Israeli Court Rules El Al Airline Cannot Ask Women to Move Seats

TEL AVIV, Israel — Airline employees cannot ask female passengers to move seats to accommodate men, according to a landmark decision by an Israeli court that could curb increasingly common requests from ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The case pitted Renee Rabinowitz, an 82-year-old who fled the Nazis during World War II, against Israel’s national carrier El Al.

“This is revolutionary,” Rabinowitz’s lawyer Anat Hoffman said in a statement after Judge Dana Cohen-Lekach handed down the decision on Wednesday.

“As it would be unthinkable to move an Arab passenger at the request of a Jewish passenger, a female passenger cannot be moved at the request of a Haredi passenger,” added Hoffman, referring to a member of an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism.