jewish airline

    They just hate frum jewish people and stupid frum ppl still fly with them

    They are the cheapest quality in planes,service, attitude and what not

  22. Elal will be having a press conference today at 2pm EST to assure the public that they take this matter seriously and are beginning a investigation. ——-
    What would happen if she was Black,Latino or part of another minority group.

  23. I agree with Milhouse that “They’re supposed to be.’ intrusive questions.

    > avraham
    That bothered me also. I also wonder why wait till she was seated in the plane.

    > american_yerushalmi
    Nothing more graphic here than stories in the Bible. And seeing as (according to this narative) she is the one who told he story YWN, one sees no justification to cast accusations about “embarrassment”.

    > cousin sue
    This is the version as told by an 18-year old, and you are complaining it was not written by a college professor?

  24. Amil Zola, I would run to the media ASAP if it happened to me. How else would she be taken seriously? El Al superiors wouldn’t give a hoot if the story wouldn’t get out.

  25. No, Yaapchik, they did NOT have to tell her why they were accusing her. They did not have to tell her anything at all. Where did you get such an idea?

    And yes, Gavriel613, they absolutely could arrest her for creating a disturbance on a plane, and refusing to obey security instructions. How do you not know that when you are on a plane you MUST cooperate with the crew and obey all instructions, or you are very likely to be arrested?

    Those suggesting a lawsuit are deluded. There are no grounds, and any lawyer filing such a suit would be risking sanctions.

    Even taking this report at face value, the only thing El Al seems to have done wrong was to lose her belongings for a day. Even if they needed to inspect them first, when they were done they should have put them on the next flight to be delivered to her in Israel.

  26. The bottom line is that when El Al security ask you stupid questions while you’re in line, you answer them truthfully and without hesitation. For instance, if you’re a BY girl and they ask your bat mitzvah parsha, immediately tell the truth, that girls don’t lein the Torah. They know that, they want to see whether you know it too. (Or, if you’re a BT and did lein for your bat mitzvah, tell them so and explain the discrepancy between that and your current appearance.) Ditto if you look like a yeshiva boy and they ask your girlfriend’s name; you answer immediately that you don’t have one. They’re not interested in your actual answer, they’re looking for discrepancies between your appearance and your reaction to the question.

  27. z, if she were “Black,Latino or part of another minority group”, especially Moslem or Arab, this would be much more likely to happen to her. It happens literally every day to such people, and I’ll bet you have never complained about it. El Al security is based heavily on profiling, and that is the result. It’s the price they pay for our security, so a little less crying please when once in a while we have to pay the same price.

  28. the “naive 18 year old by girl”, more like stupid, if she didnt know that being snarky with el al security screening is a major red flag. the average yeshiva guy/seminary girl travels ukraine, aeroflot and other “cheap airlines” especially when they pay for it themselves. we all know that, as does el al security. her answer alone was a red flag, her snarkiness only added fuel to the fire. there is a saying, dont disturb wildlife, or wildlife may end up disturbing you. she gambled, and lost.

  29. I think the whole idea that a seminary girl is flying alone in December on a ticket that she paid for on her own is suspicious.
    Seminary started months ago. If she came home for a simcha, someone would have paid for that luxury.

  30. Sounds horrifying. Obviously there are more facts. I try not flying El Al as we know their personnel can be rough and their communication skills are not that great. This girl,l and her family are definitely owed a thorough explanation. I think they owe an explanation to ALL El Al costumers. The only thing El Al understands that we mean business is if it hurts their pockets. Time for all to boycott them. The other airlines that I have flown are so much more pleasant.

  31. I know that TSA has no right to perform strip search yet requests it all the time (I know a few people that were subjected to it somewhat- with female TSA agents). I don’t believe Elal is allowed to do this either. They CAN requests a pat down which should certainly be done prior to anything more invasive. This is completely out of line.

  32. apushatayid, where in the article does it say she was snarky?!!! The article says she felt the questions were intrusive, and she has a right to her opinions even if it’s different than yours, but in no way does it state anyware that she was “snarky”.

    My goodness, why are you goinh out of your way to make her look bad?! If it would happen to your daughter would you also defend El Al?

  33. If the info in this article is true and it is the whole story, then ELAL should be made to really pay for it; especially after the Shabbos flight incident with major lying by the pilot and crew. I am sure that other airlines would accommodate us if they got the Frum customers including all students. This is real money.

