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‘Palestinian’ Woman in JetBlue Altercation Actually Jewish

Says she’s also Menachem Begin’s third cousin

Isabel Fattal
July 30, 2014

In the latest twist in an increasingly absurd story, the recent altercation aboard a JetBlue flight over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict turns out to have been between two Jewish women, the New York Post reports.

As originally reported, tensions on the plane rose when Lisa Rosenberg, a gynecologist from New York, discussed recent events in the Middle East on a phone call. A woman who identified herself as Palestinian approached Rosenberg and said that she was offended by her conversation, and a dispute ensued. But according to the New York Post, the woman confessed to Rosenberg last week that she is actually Jewish and from Brooklyn–and she also said that she is a third cousin of late Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin.

The admissions were made in a phone call that Rosenberg recorded. The woman claims she identified herself as Palestinian to put a stop to Rosenberg’s “hate-filled diatribe” against Palestinians. “I told you at the time I was Palestinian because I wanted you to stop your rant,” she says in the recording. “If I said I was Jewish, you wouldn’t have stopped…I shouldn’t have said it, but I did.”

Rosenberg asserts that she was merely praising Israel for the arrest of the murderers of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir and expressing concern over her daughter’s impending trip to Israel, the Post reports. Rosenberg claims that the other passenger referred to her as a “Zionist pig,” but the passenger denies this.

According to JTA, two internal JetBlue reports obtained by Steven Frischling, an airline industry blogger and consultant, reveal that Rosenberg told the other passenger that “her people are all murderers and that they murder children.” They also state, according to the Post, that Rosenberg implied that the passenger “had explosives in her bag and planned to blow up the aircraft in flight.” Rosenberg, however, denies this.

Rather, she claims that when she asked to speak to the pilot, a JetBlue official told her that “Jews don’t make the rules on this plane,” and she is now demanding an apology. A JetBlue spokesperson has denied that Rosenberg was asked to leave because she was Jewish.

Isabel Fattal, a former intern at Tablet Magazine, attends Wesleyan University.