Two Jewish women say an Uber driver in Los Angeles, CA, who identified himself as “Palestinian” kicked them out of his car after learning they were leaving a celebration of Israel’s Independence day.
The Jewish Journal, a Los Angeles-based periodical, spoke with the two Jewish ladies about the aforementioned event:
“What event were you coming from?” [asked the Uber driver]. The women responded, “Just an event.” After the driver — who according to his Uber profile is named Mustafa — asked them again where they had come from, and after noticing that the car had not yet moved, Dayna said, “An Israeli Independence Day event.”
The driver then told them to get out of his car.
“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,’ ” Dayna said. “The only reason I can think of that he would ask us which event we were coming from is he clearly wanted to make a statement. It was clear by the families crossing the street and the security that it was an Israel Independence event.”
“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,” Rachel added.
The women got out of the Uber. “We were pretty freaked,” Dayna said.
“His rage was so great that he couldn’t handle anyone associated with Israel, and that’s a hate crime, that’s prejudice,” Rachel said. “As females, it’s very intimidating to be in a situation with a male driver. He overpowered us.”
“We definitely felt threatened,” Dayna said. “I take Ubers twice a day to and from work and I’ve never been told to get out of someone’s car because I’m Jewish.”
After contacting Uber about the incident, Dayna received an automated reply: “Sorry you had that experience. You won’t be charged for the ride.”
Uber later informed the Jewish Journal that Mustafa had been removed as one of its drivers. “Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination. What’s been described is horrible and the driver no longer has access to the app.”
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.