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.