About 900 Jewish people from Metro Detroit flew into Dulles International Airport, in suburban D.C. on Tuesday, but some bus drivers refused to drive them to D.C. for a pro-Israel rally at the National Mall, reports VINnews.
The people were subsequently left stranded on the tarmac, reports the news website, adding:
The repercussions were significant, as the stranded attendees, eager to participate in the Israel rally, were left without a means of transportation or access to the airport facilities. Hours passed as the travelers waited on the tarmac, their frustration growing as they realized they would miss the opportunity to join the rally and voice their support for the cause.
Some found alternative transportation to the rally. And some got there when somes buses with drivers arrived, according to the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, which organized the trip.
David Kurzmann, senior director of community affairs at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, said in a statement published by the Detroit News:
"We have learned from the bus company that this was caused by a deliberate and malicious walk-off of drivers. Fortunately, many were able to travel to the march, and we are grateful to the drivers of those buses that arrived."
"While we are deeply dismayed by this disgraceful action, our resolve to proudly stand in solidarity with the people of Israel, to condemn antisemitism and to demand the return of every hostage held by Hamas has never been greater."
He did not disclose the name of the bus company. A spokesperson for Dulles International Airport told Deadline Detroit she was unaware of the incident and noted that transportation in those instances are arranged privately.
The rally, which reportedly attracted hundreds of thousands of people, was to show support for Israel in its war against Hamas. One speaker at the rally briefly mentioned that bus drivers refused to transport the Metro Detroiters to D.C.
One of those stranded Metro Detroiters said there were three chartered planes from Detroit to Dulles in Virginia. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tells Deadline Detroit that he and some others found alternative transportation to get to the rally, which started at 1 p.m. He said he got there at about 1:30 p.m. by taking a small limo bus that carries about 30 people.
He said there were many who made it to the rally, but still a large number of people stayed at the airport.
He said they were told the drivers simply didn't show up to drive the buses.
"It was frustrating, but understandable," he said.
Then he added: "It's disturbing, really."