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Airline Branch Manager Says FAA Cancellation ‘Smacks of Politics’

July 23, 2014 4:32 pm 67 comments

Michael Bloomberg and Shimon Peres. Photo: Flickr.

The manager of the Israeli branch of a foreign airline said on Wednesday morning that the FAA’s decision on Tuesday to cancel flights to the Jewish state “smacks of politics.”

According to Israeli daily Israel Hayom, the manager said, “The information we received from the Civil Aviation Authority takes into account all safety measures for Ben Gurion Airport and in this case there is no security justification for stopping flights. This is probably just another way to pressure Israel to reach a ceasefire.”

Later on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz outright accused the White House of launching an economic boycott of Israel.

In a statement he said: “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 provided a list of questions about the ban that he suggested Congress should demand answers to.

An Israeli diplomatic insider told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that the timing of the FAA’s announcement was “puzzling to say the least.”

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening to prove that it was safe.

U.S. and European airlines took the decision to halt flights on Tuesday evening after a rocket landed on a house in Yehud, a town near Ben Gurion airport. Delta Air Lines and United Airlines suspended flights indefinitely as did European carriers, including Germany’s Lufthansa and Air France. British Airways, however, defied the European Aviation Safety Agency’s recommendation and announced that it would continue its regularly scheduled flights.

Following the announcement, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz stressed that there are no safety concerns for passenger planes. He further requested that Israeli airlines increase the number of flights to Israel in order to fly stranded Israelis back home. “We are working on persuading the American authorities to reverse their decision,” he said. “There is no reason for the American companies to stop their flights and give a prize to terror.”

In a show of solidarity with Israel, Bloomberg flew to Israel in protest of the FAA’s decision. At 6pm local time he announced his arrival on Twitter, writing, “Safely landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv – here to show support for Israel’s right to defend itself.” He also said that the FAA’s decision is “a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately.”

This follows news that on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, flew to Israel to promote a ceasefire on a Qatari-chartered private jet. According to Newsweek, Ban’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said, “It was the Qatari government [that] very generously chartered a plane for the secretary general to enable him to go about his visit.” Qatar is the chief ally for terrorist organization Hamas.

On Wednesday morning President Shimon Peres, on his penultimate day in office, met with Ban and lambasted Qatar, saying that Qatar had no right to spend millions of petrol dollars to enable Hamas to build rockets and tunnels instead of developing Gaza. According to Israel’s Channel 2, Peres said, “The world must protest against Qatar, which is now one of the largest financiers of terrorism in the world. Qatar is funding the murder of innocent people in Gaza and its money sponsors rockets and tunnels. There is a limit to cynicism, but [Qatar’s] crime is being committed in broad daylight.”


  • It is amazing the extent of prejudice expressed by many of the above posts. They have a visceral hatred for the president which expresses their disappointment in his election,re-election and anything he does or says. Hey guys – put away your hoods! We know who you are.

    • No hoods, he lowered Visas to the lowest ever for Israelis and the highest ever for Saudis. That has nothing to do with hoods. Let MLK Jr. get resurrected and see if I criticize.

  • Obama has got every other decision on the conflict wrong, why should we expect anything else now?

    Maybe Congress should consider a censure for Obama’s undermining the US foreign policy goal of achieving a two-state solution because there is no way Israel can now allow Palestinians to control any territory within rocket range of Ben Gurion.

  • In the past few presidential elections it hasn’t mattered what party was in office. All have tried to make a state in Israel for Palestinians. This one is more obviously anti-Semitic than any other. It is most irksome that he is still courting Jewish money and getting it. We need to elect for the next U.S.president a person who understands that the G-d of the Universe gave THE LAND OF ISRAEL TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE…PERIOD.

    What this president has done for Israelis is given them even more resolve to finish the job in Gaza.

  • I know Israel’s tourism traffic is down in its normally busy season of summer, but do you really think the flight ban by US & EU countries is A CONSPIRACY to make Israel behave, or is it more in context of that HAMAS ROCKET THAT HIT NEAR ISRAEL’s BG airport plus the civilian plane shot down literally over the air of the Ukraine-Russia conflict? What government wants to join the Dutch in losing so many of its civilian citizens like that?

