State-funded Russian TV network removes video ridiculing haredim

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — A state-funded Russian television network pulled offline a video that ridiculed the air travel restrictions of some Orthodox Jews.

On Tuesday, Russia Today, or RT, removed the 44-second video it produced following critical questions by the Hebrew-language news website, the site reported.

The video featured a slideshow of images and newspaper articles from recent years of complications connected to air travel by haredi Orthodox Jews.

“Want to make your trip a real adventure?” a caption in the video asked. “Ultra-Orthodox Jews are ready to help out.”

According to the video, “some ultra-Orthodox men refuse to sit next to women and this can result in 11-hour delays.”

“Rioting on board” can occur when “religious passengers disapprove of in-flight movies,” according to the video. And “while some show their outrage, others find ways of staying safe,” the slideshow read, showing an image of an Orthodox Jew wearing a plastic bag in an airplane “because his faith forbids him from flying over cemeteries.”

An RT spokeswoman, Anna Balkina, told nrg that her firm did not mean for the film to be offensive, adding it had been taken offline following nrg’s questions on its potential offensive character.

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