Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to rescind its ban on U.S. airline carriers flying to and from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.
"Having recently returned from Israel," Villaraigosa said in a statement on July 23 to the Jewish Journal, "and especially being there when Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel, three Israeli teenage boys, were kidnapped and killed, I want to publically commend Mayor Mike Bloomberg for his statement about flights to Israel. Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport is the best protected airport in the world and I join Mayor Bloomberg in demanding that the FAA reverse course and allow US airlines to fly to Israel. Allowing these flight restrictions to continue gives the terrorist organization Hamas a victory that they do not deserve."
As mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa increased security cooperation between LA and Israel, and extended trade and business ties.