Joshua Pundit: The FAA just ended the ban on flights by American carriers to Israel. Some European carriers are still continuing the ban.
The new determination came, ostensibly, following an FAA security review with U.S. officials. The FAA did leave the door open to the possibility of reinstating the ban:
“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the FAA said. “The agency will continue to closely monitor the very fluid situation around Ben Gurion Airport and will take additional actions, as necessary.”
Now that we have that bit of bureaucratic horse manure out of the way, the real story.
The ban, which gave a huge victory to Hamas made the Israelis absolutely livid, and with good reason. The attempt to arm twist Israel into a ceasefire to protect the Hamas status quo by the Obama Administration backfired badly as PM Netanyahu explained to Secretary Kerry today. It has had just the opposite effect, energizing the Israelis to finish off Hamas and weakening American influence.
It also polled very poorly in what is still a largely pro-Israel country. Senator Ted Cruz made headlines asking out loud if this was ‘the beginning of an economic boycott’ against Israel by the Obama Administration.Cruz even threatened to hold up all State Department nominees unless the Obama Administration answered questions about the Israel travel ban.
And at the other end of the spectrum former Mayor Michael Bloomberg lambasted the ban, even hopping on a plane to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to show his solidarity with Israel and how ridiculous the ban was.
Another factor of course is that Israeli airlines El Al and Arkia were ramping up flights to America and the American carriers were not happy at losing the business.
So the ban, at least as far as the FAA is concerned is over. The Obama regime gained nothing from it except a lot of ill will from Israel and its supporters.