Air Canada has removed a pilot from active duty following inflammatory comments published on social media concerning Israel. Screenshots were circulated by the group, StopAntiSemitism.org, depicting an individual identified as Mostafa Ezzo, clothed in pro-Palestinian colors within his pilot uniform and visibly protesting at a demonstration in Montreal with a banner stating, “Isr*el Hitler is proud of you.”
Last Sunday saw a number of Montreal citizens staging a protest in Dorchester Square, expressing their solidarity with Palestine in the wake of attacks from Hamas on Israel the preceding day.
The same Instagram account, suspected to belong to Ezzo, promoted this protest utilizing captions laden with expletives towards Israel and wishing it ill-fate. A subsequent post seemed to show Ezzo exhibiting a sign portraying an Israeli flag deposited into a garbage bin, paired with a poignant caption, “Keep the world clean”.
Air Canada released a statement in response to queries from CTV News about Ezzo on Tuesday. They confirmed that the implicated individual had been removed from service the day prior, effectively halting his flying responsibilities.
Canada’s national airline has also made the decision to share the employment status of the accused publicly through X, once labeled as Twitter. The declared message stated, “We are aware of the unacceptable posts made by an Air Canada pilot. We are taking this matter very seriously.”
Adding further, the airline condemned violence in all its forms in a follow-up statement.
The Air Line Pilots Association, the union speaking for Air Canada pilots, too expressed their awareness of the matter. In a statement, they conveyed sadness about the ongoing tragedies in the Middle East, emphasizing their opposition to any forms of violence, hatred, and their advocacy.
Reiterating, they emphasized their expectation from all association members to adhere to these principles and their occupational code of conduct.
Montreal residents, with connections to both parties in the conflict, have staged rallies in recent days to symbolize their unity with those suffering a loss of civilian life.
The ongoing skirmishes between Hamas and Israel have reportedly taken at least 1,900 lives on either side of the conflict, as per news from The Associated Press on Tuesday evening.