Sen. Cruz: FAA flight ban to Israel airport ‘economic boycott’

07/23/2014 4:59 PM

07/24/2014 6:30 AM

Calling it an ‘economic boycott of Israel,’ Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday blasted the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to extend the ban on U.S. flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv.

‘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.’

The FAA made the decision citing the ‘potentially hazardous situation’ stemming from an escalating conflict between Israel and nearby Gaza. The agency informed U.S. carriers that it didn’t consider it safe for passenger or cargo planes at Ben Gurion.

But Cruz, R-Texas, wasn’t buying it.

‘Obviously, no one wants to place civilian travelers in harm’s way, and the recent downing of Malaysian Airways flight 17 by pro-Russian militants in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the dangers posed by regional unrest,’ he said in a statement. ‘But security concerns in Israel are hardly breaking news, and given the exceptional challenge Israel faces, Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.’

Cruz noted that the ban came as Secretary of State John Kerry announced $47 million in aid package for Gaza, which Cruz described as ‘$47 million for Hamas.’

‘In short order, this travel ban was announced by the FAA,’ Cruz said. ‘Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.’

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