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SCV congregations react to canceled flights to Israel

Posted: July 22, 2014 5:57 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2014 5:57 p.m.

U.S. and European airlines canceled flights to Israel Tuesday, but Santa Clarita Valley representatives of two faiths that consider Israel the holy land said they’re not worried about pilgrims’ safety.

“I don’t know if there is American political motivation, but it doesn’t quite make sense,” said Rabbi Mark Blazer of Temple Beth Ami. “Why today? Why not three days ago?”

Blazer said he’s been closely following news in Israel, as many of his students and members of his congregation are currently there.

One member began volunteering on an army base in Israel four days ago and is packing medical supplies for the front lines, Blazer said. A father of four and Stevenson Ranch resident, the member said life is continuing on as normal in Israel.

“He is doing fine,” said Blazer. “He wants Israelis in the United States to know that Israelis there are not living in fear. The focus has recently been on the soldiers fighting.”

Blazer said he knew Max Steinberg, the 24-year-old Woodland Hills resident who was killed in Israel on Sunday along with Nissim Sean Carmeli, a Texas resident. They were among 13 Israeli soldiers and 65 Palestinians killed Sunday during the first major ground battle in two weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Even so, Blazer said, “I am not worried about any of the people who are visiting there. I have sent my family there.”

Mike Gaston, lead pastor for outreach at Grace Baptist Church, has also been monitoring movements in Israel, as the church has a team traveling to the Middle East in a few weeks.

According to Gaston, Grace Baptist did send a tour group to Israel last year but is not planning additional trips in the near future.

“It won’t impact us in a personal way,” Gaston said. “But we are doing our best to educate ourselves to make sure no one is in danger.”

Blazer, too, said he is not worried about the flight cancellations for now, but the restrictions could affect future Jewish birthright trips.

Birthright trips are educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults, ages 18 to 26, around the world. Young Jewish people travel to see and experience Israel and talk about what it means to the Jewish community.

The airlines did not announce Tuesday whether the flight cancellations would continue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report



debatenohate: Posted: July 22, 2014 9:38 p.m.

Would be nice to interview the local Muslim community representatives, too, for this story. Jerusalem is considered "holy land" to them too, and they might have community members traveling in the area.

balld13: Posted: July 22, 2014 11:46 p.m.

Maybe the local Muslim community can also explain why Hamas runs Gaza?

Unreal: Posted: July 23, 2014 12:50 p.m.

So much sadness in the world right now. That is an area where until Christ returns there will be no peace.

A pet can make things seem a little better. There are 45 adorable little fluff balls (cats) at the Castaic Shelter. Lots of kittens too. Tuxedo
(black & white) cats, orange tabby’s, Siamese, white, black, sweet friendly,
and scared.

The shelter is going to start killing them in the next day or so. PLEASE
come and pick up a little bundle for yourself. You will never be sorry.

DMeyer: Posted: July 23, 2014 1:31 p.m.


Your zeal to get these animals placed in new homes is certainly admirable, I commend you for that noble cause. Good luck!

SReilly12: Posted: July 23, 2014 4:16 p.m.

Unreal - I had the same thoughts when I read your post earlier that Dmeyer commented about...........lucky animals to have you in their corner! Keep pushing your message :)

17trillion: Posted: July 24, 2014 11:44 a.m.

Unreal, I share the thoughts of DM and SR. Good job!

solhachuel: Posted: July 24, 2014 7:38 p.m.

balld13, Yes, and ask the Gazan men why they hide missiles beneath homes, schools, mosques. Ask a Gazan why they refuse to allow their civilian casualties to have their wounds treated at the emergency centers set up by Israelis. Ask Gazan mothers why they allow HAMAS to place their children on the rooftops of these buildings, to become human shields.

Unreal: Posted: July 25, 2014 11:41 a.m.

How about the children's shows like a seasme street style show where they teach little children as young as 2 and 3 to hate and kill Jews?

I can't stand to see the women and men crying about the deaths of their children when they choose by electing Hamas to lead them to continue this life of hatred.

I am on the Jewish side always.

scvforall: Posted: July 25, 2014 6:55 p.m.

Sad that so many see this as a Jewish vs. Palestinian issue. The truth is that Israel's residents are of all faiths. There are Catholics, Bahai Christians, and Muslims all living peacefully.

This is a Hamas vs. Israel issue. No parent wants their child in harms way and something must be done to resolve this issue peacefully.

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