Americans trapped in Israel: ‘This is kind of like Holocaust times’
American couple Roman and Alexis Thomson, who are stranded in Israel, tell "America Reports" about the funding issues that are preventing them from leaving the war-torn country.
As the war in Israel continues, Americans have attempted to make arrangements to get back to the United States but have had little success. Roman and Alexis Thomson are both hoping to find a way back home.
“It’s been incredibly stressful these past couple of days. Basically, we have to change our plan every hour or two. And a lot of variables, things are changing, new news comes in. So, we’re just doing our best to try and get home, but it’s been very difficult,” Roman said during an interview Thursday on “America Reports.”
The couple spoke of the complicated process for making travel arrangements from Jerusalem. The pair hasn’t been able to get on a flight due to numerous factors, including cancelations and funding.
Hamas fired thousands of rockets while its terrorists infiltrated southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo / Ohad Zwigenberg)
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“We initially had a flight booked that was canceled. And so we tried to get on El Al, which is the only flight that’s flying out. … Their nearest flight was over a week away, about a week and a half away that we could book on. So, we’ve been looking into other options,” Roman said.
“Someone put us in touch with an organization called Project Dynamo, and their plan was to charter a flight for 300 Americans to leave the country. And they’re now having some funding issues to getting the flight funded so that we can all fly out. So, we’re kind of just taking it hour by hour.”
Alexis went on to highlight how the couple has navigated the difficult time.
“This is a struggle for us, even as Americans because we hold two identities. This is us as people that really care that our brothers and sisters are being murdered, and we have the luxury to leave, but the American government isn’t necessarily responding. And we have to find other means or pay a lot of money to find a flight that aren’t even available to fly out at this point.”
Co-host of “America Reports” Bill Hemmer asked about the possibility of the two leaving Israel by boat, an option that both expressed is a possibility but less than ideal.
Many Americans are trapped in Israel with very limited travel options back to the United States. (Fabrizio Gandolfo / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images / File)
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“It’s looking like we might have to do something like that. The word is that the U.S. government is going to be flying the American citizens out, but the first flight is going to be during Shabbat, so we won’t be able to fly on that,” Roman said.
“It feels a bit like the 1900s, you know, we’re stuck in a different century. This is kind of like Holocaust times at this point, and we’re not used to that as Americans. We’re not used to that as Jews growing up in our generation,” Alexis explained.
“This is a time of strange and unusual circumstances. So, leaving on a boat, they don’t even have large boats apparently, and land crossing into enemy lines doesn’t sound like the most comfortable option – not that we’re ever comfortable as a Jew living in this world right now.”
The Thomsons said they have been contacted by their family and friends in the U.S., who have expressed concern for their trip back to the States. Though they are being called home by family and experts, the pair is torn because of the tragic events in Israel.
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Alexis and Roman Thomson, who are trying to get home to the United States from Jerusalem, have been unable to secure a flight. (AP Photo)
“There is a lot of pressure on us from America to come home. You know, our parents and our friends are worried desperately,” Alexis said.
“The point right now is that we are two Jews in between two worlds where the people that we want to fight for and stay with here and the people that are calling us home. It’s a very confusing place to be, as you can imagine.”
“We’re very torn,” Roman said. “We feel like we’re abandoning our family here. But at the same time, the experts are telling us, the gentleman who runs Project Dynamo is telling us, that he’s been in several war zones, and he’s here in Israel and can see the state of things, and he’s highly suggesting that we leave.”
“On top of that, there’s a lot of misrepresentation of what’s actually going on here in Israel. So, we feel very blessed to be able to know but to be able to report when we do get back home because a lot of our friends are misinformed, and it’s a really sad tale to watch unfold,” Alexis said.
Ashlyn Messier is a writer for Fox News Digital.