Wednesday, July 23, 2014, New York, NY… Conference of Presidents leaders Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman, urged the Federal Aviation Administration to rescind the temporary ban on commercial flights by US airlines to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. “While we recognize the need to protect fliers from any danger, we believe this was an excessive measure that will only encourage Hamas to sustain the barrage of rockets and, specifically, to try to target the area of the airport.”
“We commend former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his demonstrative act of solidarity and confidence, flying to Israel on El Al Airlines last night. There are many missions going to Israel to show support for the people of Israel at this difficult time. The absence of travelers not only has a strong economic impact but also a psychological one. When the streets and restaurants are empty, it increases the sense of isolation. In fact, Israel’s American friends and supporters, Jews and non-Jews alike, stand with Israel in record numbers. We understand that Israel’s plight is our plight. Hamas wants to destroy Israel, but also the United States, and the values both countries share. We should not encourage them by invoking a ban on air flights,” said Sugarman and Hoenlein.