  34. @ Gamanit. The TSA doesnt operate in, or call the shots at Pearson Airport in toronto, their rules are irrelevent. what are the rules of Canadas eqivilant of the USAs TSA?

  35. They obviously had every reason to do what they did. Do you prefer they be lax in security and planes exploding in the sky instead. Elal has the most extensive intrusive security policies and just because we dont hear about other stories does not mean it does not happen just this time an innocent Frum girl was at the receiving end. This is a price to pay to have superb security

  36. rule number one-you cannot believe a story printed in the newspaper and take it as the truth.
    such a headline sells well but we have to think a little bit. many of the commentaries [including mine] feel there are crucial missing facts here. there is always more to the story than the printed information. and everyone has an agenda. we are quick to come to conclusions based on What?? it is just easier to believe the printed word, but NOT very intelligent.

  37. Having flown El Al to and from numerous locations, I’ve always found the Toronto staff to be the most the worst. They’re obnoxious and do NOT communicate with the passengers.

  38. Being that this was Canada, this was not the TSA, but most likely CATSA. There is definitely more to this story. I’m sure a lawsuit will help uncover. I don’t think Elal is the one to blame, however, unless their agents requested this additional security measure.

  39. Maybe they thought she is smuggling something for someone as there were many cases with other frum young people so that may explain all the search without dress

  40. > Milhouse

    > Those suggesting a lawsuit are deluded. There are no grounds, and any lawyer filing such a suit would be risking sanctions.

    This is Canada, so that is hardly so simple. She was not even under arrest, so a strip search is very unusual. And even then, the Supreme Court has already ruled a same-sex individual must be the one to perform such an act, so the simple fact that the strip search started with males (and only males at that) is very problematic.

  41. Well if she supposedly raised a red flag why didn’t they search her right away? Why wait till she and just about everyone are seated on the plane to haul her off in shame???

  42. apushatayid,

    I think asking her who gave her the money to purchase the ticket is very intrusive. That does not make me snarky. But it makes you a snarky person if someone who is answering questions with mentzlichkeit, regardless of what think about the question in their heads, is snarky just because they think the question is intrusive.

  43. I was on this flight and nothing like that happened
    And there is no security desk when you lending in ISRAEL
    It’s really strange that nobody horde about this.
    I don’t understand what is behind this but it’s against our believes to lay …

  44. apushatayid, I meant write that you a snarky person if YOU THINK that someone who is answering questions with mentzlichkeit irrespective of what feel about the questions, is snarky just because they think the question is intrusive.

  45. There must be more to the story.

    I trust El Al security.

    She triggered an alert. It needs to comply calmly as may be someone was impersonating a religious girl as Arab terrorists impersonating Haredim.

  46. georgeg, according to the story, the men did not search her. They put her behind a screen and told her to give them her clothes to be searched. To search her they called a female.

  47. Does anyone remember the Hindawi story from the mid 80s?

    A Jordanian man named Hindawi tried blowing up an ELAL 747 by placing a bomb in the luggage of his unsuspecting pregnant fiance.

    The ELAL security officers asked her numerous “irrelevant” questions which she answered honestly because she had nothing to hide. The agents realized something was up because the answers didn’t all fit together.

    Sure enough- her luggage was searched and the bomb was found.

  48. In all fairness this seems to be an unfortunate result of tight ElAl security protocol. Let this be a lesson to all: I know of someone who joked at ElAl security he ‘had a bomb’ -he was stripped-searched and missed his plane. He was lucky he wasn’t arrested. I am pleased there is such security on ElAl.
    If the ElAl/shabak interviewer becomes even slightly suspicious then that person will be strip-searched and his luggage gone over with a tooth comb. That is their job. Why should someone who seems to be a sem girl be any different?

  49. I can’t believe people are so missing the point.
    Of course she needed to be searched, and even thrown off balance with weird questions. And security agents need to be tough sob.
    BUT.
    1) in every civilized country strip searches are done by same gender. (Mulhouse is just plain wrong – making someone take off their clothes is called a strip search).
    3 lecherous men with an 18 year old are perverys and they should actually be charged with a felony assault and go to jail. The women agent only was called when she started screaming. A normal frum 18 year old girl who did not go to the army is not used to being undressed when men are in the room.
    2). Once they realized they were wrong, why did they not apologize, and return her items. And then offer her a first class seat is some other compensation. Be man enough to own up.
    3). When she was finiallly man handled back on the plane the tough security guys hid behind an 18 year old skirt and let her take the fall instead of announcing -we were being cautious and mistakenly accused her. Our apologies.
    And of course el al threw her out with the trash instead of assisting her.

