The media-hyped pro-Palestinian Authority “fly-in” has bombed out so
far as airlines have canceled most of the activists’ tickets to Ben
Gurion International Airport.
As of 8 a.m. Sunday, more than 600 police officers swarmed throughout
the airport to handle mass protests by demonstrators, but so far,
none of the pro-Arab protesters has landed.
Most airlines canceled the activists´ reservations rather than having
to pay for their return following a warning from Israel that they
would not be allowed to enter the country.
"Usually airlines don´t allow these people to embark, because then
they have to cover the expense of the return flight," said Israeli
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
The low-cost Jet.2 airline canceled tickets for women scheduled to
travel to Bethlehem from Manchester, according to the London
Guardian. Jet.2 said it complied with Israel’s request for names,
dates of birth, passport numbers and nationalities of the passengers.
Israel then told the airline the passengers would not be allowed to
enter the country because they would be considered security threats.
Nearly 2,000 Europeans had planned to board airplanes for
the “flytilla,” but most of them found themselves with canceled
reservations. Lufthansa and Air France were among those airlines that
told activists they could not board.
The apparent failure of the fly-in follows previous failed attempts
to bring in pro-Arab activists by land, ground and sea, an indication
that the anti-Israel movement is losing steam.
Last summer, most of a few hundred got no further than Ben Gurion
International Airport, where they were sent back home at the
airlines’ expense. “Million-man” marches on Israel also have been an
embarrassment for supporters of the Palestinian Authority, as have
The office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had prepared "thank
you” letters for the activists, welcoming their interest to visit
Israel to show their “humanitarian concerns” but suggesting
they “could have chosen Syria, Iran and Hamas-controlled Gaza to
express their enthusiasm for protecting people against abuses of
"You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime´s daily savagery,
but instead you chose to ´protest against Israel, the Middle East´s
sole democracy,´” the letter stated.