Flights to Israel have slowed, but El Al is still flying out of Logan Airport to transport family members and citizens back to the war-torn country. As the conflict continues, the Israel Defense Forces are requesting help. “No one is running away from this,” said Shirly Gurten of the Center for Jewish Life in Arlington.
Like all Israeli citizens, men and women, Gurten, now living in Arlington, was required to join the Israeli army at 18. “This is our home and we’re going to protect it,” Gurten said. Now days after Hamas attacked Israel, all current and former IDF military members are being called to serve. “In an emergency like this, people are being called up from the reserves,” said Professor Lori Lefkovitz of Northeastern University.
Lefkovitz, a professor of Jewish studies, explains reservists from around the world including the U.S. are mandated to get to Israel and join the fight. The problem is access is limited. “Delta and United and other regular carriers that were taking people to Israel, there they’ve all stopped their flights,” Lefkovitz said. “El Al continues to fly to and from Boston and to and from Israel,” said Meron Reuben, Consul General of Israel to New England. “We are definitely seeing private planes chartered to Israel as well.”