  50. Baal Boose: Shabak airport officials undergo intense extensive phsycological profile training. They are highly trained interrogators, of the best in the world.
    Maybe the rough treatment was PART of the procedure to see how she reacted and whether indeed she was a real sem girl? They did allow her onto the plane which means they were 100% sure she was not a threat. Maybe that ONLY became clear to them once she reacted the way she did- PROVING she was indeed whom she claimed she was.
    It’s thus IMPOSSIBLE to know- even if they were perverts!

  51. Either believe the girl’s story, the way she tells it, or do not. No one asked an 18 yr old frum girl to get undressed before strange men. She was asked to go behind a screen and hand over her clothing for security examination. There, doesn’t that sound better. This was not a strip search and she was not physically searched. Her story of how she came by the ticket is the sort of narrative that rouses suspicions. Dilute the story by half, i.e. the security personnel requested not demanded, they questioned her not shouted at her, they took her phone not grabbed it, etc. etc. and you are probably closer to the truth. There is no right or wrong with security. The security officers had suspicions and acted on them. That is why we have security. Using an 18-year-old girl and dressing her up as a “Beis Yakov” girl for terrorist or smuggling purposes is not so far fetched. As for her being traumatized for life, please let’s keep things in proportion. Most 18-year-old girls in the secular world have undressed in front of a man by the age of 18 and most Beis Yakov girls are yearning to get married by the age of 18. If she was so embarrassed she needn’t have told her story publicly, just to a lawyer to get money, which is anyway what I suspect this is all about.

  52. “I think asking her who gave her the money to purchase the ticket is very intrusive.”

    Is it? You do realize they know if a ticket was purchased with a credit card, cash or frequent flyer miles. This is a standard question, and if she had nothing to hide she would answer it without getting snarky (do you even know what the term refers to?)

  53. Go ahead guys, get on your knees and bow before your security gods. The dignity of this poor girl doesn’t matter much to you. Oh but those brave hulking guards who scream at little girls and threaten them with arrest, those are your heroes. Why don’t you just admit it, you have become goyim.

  54. apushatayid, actually since you claim that she was snarky, please define the word snarky and the source of your definition and where in the article you see that she was snarky.

  55. TryingtostayCalm, +1

    You said it as it is “the dignity of this poor girl doesn’t matter to you”. Exactly. Shame on these heartless commenters.

    Of course there’s more to this this story, nobody is debating that. But the girl was mistreated, period. She was not offered an explanation, there was no female security guards when they wanted she should take off her cloths ( and behind the screen is not an answer, people don’t use their brains, how would she give them her items for example and why should she put herself in potential danger of assault- good for her that she was assertive and screamed) , she was not given back her jewelry and food which there was no reason to withhold, ( have people ever seen earrings or what? How exactly could they be a security threat especially after they have examined it, and they examined the food too). And after putting her through all of that, and we’ll give these El Al personnel the benefit of doubt that it was a mistake security issue

  56. @TryingToStayCalm: I’m calm. This girl’s story as presented here doesn’t make a lot of sense. An 18 year old bais yaakov seminary girl doesn’t fly home during the year (except Pesach) unless there is a family simcha. usually. A frum Jew doesn’t fly on the 7th day of Chanukah, missing 8th licht. usually. Why she made it onto the plane before the information was clarified, I have no idea. That is also unusual. I think people are just pointing out that the Israeli security standards, which are excellent, look for these things and insist that all inconsistencies are clarified. That’s how real security works. Why don’t you just admit it, this account fails the sniff test.

  57. My daughter was on this flight. I accompanied her on the security and check-in line and this girl was right behind us. Couple of points. The story is 100% true. Neither my daughter or I can vouch for what happened once she was removed from the plane as neither of us were there to witness it, however, after reading the article above, we both felt that this were a bit exaggerated.

    What I could tell you is that she was most definitely grilled at security for quite some time by two separate agents. Neither agent lost their cool on her – they both spoke in a relaxed and patient manner. The line of questioning quoted above is consistent with what we heard. They wanted to know who brought her to the airport, where she lives, who paid for her ticket, etc. – similar to all the questions my 18 year old daughter was also asked. I am not here to defend the girl or Elal Airlines. What I am going to tell you is that she was quite bothered by the line of questioning from the agent. She was being difficult and defensive and by doing so triggered all security protocols. She either never flew Elal before and was therefore not used to their “random” questions or decided that she is going to play games with the agent. Once she was checked-in she did get interviewed again at the gate. After everyone boarded my daughter says she was in fact asked by an agent to leave the plane. But the agent was not large and was not intimidated.

