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Video: Roses for 'Non-Flytilla' Participants

Arutz Sheva speaks with Israelis who arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport from Basel, Switzerland, hours after the anti-Israel ‘flytilla’.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 4/16/2012, 6:12 AM

Arutz Sheva spoke with Israelis who arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport on a flight from Basel, Switzerland, on Sunday evening.

The flight arrived on the same day as the anti-Israel ‘flytilla’, during which some 78 radical leftists and anarchists landed at the airport throughout the day, in an attempt to cause provocation.

56 of the activists were arrested, 18 were deported back to their country of origin and four others are being held in a detention center at the airport.

The Israelis who were onboard the flight said that the flight itself was quiet and that they hadn’t seen anyone being arrested upon landing in Israel, but noted that there had been anti-Israel protests at the airport in Basel.

“There were many French demonstrators against Israel [at the airport in Basel], but there were also security officers who tried to control them,” recalled Yossi Adre’i, one of the passengers on the flight.

“I was telling them to demonstrate against the Syrian government,” he added. “I used to live in France for many years so I’m well-aware of the anti-Israel environment there.”

The passengers said that upon arrival in Israel, all the passengers received roses, likely a gesture towards non-Israeli passengers who were not part of the ‘flytilla’, to show them that they are indeed welcome in Israel.

“We received a rose when we got here,” recalled Alex Guttman. “We were told the rose was to welcome us but not just us and that it was mostly meant for those foreign passengers who may be concerned that they will not be welcomed into Israel. I hope it succeeds. We know that for most of them, their primary destination is not Tel Aviv but other places.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Sunday evening, and thanked the officers and commanders of the Israel Police for their determined and successful operation in foiling the ‘flytilla’.

Netanyahu told Aharonovitch, “The deployment of the operational and diplomatic elements proved itself.  Today, the world better understands where the true problems are in the Middle East.”

The activists who arrived at the airport were given sarcastic letters.