Many Americans who had flown to Israel for the Jewish holidays have contacted Agudath Israel offices around the nation in the few days since the start of Hamas’ terrorist atrocity to ask for advice on how to return to the U.S. Flights to and from Ben Gurion Airport have been significantly curtailed in the wake of the hostilities, leaving tourists detained in Israel for days or even longer.
Many of the cases brought to Agudath Israel’s attention involved American citizens who were dealing with particular difficulties, such as large families forced to find new lodging because their holiday reservations had expired, people in need of medical care back home, workers who had to return to their places of employment, and other urgent situations that required them to return home.
Agudath Israel’s Washington Director and Counsel, Rabbi Abba Cohen, and other members of the organization’s government affairs team have spoken with White House officials and members of Congress directly to inform them of the challenging circumstances that many community members are facing and to bring up the issue of adding more flights to meet the demand.
Officials from the administration said today during a briefing at the White House that the issue has been added to their interagency agenda and that they are dedicated to working on getting Americans home safely and on time.
The State Department and the Department of Transportation are collaborating with domestic carriers to increase flights from Israel, according to information provided by the White House.
They are also looking at additional options for travel by land, air, and sea, and they anticipate learning more about those in the coming days.
The challenging circumstances facing Americans in Israel are being addressed by numerous government authorities, including those in the White House and other departments, according to Rabbi Cohen.
We are extremely appreciative of President Biden’s administration for supporting Israel first and foremost, as well as for their persistent efforts on behalf of American nationals who want to come home.
Agudath Israel also extends its gratitude to the Senators and Representatives who brought up the subject with Secretary Tony Blinken, as well as the 144 House members who signed a letter in support of it that was co-authored by Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY).
Since the crisis started, Agudath Israel has been advising Americans living in Israel on how to adhere to the conditions set forth by the State Department in order to maintain contact with the United States.
Embassy, get informational updates and advisories, and get U.S. support if and when required. Agudath Israel is still pleading with Americans to complete the U.S. To fill out an intake form for the State Department, please click here or call 833.890.9595 or 606.641.0131 right away.
Even if they don’t want to leave Israel right now, Americans should nevertheless fill out the form since it will give the State Department an accurate list of all Americans there at the moment to assess the situation.