Rafael "Ted" Cruz is accusing Obama of waging economic warfare against Israel via the FAA. I suppose all the European airlines are also anti-semitic because they don't want to risk another plane getting shot down.
Anything for a campaign contribution, ain't that right there "Ted"?
Ted Cruz: Barack Obama using FAA in ‘economic boycott of Israel’
Cruz says Obama used a 'regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott.'
The State Department and Sen. Ted Cruz sparred Wednesday over the Texas Republican’s accusation that the Obama administration was trying to sabotage Israel’s economy by barring flights into Tel Aviv.
Earlier on Wednesday, the FAA announced it had extended a ban on U.S.-based airlines flying into or out of Ben Gurion International Airport for another 24 hours. The agency initially enacted the ban at noon Tuesday after a Hamas-fired rocket landed within a mile of the airport, citing the ongoing “potentially hazardous security situation created by the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza.”
Even before the FAA’s ban, the U.S. airlines that fly to Israel had canceled all flights in and out of Tel Aviv. Many foreign airlines continue to fly in and out of the country.
But Cruz saw a darker motive behind the agency’s actions.
“The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands,” Cruz said in a statement Wednesday, pointing to earlier comments from Secretary of State John Kerry implying Israel’s economy would suffer it the country’s occupation of Palestine continued.
The State Department vehemently objected to Cruz’s comments.
“It’s ridiculous and offensive, quite frankly,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a press briefing. “The FAA takes its responsibilities very seriously. … They make these decisions based solely on the safety and security of American citizens, period. For anyone to suggest otherwise is just ridiculous.”
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier fired back: “We find the Obama Administration’s foreign policy to be ridiculous and offensive.”
Cruz’s statement suggested the Obama administration was trying to sabotage Israel’s $11 billion-a-year tourism industry.
“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,” he said. “It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done.”
Israel’s government asked the White House to overrule the FAA on yesterday’s decision, a step the administration declined to take.
Other Israeli and American politicians have suggested the FAA’s actions were unwise or a capitulation to Hamas, but none have gone as far as Cruz in suggesting the Obama administration was blackmailing an ally. The Israeli Transportation Minister said the move would “hand terror a prize.”
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who flew into Tel Aviv on an El Al flight on Tuesday night, released a statement criticizing the aviation authority.
“Ben Gurion [International Airport] is the best protected airport in the world. It is safe and secure and flights from all over the world are landing here,” the statement said. “It was an overreaction for the FAA to halt U.S. flights here — and a mistake they should correct.”
But in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that quickly escalated into a shouting match, Bloomberg brushed off the idea that the decision was politically motivated.
“[Are there] political reasons for that?” Blitzer asked.
“Why would you think that … don’t be ridiculous,” Bloomberg answered. “It’s an outrage for you to accuse one of our agencies.”
In its statement continuing the flight ban for another 24 hours, the FAA said it was working with the Israeli government to return to normalcy.
“The agency is working closely with the government of Israel to review the significant new information they have provided and determine whether potential risks to U.S. civil aviation are mitigated so the agency can resolve concerns as quickly as possible,” the agency said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement late Wednesday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee asked for an immediate review of the policy, which it feared was “isolating” Israel.
“We understand the need and the responsibility to protect the safety of airline travelers, but we are concerned by the FAA decision to ban all commercial flights by US airliners to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel,” the group said.
“For the past two weeks, Israel has endured hundreds of rockets launched by Hamas terrorists from Gaza. Yet, air travel to Israel has been safe and unhindered. Safety is an important consideration, but this decision appears overly harsh and excessive. Moreover, we are concerned that it could have the unintended effect of encouraging terrorists to become even more committed to make civil aviation a target.”