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Palestinian Uber driver in LA boots Jews from car for attending Israel party
Taxi service calls incident ‘horrible’ after man identifying as Mustafa kicks out passengers over their participation in Independence Day event
By Marcy Oster 30 May 2019:
JTA — An Uber driver in Los Angeles who said he was Palestinian kicked two Jewish women out of his car after learning they were coming from an Israel Independence Day celebration.
The incident occurred on May 19, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.
The driver, named Mustafa, asked the women where they were coming from after they sat in the back seat. The women were reluctant to say, but then told the driver after he did not start the car.
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Mustafa then ordered the passengers out of his vehicle.
“He started laughing and he looked us dead in the eye and he said, ‘You need to get out of my car. I’m Palestinian,’” one of the women, identified as Dayna, told the Jewish Journal. She said the driver “clearly wanted to make a statement.”
Dayna said she uses Uber daily and it was the first time she has ever been asked to leave a car.
The second woman, using the pseudonym Rachel, told the newspaper that “I could see his eyes in the wing mirror and he just spun around … his eyes were wild … raged … and that’s what frightened me.”
Dayna emailed Uber immediately and received an automatic reply.
“Sorry you had that experience,” it said. “You won’t be charged for the ride.”
Dayna told the Jewish Journal that someone at the company should have reached out to her personally, and that Uber should fire that driver.
The Jewish Journal contacted Uber, which looked into the complaint and told the newspaper that the driver was banned from the app.
“Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination,” an Uber spokesperson’s email said. “What’s been described is horrible.”