FAA Ban Lifted but “Damage May Already Be Done”

July 24, 2014

2 min read

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has lifted its ban on forbidding US airlines to fly to Israel but has issued a warning concerning what it calls a “very fluid situation” in Israel.

“The FAA has lifted its restrictions on US airline flights into and out of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport by cancelling a Notice to Airmen it renewed earlier today,” the Federal Administration Agency said in a statement.

While US Secretary of State John Kerry supported the ban, not all US governmental officials are happy with the move. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) criticized the Obama administration for forcing Israel into accepting a one sided US foreign policy decision.

In a statement issued shortly after the ban was extended for an additional 24 hours, Cruz questioned how the White House could ban flights to Israel, thereby hurting Israel, while giving millions of dollars in aid to Gaza, which he says will ultimately end up in the hands of Hamas.

“Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally,” Cruz stated.


Cruz, an outspoken advocate of Israel, said that the FAA’s decision bolstered the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement.

“The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands,” he added.

Cruz questioned the FAA ban and posed five questions regarding the decision to suspend flights to Ben Gurion.

Benjamin Netanyahu greets former New York mayor and US billionaire Michael Bloomberg who flew to Israel on Wednesday in defiance of the FAA ban. (Photo: GPO)
Benjamin Netanyahu greets former New York mayor and US billionaire Michael Bloomberg who flew to Israel on Wednesday in defiance of the FAA ban. (Photo: GPO)

“Given that some 2,000 rockets have been fired into Israel over the last six weeks, many of them at Tel Aviv, it seems curious to choose yesterday at noon to announce a flight ban, especially as the Obama Administration had to be aware of the punitive nature of this action,” Cruz pointed out.

“Tourism is an $11 billion industry for Israel, which is in the middle of a summer high season already seriously diminished by the conflict initiated by Hamas,” he continued. “Group tours have been cancelling at a 30 percent rate. This FAA flight ban may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector through both security concerns and worries that additional bans will down more flights and strand more passengers. It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done.”

The FAA ban was issued after a rocket fired by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip landed near a home close to Ben Gurion airport.

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