Naomi Adler returned from Israel on Thursday.
"Was I scared at some points? Yeah!" said Adler, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. "I'm an American, I'm not used to this. But I followed exactly what they said and, look, I'm safe."
On Tuesday the FAA suspended flights to Israel from the United States as tensions and rocket attacks increase between Israel and militants in Gaza.
On Wednesday Adler's group will throw a "solidarity rally" for Israel in LOVE Park at 4:30 p.m. with hopes of showing support for the country's right to protect its citizens.
A counter rally is expected to take place simultaneously. Police will be on hand, and Adler said additional security will be added.
Adler said that while she understands the FAA has the country's best interests at heart, she was disappointed with the decision to suspend flights to Israel, "and not allowing an economy which is very much based in the summer on tourism to flourish," she said.
"If you don't continue your normal course of business the other side wins," she said.
She said she does understand that these heightened concerns are in reaction to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was shot down over eastern Ukraine and killed an entire flight of of people — 298 people in total.
"But we're not talking about Ukraine, we're talking about Israel," she said. "There's a difference."
Rally at the consulate
Becca Hanna, an activist with Jewish Voice for Peace, will help lead hundreds on Friday to the Consulate General of Israel at 1880 JFK Boulevard at 4:30 p.m.
"This escalation in Israel and Palestine has really affected a lot of us and really got us trying to get the public involved," she said.
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