Thursday, November 16, 2023

Anti Semitism in action...will Merrick Garland investigate this blatant act of bias?

Hundreds of Pro-Israel Demonstrators Left Stranded on Tarmac after Bus Drivers Coordinate ‘Antisemitic’ Strike

Supporters of Israel gather in solidarity with Israel and protest against antisemitism on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., November 14, 2023.(Leah Millis/Reuters)

Hundreds of Jewish Americans, on their way to Tuesday’s March for Israel at the National Mall in D.C., were left stranded on the tarmac of a local airport after their bus drivers coordinated a “mass sick out” day to prevent the travelers from attending the rally.

Around 300 of the 900 passengers flown in by the Jewish Federation of Detroit were left on tarmac of Dulles International Airport for nearly eleven hours, causing them to miss the entire March for Israel event before being sent back home. When several buses failed to appear upon their 10:30 a.m. landing, many travelers had no way to leave the tarmac.

David Kurzmann, the senior director of community affairs at the Jewish Federation of Detroit, had “learned from the bus company that this was caused by a deliberate and malicious walk-off of drivers.”

According to Kurzmann, the bus company told the federation that a “significant number” of drivers called out sick when they learned they would be taking hundreds of Jewish Americans to the pro-Israel rally. The federation has not named the bus company, and has refused to do so.

Jonathan Kaufman had flown in from Detroit eager to attend the rally — he was one of the hundreds left stranded.

“I thought it was nuts, I thought it was crazy that we’re blocked from getting to the rally,” Kaufman told The New York Post, adding that there were “frantic” calls to find out what was happening as they were stranded for hours. “Our right to assembly is a constitutional right — and this was straight up blocking that.”

Those who were left behind spent roughly three hours on the tarmac before they were loaded onto several buses — only to be told that the buses were not for their group and that they had to offload immediately.

The Jewish Federation of Detroit had chartered three private planes, carrying 900 passengers in total, to transport rally-goers from Detroit to Dulles International Airport outside of D.C. According to airport regulations, travelers on privately chartered planes are not allowed to leave the tarmac without pre-organized vehicular transportation. And, because the passengers did not pass through a TSA checkpoint before boarding, which is typical for privately chartered flights, they were not permitted inside the airport either.

When it came time for the whole group to fly back to Detroit after the rally, the plane’s crew had “timed out,” or exceeded federally mandated work limits, because of the unexpected delay in the morning. The federation was not allowed to leave for Detroit until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday — leaving those who had made it to the rally waiting for several hours outside the airport. Some in the group hadn’t eaten all day.

Kaufman — who spent hundreds of dollars to attend the march with his mother — called the walkout “a deliberate antisemitic act,” that “would have been called a hate crime” if it happened to any other ethnic group. “This is a historical moment — and I would have loved to be part of it.”

“While we are deeply dismayed by this disgraceful action, our resolve to proudly stand in solidarity with the people of Israel, to condemn antisemitism and to demand the return of every hostage held by Hamas has never been greater.”

“It was not the day we planned but it was still a very successful day, nevertheless,” he said. “Three hundred people stood arm to arm on the tarmac waving flags.” He said that they sang the anthem of solidarity called “Am Yisrael Chai.”

Nearly 300,000 people are estimated to have attended the March for Israel.

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