The current U.S. State Department’s Consular Affairs Crisis Management System (CACMS) has caused concern for many American citizens relying on their government for support and protection while in Israel.
In an email sent to these stranded individuals, the “assisted departure options” outlined stipulated that the Biden regime would provide loans for transportation, however, this assistance comes with a financial cost as travelers must sign a promissory note prior to leaving the region.
This agreement is an acknowledgement of a debt owed to the U.S. government which will need to be repaid at some point in the future.
The email read as follows:
The situation in Israel is still unpredictable; mortar and rocket fire may take place without warning. Please continue to follow the instructions of security and emergency response officials. Commercial flights are available but limited. If you wish to leave Israel, we encourage you to take advantage of those options now. U.S. carriers have temporarily suspended flights to Israel, if you choose to depart, you will need to fly to an intermediate location and book onward travel from there to the United States.
We understand there is high demand from U.S. citizens wishing to depart and the flight options are reduced. In the coming days we hope to assist U.S. citizens with transportation options to depart Israel. Due to the large numbers of U.S. citizens indicating interest in departure assistance, we will plan to offer transit over several days. If you choose to take this departure assistance, transportation may be by air or sea and will be to a nearby safe location and not to the United States. Travelers should be prepared to arrange their own lodging at the safe location and pay for their own onward travel from the third country to their chosen destination. Departure assistance is provided via a loan from the U.S. government which requires travelers to sign a promissory note (an agreement to repay) prior to departure.
US STATE DEPARTMENT TELLS CITIZENS STUCK IN ISRAEL IT MAY HELP THEM EVACUATE – BUT ONLY IF THEY SIGN A PROMISSARY NOTE. pic.twitter.com/PfFI0i5mk1
— The Meturgeman (@HaMeturgeman) October 11, 2023
Yitz Friedman, the Communications Manager of the American Accountability Foundation, shared a sobering account of his experience when he and his wife were unable to return to the U.S. from Israel due to their flight being canceled.
Mr. Friedman highlighted the ineffectiveness of the U.S. State Department in providing assistance for its citizens during such crises. Upon seeking help from their embassy, they were reportedly met with complete disregard for their plight.
“My wife and I have finally gotten ourselves on the way home to the US from Israel after days of fear and tremendous anxiety. Our original flight was canceled. While Poland, Hungary, Brazil, Romania, and other countries sent planes to bring their citizens home from the war zone, our government told us to fend for ourselves. I literally called our embassy asking for help and was essentially told to pound sand,” Friedman wrote.
“Is this what it means to be an American abroad? Almost all American airlines received taxpayer bailouts, and they were the first to abandon us. They were the first to cancel all flights,” he added.
My wife and I have finally gotten ourselves on the way home to the US from Israel after days of fear and tremendous anxiety. Our original flight was canceled.
While Poland, Hungary, Brazil, Romania, and other countries sent planes to bring their citizens home from the war zone,…
— Yitz Friedman (@friedman_yitz) October 10, 2023
This is not the first time the Biden administration has neglected its citizens. As documented in a report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, up to 9,000 Americans were left behind to face Taliban forces in Afghanistan during 2022.
Despite criticism of the current U.S. government and American airlines, Friedman expressed his appreciation for former President Donald Trump’s foreign policy initiatives, particularly the Abraham Accords which enabled diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
According to Friedman, without these accords it would have been impossible for him and his wife to fly from Israel to a friendly Arab country during a period of war; instead they eventually made their way safely to Dubai through multiple armed military checkpoints at the airport.
“I would like to thank President Trump. After days of fear and anxiety in Israel, I am finally on my way home to the US. Almost every airline canceled all flights, including our flight home. We we’re sure what to do,” Friedman wrote.
“Luckily, one if the few airlines still running flights is Emirates. My wife and I just flew from Tel Aviv – passing three or four armed military checkpoints to get to the airport – and are now safe in Dubai waiting for our connecting flight to the US.
“If not for the Trump Abraham Accords, this would be unthinkable. There would be no flights from Israel to the UAE. To be able to fly to a friendly Arab country when even American flights won’t dare, at a time of war, is miraculous.
“Thanks to Trump’s efforts, thousands of American citizens have a way home from a very dangerous situation. Even as it seems the Middle East is imploding, this historic peace agreement is making things a little better,” he wrote.
I would like to thank President Trump.
After days of fear and anxiety in Israel, I am finally on my way home to the US.
Almost every airline canceled all flights, including our flight home. We we're sure what to do.
Luckily, one if the few airlines still running flights is…
— Yitz Friedman (@friedman_yitz) October 10, 2023