ADC Statement on American Airlines Passenger Compelled to Conceal ‘Palestine’ T-Shirt

Washington D.C. | | November 29, 2023 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is deeply troubled by the recent incident on American Airlines Flight 2829 from New York JFK to Phoenix, where a passenger was forced to either hide their ‘Palestine’ sweatshirt, turn it inside out, or face removal by law enforcement. This action taken by American Airlines is not only discriminatory but also contributes to the broader context of prejudice against Palestinians and their right to self-identification.

The choice presented to the passenger—conceal their identity or face potential removal—reflects a distressing disregard for the fundamental rights of individuals to express their cultural and national identities. This incident is emblematic of a larger pattern of discrimination that Palestinians and their supporters often face, highlighting a concerning trend of silencing and marginalizing their voices.

We condemn this action by American Airlines and call for the airline to issue a formal apology to the affected passenger. Furthermore, we urge American Airlines to engage in a direct dialogue with the ADC to discuss this incident and develop steps to prevent such discriminatory practices in the future. Education and awareness are key to ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their national, cultural, or political affiliations, are treated with respect and dignity.

The ADC remains committed to combating all forms of discrimination and upholding the rights of Arab Americans and the broader Arab diaspora. We stand ready to work with American Airlines and other entities to foster a more inclusive and understanding environment for all.

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