    Bottom line is, what caused this was a bad attitude and what I can only assume was inconsistent answers. While the questions we all get asked when we’re checking into an Elal flight are annoying and seemingly random and insignificant, they are meant to keep us safe and allow us to get to Israel with little to no problems.

  58. No, Baal Boose, that is not a strip search. Words mean things. If in your peculiar dictionary that is what you mean by “strip search” then as far as I’m concerned I wouldn’t care if an entire Beis Yaacov were “strip searched” in the same manner. But in the real dictionary, that is not a strip search, and accusing them of it is slander.

  59. TryingtostayCalm, +1

    You said it as it is “the dignity of this poor girl doesn’t matter to you”. Exactly. Shame on these heartless commenters.

    Of course there’s more to this this story, nobody is debating that. But the girl was mistreated, period. She was not offered an explanation after the terrible treatment she got, there were no female security guards when they wanted she should take off her cloths ( and behind the screen is not an answer, people don’t use their brains, how would she give them her items for example, and why should she put herself in potential danger of assault- good for her that she was assertive and screamed when she felt threatened) , she was not given back her jewelry and food which there was no reason to withhold, ( have people ever seen earrings or what? How exactly could they be a security threat especially after it was examined and they examined the food too). And after causing her intense shame, and we’ll give these El Al personnel the benefit of doubt that it was a mistake, there was no apology from their part!

    Shame on these “security personnel” and shame on the heartless commenters here who don’t care about the treatment of this innocent girl. The fact that she went to the media shows her innocence because if she would have something to hide she wouldn’t publisize her story. And yet people are bashing her for trying to tell her story!

    These people are heartless and cruel and not acting as Jews should to care for one another as TryingToStayCalm put it “you have become goyim” with your callous attitude towards an innocent girl. Some stupid comments were about “what’s the big deal of making her undress behind the curtain with men in the room”…One such an “intelligent” comment was “Most 18-year-old girls in the secular world have undressed in front of a man by the age of 18 and most Beis Yakov girls are yearning to get married by the age of 18” What?! Are you kidding me? Who cares what how they act in the secular world and most frum girls don’t yearn to get married by 18 ( although many would like to find there bashert easily) and even if they did “yearn to get married” does yearning for marriage make it ok to go through the shame and embarrassment the way they treated her and told her to undress? Is that how low people have become, that it’s ok to ask a girl to do that?! Disgusting!

  60. Bml, thanks for clarifying, maybe it was the way she answered them that signaled a red flag, although it doesn’t state in the article that she was rude to them, but details could be neglected in such articles.

    However, questions still remain. How was she let on to the plane if an agent told her she shouldn’t board? If she was cleared why was she taken off the plane? Why weren’t her items returned only sent with another flight?

  61. Philosopher ad all the others who raise questions: the answer seems quite straightforward, namely this girl raised legitimate security concerns. The only independent evidence we have here is from the father who accompanied his daughter to check ion. He clearly states what happened and how this “18-year-old Beis Yaakov girl” responded. One thing not raised here is how come this girl was on her own. The security staff are probably not used to an 18-year-old Beis Yakov haredi girl buying her own ticket and turning up unaccompanied. That may have rung a security bell. A lot more to this than meets the eye. I’m sorry if my earlier post offended some people but having read it again, I stand by it. The El Al security personnel are not from the haredi world and they cannot be expected to see things through haredi eyes.

  62. Unless you are are a shabak agent and you know why her jewlery/food was taken, you cannot criticize them for taking it, or criticize anything else that happened to her, even though it was obviously unfortunately traumatizing for her.
    None of the above commentators are security experts and therefore you cannot say for sure she was miss-treated even if she was! You just don’t know! Maybe they suspected her jewlery/food contained poison? Maybe they suspected she was a terrorist? She obviously raised red flags by her behavior in the initial interview.
    For ElAl/shabak to comment on this case and explain why they did what they did would be a breech in security -no one wants a terrorist chas vesholom to learn how to smuggle poison etc onto a plane by learning the rules of ELAL security protocol and learning the details of what happened to her…….

  63. The fact of the matter is that unfortunately many frum kids are duped into carrying contraband. It is also not difficult for a terrorist (and yes,m there are terrorist women) to disguise herself.

