Air Canada has grounded a pilot after investigators revealed on social media that he had posted a series of anti-Semitic messages on his various accounts, which have since been deleted. The outrage comes in the wake of Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel last weekend.
First Officer Mostafa Ezzo, who is based out of Montreal, even posted a photo of himself in his uniform holding a Palestinian flag. Ezzo piloted a B787 aircraft.
“We are aware of the unacceptable messages from an Air Canada pilot. We are taking this matter very seriously and he was removed from service on Monday 9 October. We strongly condemn violence in all forms,” Air Canada wrote in a post on X.
In a recent post, Ezzo promoted a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Montreal that took place on Sunday, the day after Hamas’ brutal attack on Israeli civilians began. “F*** you Israel, burn in hell,” he added to the post.
In other posts circulated online, Ezzo referred to the Jewish state as a “terorist (sic) state” and posted a photo of himself holding a sign that read: “Israel, Hitler is proud of you.”
Air Canada took action and grounded Mostafa Ezzo when his anti-Israel social media posts became apparent
“Hitler is proud of you,” Izzo wrote on a sign he held at a rally
Air Canada called Izzo’s online activities ‘unacceptable’
A spokesperson for Air Canada told the newspaper Toronto Sun that the airline was taking action “because this individual’s opinions and postings on social media do not in any way represent the views of Air Canada.”
“This individual was never authorized to speak publicly while identifying himself as an Air Canada employee,” he added.
The Sun adds in its report that Jewish passengers had complained to Air Canada, saying they would feel uncomfortable flying with a pilot who was openly hostile to them.
“ALPA Canada, including Air Canada’s pilot group, is aware of the situation and is incredibly saddened by the tragedies in the Middle East. We condemn all violence and hatred, and any promotion thereof. It is our firm expectation that all of our members will adhere to this principle and our professional code of ethics,” Airline Pilots Association Canada said in a statement about Ezzo.
Ezzo is an Egyptian Canadian who attended flight school at the Egypt Aviation Academy, where his roommate and best friend was fellow student Mohamed Mamdouh.
Mamdouh was the co-pilot EgyptAir Flight 804 which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea in May 2016, killing all on board.
An Air Canada spokesperson told the Toronto Sun that the airline was taking action “because this individual’s opinions and postings on social media do not in any way represent the views of Air Canada.”
Ezzo is an Egyptian Canadian who attended flight school at the Egypt Aviation Academy
An investigation revealed that an onboard fire caused the crash when one of the pilots began smoking a cigarette which caused a burn when exposed to leaking oxygen.
As of this writing, Air Canada has suspended flights to Tel Aviv due to the ongoing violence in the country.
On Wednesday, airstrikes reduced entire city blocks in the small coastal enclave to rubble, leaving an unknown number of bodies under piles of rubble.
The bombardment rages on even as militants hold an estimated 150 people taken from Israel: soldiers, men, women, children and older adults.
Israel has vowed unprecedented retaliation against the Hamas militant group that rules the Palestinian territory after its fighters stormed through the border fence on Saturday and shot hundreds of Israelis in their homes, on the streets and at an outdoor music festival.
Since then, militants have continued to fire rockets into Israel, including a heavy barrage on the southern city of Ashkelon on Wednesday.
The war, which has already claimed at least 2,200 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate – adding to the misery of people in Gaza, where basic needs and electricity were already scarce.