When you think of a do-it-yourself project, usually it’s not along the lines of figuring out how to get yourself out of a war-torn country and back to your homeland.
But that’s exactly the position the United States is putting Americans in Israel in.
Americans often visit Israel, home to sacred sites for the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, as well as a nation with many friends and family who are Americans. Large groups of Americans regularly tour Israel—and this month has been no exception.
But now those Americans are stranded—in a land that the State Department itself acknowledges is extremely dangerous. The travel advisory for Israel currently warns: “Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.”
The current guidance from President Joe Biden‘s State Department is Americans should take a commercial flight out—not especially helpful advice, given that Delta, American, and United airlines have all halted flights to and out of Israel. So have other major carriers, including Air France, Finnair, and TAP Air Portugal.
That’s in marked contrast to the approach of other nations around the world. Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Spain, and Poland, among others, are organizing travel and flights to get their citizens out of Israel and back home, according to the Times of Israel.
“They need to start getting Americans out,” Silver Prout, one of 46 U.S. citizens on a Christian group tour stranded in Israel, told the New York Post in an article published Tuesday. “Where is the State Department?”
The group Prout was touring Holy Land sites with, Impact Bible Fellowship from Riverside, California, did try to book commercial flights out of Israel. The tour company organizing the fellowship’s travel, Trans-Global Travel, first booked Air Canada flights for the group that were scheduled to leave Tuesday. But those flights were canceled. Then Trans-Global travel booked flights on Turkish Airlines for Friday—only to have Turkish Airlines suspend all Israel flights indefinitely.
Sadly, Prout’s story isn’t unusual.
Tim Kennedy, who served as a master sergeant with the U.S. Army Green Berets and a Special Forces sniper and who helped bring America’s allies out of Afghanistan in 2021, estimates there could be as many as 40,000 Americans in Israel.
Meanwhile, 146 members of Congress, including both Democrats and Republicans, urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to move more aggressively.
“Since Hamas’ indiscriminate attack on Israel Saturday morning, our offices have received harrowing reports from constituents who remain in Israel and are seeking to return to the United States as soon as possible,” the lawmakers wrote, adding:
[W]e urge the State Department to use all resources at its disposal, including charter flights, to help those Americans that remain in Israel and wish to return to the United States. As you are aware, airlines have cancelled most flights out of Ben Gurion Airport, and some have suspended operations in the region. As the number of casualties continues to rise, our constituents who remain in Israel fear for their lives.
So where is the State Department exactly? How is it that the world’s superpower flounders and can’t finalize a plan to get Americans out, while smaller countries around the world rescue their citizens?
One congressman, Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., is taking matters into his own hands. Mills, a veteran, personally helped rescue 32 Americans from Israel earlier this week.
“I can tell you right now, as an elected official, I’m not going to stand for it,” Mills told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in an interview. “And if I had to come over here and do Biden’s job, then so be it.”
Mills said his office is hearing from Americans, including “scared” and “elderly” citizens.
“Many of which are scared, or in some cases, the elderly don’t have the ability or the mobility to actually be able to move to those airports. And so we’re looking at ways to be able to continue to go in there, pick them up and run the routes and get them to safety,” the Florida Republican told Ingraham.
Like Kennedy, Mills also helped with getting people out of Afghanistan.
But is this what we’ve come to as a nation? How is it better, if the country you’re visiting in is suddenly attacked, to be a Nigerian or a Brazilian or a Pole than an American?
Hamas’ vicious and horrible attack on Israel already resulted in the deaths of at least 27 Americans. Another 14 Americans are not accounted for, and are potentially hostages of Hamas.
We need to make sure no more American lives are lost if they can be spared. The Hamas attack happened five days ago. It’s inexcusable that the State Department still has no viable plan to get Americans safely out.
We need to take care of our own—and we need to do it right away, before there is further violence.
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The post Biden Administration Ignores Plight of Americans Stranded in Israel appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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