Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defiantly flew to Israel Tuesday evening, in protest of the FAA’s current ban on flights into or out of Israel, CNN is reporting.
On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ban on all U.S. carriers flying into or out of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, according to the Washington Post. The indefinite ban began at 12:15 P.M. Eastern Time and was to last at least 24 hours. The move came in response to a Hamas rocket landing less than a mile from one of Ben Gurion’s runways. Even before the ban, some U.S. carriers, including Delta (see this Inquisitr article), had already suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv indefinitely.
Michael Bloomberg, however, is having none of that. On Tuesday morning, he announced his intention to fly to Israel, as he was quoted by CNN:
“This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel. Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world and El Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely.”
On his Twitter account, Bloomberg tweeted that he had landed safely.
Safely landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv – here to show support for Israel’s right to defend itself.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) July 23, 2014
This is not the first time that Michael Bloomberg, a staunch supporter of Israel, has taken sides in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. In 2009, amid similar violence as what is happening today, Bloomberg flew (on his private plane) to Sderot, an Israeli city attacked by Hamas rockets, and blamed the violence squarely on Hamas, according to Mondoweiss.
“That they are putting people at risk is an outrage. If Hamas would focus on building a country instead of trying to destroy another one, then those people would not be getting injured or killed.”
Technically, Bloomberg’s flight did not violate the FAA ban, since El Al (the carrier on which he flew) is not a U.S. carrier.
Image courtesy of: Fox News