WASHINGTON - Hundreds of demonstrators arriving in D.C. for the March for Israel were reportedly left stranded at Dulles International Airport after charter bus drivers refused to take them to the National Mall for the rally, organizers claimed.
The Jewish Federation of Washington confirmed that a speaker at the march told the crowd of nearly 290,000 people that some 900 people who flew in on chartered planes were left at the airport when buses that had been organized for them failed to show up.
That speaker estimated that some 600 people made their way to D.C. for the event on their own but others were stuck on the tarmac all day, according to reports.
"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," a spokesperson for the Jewish Federation of Detroit, which organized the transportation, told FOX 5 in a statement.
David Kurzmann, who works with the Federation spoke with FOX 5 briefly following the demonstration, saying he "did hear that several hundred people are still on the tarmac because the bus drivers refused to take attendees to the rally," and that he was "told from other people it's because they are Jewish."
"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," the Jewish Federation of Detroit added in its statement.
FOX 5 also reached out to Dulles International Airport for comment about the alleged incident. In a statement, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said that several Signature Aviation and Atlantic Aviation flights came into the airport Tuesday and that "the airlines involved were responsible for setting up bus transportation for their passengers."
They added that "everything is operational at Dulles International and there is no strike by any of our employees."