Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg flew into Israel to demonstrate that it’s safe to do so, despite a Federal Aviation Administration prohibition on U.S. flights into the Tel Aviv airport and a State Department travel warning. Among his post-flight activities was an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who has been on the ground in Israel for two weeks. Over the course of a quite-contentious interview, Bloomberg argued to Blitzer: “If you don’t feel safe here, I don’t know where you’d feel safe, and I think the State Department is just overreacting in typical bureaucratic fashion,” said Bloomberg.
Blitzer interjected, “Political reasons for that?”
No way was Bloomberg going to hazard a response: “Why would you think that, Wolf?”
Blitzer: “I’m asking you.”
Bloomberg: “Don’t be ridiculous. Why would you think that? It’s an outrage for you to accuse one of our agencies.”
Blitzer: “I’m not accusing anything, I’m just asking.”
Bloomberg: “By asking the question, you’re implying that our government does things for political reasons. And maybe every once in a while they do, but it’s your job to prove it. Just the allegation against our government I personally take as an offense.”
And so it went, with Bloomberg ripping the “tone” of the question as being “insulting to America.” Blitzer noted that some Israelis have wondered about political motivations behind the U.S. actions, thereby bringing his question into the realm of fair game.