ANALYSIS – ‘DeSantis Airways’ – Nonstop migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard and return flights from Israel.’ In an act more befitting a president than the governor of a state, Republican Ron DeSantis ordered Florida state-funded flights to quickly rescue nearly 300 Americans, including 91 children, stranded in war-torn Israel.
At least 30 Americans are listed as murdered by Hamas so far. Another 13 remain missing. Florida officials estimate that around 20,000 U.S. citizens (AMCITS) remain in Israel unable to return home.
DeSantis chided Joe Biden for not doing enough to rescue stranded Americans.
“There was a devoid [sic] of leadership so we stepped up and led,” DeSantis said Sunday night in a video posted on X.
“Today we welcomed nearly 300 Americans who have been in Israel since last week, when the violent attacks by Hamas terrorists began,” DeSantis wrote.
The Republican presidential hopeful authorized the Florida Department of Emergency Management to carry out “logistical, rescue and evacuation operations” for Florida residents still in Israel.
Florida officials partnered with Project Dynamo, an international search and rescue non-profit, to organize the flights.
One plane carrying seven evacuees landed late night Sunday in Orlando and the other in Tampa, where DeSantis was on hand to meet with over 270 evacuees and four of their dogs. This the first of a planned series of evacuation flights.
The DeSantis executive order also enables the department to transport “necessary supplies” to Israel.
The state’s move supplements slow-going federal efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens from Israel due to the limited availability of commercial flights leaving the country.
Commercial airlines have canceled hundreds of flights out of Israel as Hamas wages war against Israeli civilians.
Only a trickle of charter flights has been going in and out regularly.
DeSantis also said this weekend that the U.S. should refuse to take refugees from Gaza, claiming during a campaign event in Iowa that, “They are all anti-Semitic” and that Palestinians should go to the “Arab states.”
While I may not agree that all the residents of Gaza are anti-Semitic, the Hamas brainwashing there is intense and systematic. And thanks to Biden, our immigration system is overwhelmed. DeSantis is right to have fellow Arab states take in those refugees.
Team Biden belatedly began arranging chartered flights on Friday for U.S. citizens trapped in Israel to head to Europe, not the U.S., but they will be required to repay Uncle Sam. And no pets allowed.
Meanwhile, the swiftness of the DeSantis effort should be applauded.
“I am proud of how quickly we have been able to activate resources and do what the federal government could not — get Floridians and other Americans back home,” DeSantis said in a statement.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also confirmed on Thursday that in addition to chartered flights, the federal government would explore the possibility of evacuating citizens “by land and by sea.”
American citizens in need of assistance in Israel who want to wait for Biden’s help can complete an intake form found at travel.state.gov and standby.
Some have criticized former president Donald Trump for not sending his own 757 airliner, dubbed ‘Trump Force One’ to Israel to bring back Americans. That would have been a great gesture and a major media coup.
But Trump has been dealing with blowback to his earlier comments calling Hezbollah terrorists ‘very smart’ and bashing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a personal squabble.
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