  64. > Avi K

    Seems to me that if they suspected she was an unknowing “dupe” then yelling at her and sending her into shock is the exactly WRONG way to handle to the situation. What they would want from a “dupe” is clear thinking so as to remember who-what-where-when. Someone in a nervous breakdown can’t do that. The point of rough-housing is to throw knowing perpetrators off balance and scare them into confessing – to actually act (blurt out) without thinking.

  65. So “Yeshiva World Blog owners”
    So many comments, over 80 comments so far.
    Is there no updates on this story that you can tell us of? Obviously this story had tremendous following & people concerned. Any follow up details available would be much appreciated.

  66. I have to add my 2 cents here.

    1 there are many reasons why a seminary girl can happen to go home during the year.

    I myself when I was here in Seminary over 20 years ago when home during Chanuka for my baby brother’s Bar Mitzvah and a dental appointment and many other girls flew back in between each to their own reason.. mainly for simchas. I do not recall being asked in those days who paid my ticket but it wasn’t me but my parents.. ok I came from the UK.

    2 I had a very similar incident with ELAL security 6 months ago, ( I am 40) 2 people came up to me one after another interrogating me in front of everyone about some case that wasn’t stickered.. what happened was I got a new girl out of training, who had someone overlooking her and she forgot to sticker it. they also interrogated me about digital scales. To me, I felt humiliated and traumatized and at that point started getting very flustered I couldn’t answer properly too. I played along cus I had to get back cus my husband baby sister was getting married the next day so I couldn’t take chances.

    I have no idea why this girl was stripped searched but trust me I would have been preferred to be questioned away from all the passengers on board.

    I have noticed that they are zealous and just don’t think about passengers feelings, I think the crooks of the problem lies with ELAL… they are the ones who give the course to those who work in security, they have a separate division and they obviously don’t tell the workers to be sensitive to passengers needs and feelings.

    I have since sent a stinking letter to ELAL Bitachon and to the customer relations department though I don’t belive it helped.

    at this point, I keep thinking to myself. I can’t take more chances, It could happen to me again why do I want to fly ELAL.

  67. I doubt there will be any updates, unless it is to tell us about the multi-million dollar traumatised for life lawsuit against El Al, the security authorities, the local police, the owners of the airport, the individual security guards involved etc. etc. Whether genuinely misjudged or not this was clearly a security alert situation and that is best left uncommented upon. ElAl’s record in preventing terrorist activity is second to none which is why so many people only fly ElAl, haredim included, despite the airline’s other faults. Better safe than sorry. On a lighter note, when my 90+ great-grandmother a”h used to see some of the racy underwear adverts in print, she would tell over in Yiddish, with a glint in her eye, how you never knew what might happen to you where someone might see your underwear so best not to wear things like that! I guess in today’s times random airport searches have to be factored in as well. [As they say, the picture is for illustrative purposes only; the joke has nothing to do with this girl, so don’t shout at me.]

  68. It astounds me to hear of people defending the security thugs. None of this had to be done so abusively regardless of security considerations. There’s something seriously wrong with some of you people.

  69. Usually, we don’t form judgments until we have heard both sides of a story. All we have heard here is one side; that of the girl and even that has been jazzed up by YWN. Your headline “forced to undress and searched” implies that the girl was searched while she was undressed. Nothing she says suggests that. Indeed what is said in her name about passing over her clothing is a little too free for an 18 year old Beis Yako girl so traumatized; “From behind the curtain, she slowly handed them her clothes, one piece at a time.” Surely saying she handed them her clothes from behind the curtain as demanded, would have been a more tznius way to express that. The only independent account is that of the father who was in line behind this girl as he went to the airport with his daughter. The tenor of his account is not quite the same as the girl who was being questioned. “Neither agent lost their cool on her – they both spoke in a relaxed and patient manner. …. She was being difficult and defensive ..” ElAl security may have a great deal to answer for here but again they may not. It is quite unfair to make a judgment based on hearing only one side of the story.

  70. To all those questioning why a seminary girl is flying alone in the middle of the year on a ticket she paid for herself- The girl lives in Israel, not America. She did not go to the media. Someone outside the family did, against the family’s wishes. She is a temimusdik BY girl who is not used to flying on her own, so she is therefore not used to this line of questioning, and from growing up in Israel learned to stand up for herself.

    Editors Note: For the record, that is 100% not true about who contacted YWN.