Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding answers from the TSA following claims of repeated harassment of orthodox Jews at JFK airport.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that he would question the TSA after a woman posted reports of repeated antisemitic discrimination at JFK airport on social media.
Liz Mair, a British-American political strategist, alleged that everyone she saw at the airport on a recent trip who was visibly Jewish was forced to undergo more extensive screening, and one Orthodox woman was asked to remove her sheitel.
Mair, who is not Jewish, says that she’s experienced some form of antisemitism due to her last name on a regular basis at the airport. “Typically it’s just generic rudeness, yelling at people who are obviously Jewish (e.g. ultra-Orthodox) while treating everyone else nice as pie, etc. Today was much worse,” she wrote on social media.
In a scene that echoes centuries of overt discrimination against Jews, Mair writes that visibly Jewish people were sorted into a slow-moving line, with more screenings being performed on them.
After seeing her passport and Jewish-sounding name, airport security ushered her into the separate line. “They steered me and my kid into the line with people who were obviously Jewish, and then moved that line at half the speed of the one next to it.
“We were yelled at to back up and I explained we could not because there was a baby behind us. They did not care. All the blond people magically ended up in the faster moving lane,” she explained.
While security personnel made the people in the slower line screen more of their belongings, “This slowed the line down. Then everyone got yelled at for being slow.”
Her story caught the attention of the conservative senator and former presidential candidate, who said that the situation was “deeply disturbing and totally unacceptable if true,” in a tweet directed to the TSA, warning the agency to “please be ready to have some very candid conversations about this in the coming weeks and months.”