Judging by the recent video clips doing the rounds on the social media networks, Israelis aren't exactly relaxed and carefree even when on holiday: This week, days after the release of a video showing Israeli passengers on a flight to Varna almost come to blows with a flight attendant over duty-free chocolate, a new expletives-laden clip appeared, showing holidaymakers in Eilat physically and verbally abusing hotel staff.
Two brothers – Assaf and Alon Badiri from Moshav Ahisamah – were in Eilat for the weekend with their families, at the U Suites Hotel, where they had parked their two cars in spaces reserved for the disabled. The brothers were asked several times by hotel staff to move the cars, but they refused to do so, arguing that they observed the Sabbath and thus weren't able to drive. They also refused to furnish disability cards.
"After the guests refused to vacate the parking spaces, the deputy security officer of the hotel decided to double-lock the doors to their rooms," one of the hotel employees recounted on Sunday. "The hotel rooms have an electronic lock and also a regular lock, which prevents guests from entering even if they have a keycard to get into the room."
The families returned to their rooms only to discover they couldn't get in. "They came down to reception and a loud argument broke out, with threats of physical violence," the employee recalled.
The incident ended with the brothers leaving the hotel on Saturday evening after being questioned by police.
The violent incident was caught on the hotel's security cameras and also a cellphone, presumably that of a hotel guest, who later posted the clip on Facebook. The video shows the two brothers charging at the security officer. One of them picks up the hotel's feedback box and threatens to throw it at him if he refuses to open their rooms.
One of the women also yells at the security officer, and one of the brothers curses him and threatens to smash his head open. All the while, the security officer remains behind the front desk; and at some point, one of the family members approaches him and slaps him in the face, with the sound clearly heard in the video.
At that point, the security officer decided to call the police, and a patrol car soon showed up at the hotel. The security officer accompanied the police back to the station to file a complaint, and the families were taken for questioning. Following their release a few hours later, they were ordered to keep away from Eilat for a period of 15 days. Police sources said a decision on whether to press charges would be made following the completion of the investigation.
"The disabled parking is designated by law for people with disabilities only, and it's the job of the hotel security officers to take action to preserve this right for the benefit of the disabled who are guests at the hotel," said a statement from the U Suites Hotel.
"After the guests who parked in the disabled parking spaces refused outright to show proof of their right to park there, and were asked several times to move their cars, which were illegally parked, the hotel's representatives had no choice but to take action to force the guests to move their cars. We condemn any kind of physical and verbal violence against the hotel staff, and hope that the law enforcement authorities take action to eradicate this phenomenon."
Assaf Badiri, who was at the hotel with his wife and two-year-old son, expressed remorse on Sunday about the incident, but was quick to add: "The clip was edited before it was posted. They should post the full video showing my pregnant wife pleading for over an hour with the desk clerk to be allowed into the room to get baby formula for our son, who was hungry and had started to cry. My wife was pleading with him to open the room."
According to Badiri, he had parked in a regular parking space, whereas his brother, Alon, had parked in the disabled parking space on Friday afternoon; "but with the approval of the security officer, who told him it was okay to do so."
The Badiri brothers continue to claim that they observe the Sabbath and thus weren't able to move their cars after parking them on Friday afternoon.