  • Otto Waldmann

    On the other hand, this “measure” confirms emphatically the NEED for Israel to prosecute a most decisive action against Hamas. This, in fact, is an indictment against Gaza , against their ideology and their terrorist behaviour. Who can argue now that Hamas must not be dealt with militarily until their capacity to cause such disruption is irreversibly stopped !!!
    Once again, some in the world embrace absurdity in trying to accuse Israel for the ills of their foes.

  • SURE Feels like something nasty is going on here…..Does anyone really believe that politics could be involved…huh???….I think that maybe there’s a gooooood chance!!!

  • Putin is looking for friends. In the early days after the establishment of Israel, more support was received from Russia and Czechoslovakia than America. Give Obama fright, call Putin. After all the American spy in the sky will pick up the call.

    • You’re living in the past. Russia is nothing. Israel needs more relationships with Asia. And Putin is deep deep deep with the enemies of Israel. Also that early support lasted what 4 months? Every Israeli war has been against Rusian armed enemies withut exception. The next one will be against Russian and American armed Qatar (this one already is against Qatar), unfortunately. But the US and Israel are a good match.

  • Alison Isadora Frutkin

    smacks of Jew-hatred, let’s not mince words.

  • susan staehs

    This has been in the works the day before and after his presidency. I realized
    after his church leader was so
    Vocal on his unique issues.
    I believe this president vs and secretary of state has shown through action’s
    NOT HIS WORDS the false and intentional
    Lies about a TERRORIST Group like Hamas
    Honesty and integrity. ISRAEL is standing alone as the world watches.

  • My President Barry, for whom I voted twice because his domestic policy initiatives conform to the principles of social justice, “has Israel’s back” alright. That’s how he knows exactly where and when to stick the knife in. Thanks Barry. Happy F*^%&^ing Birthday to you too!

  • Judy Silver-Shapiro


    Since ‘Day 1′ he has NOT treated her like the loyal steadfast ALLY that she is.

    He is PRO muslim and ANTI ISRAEL.

    AND, there is definitely a nexus between the alarming escalation of ANTI SEMITISM in the US and worldwide since obama became US Pres almost 7 unbearably long years.

    He is the most hostile-to-ISRAEL US Pres in history.

    • Judy – I agree wih you 100%

      • Joseph Pendley

        On the first day in office, in the first hour, and in his first act as the POTUS, Obama phone Abbas and pledge his support in laying siege to Jerusalem until it was no longer in Jewish hands. Now, there’s no chance of that happening, ever. And for Obama, his supreme wish to lay siege to Israel is still in play. This time, he’s using his entrusted authority as the Chief Executive to halt travel by air to Israel. He’s clever — he thinks this is a great way to continue his siege. Guess what? It will not work. Already, the UK is flying to Israel. It’s a matter of time that he’ll say “safe once more” and try to present himself as “not involved”. It’s too late for that. He’s demonstrated his contempt for Israel, for the Jewish Homeland, the State of Israel, and the promise given to the People and the Land to represent Him to the world. His contempt is like stagnant water — stinks. Many can see his true intention toward Israel. Soon, in POTUS’s inner-being, he will know that he is empty, irrelevant and vile. Like Israel’s enemies (on several sides). Israel will go forward in His Name and leave POTUS wondering why all his clever schemes to besiege the Jewish People have failed.

  • The ban was made by the President and the State Department. A person asking “isn’t the FAA independent of the president?” I would answer 2 ways, 1) Isn’t the media separate from the State Department? Not according to every journalist in America today. Ask David Brooks, everything he and all mainstream reporter say at this point, are part of the exact same thoughts and no others. All of which revolve around how this President uses his position like a thug, with very sneaky and evil ways of getting what he wants. The Soros President, the New fake Left in action. 2) Bush was very involved with the FAA after 9/11 remember that? So; not so separate.

    • Think about this, the President did not shut down flights to Ukraine or Russia last week, with a ban, think about that.
      This President is like Hitler, he does things against his own interests (America’s) to make the hundreds of hardened antisemites he gave high positions to happy. Libya has greater interest to the US than “palestine” terrorists surviving, yet Obama brushed what Libya and the murder of an American official got less coverage. Libyan rioters have just as big, no bigger weapons than Hamas, they burned whole planes down, Obama did not stop flight there. There is no doubt this was done by one of Obama’s Antisemites (and if he is pro-Israel, or at the very least not completely antisemitic new fake left which he is, why didn’t he stop it?). Afghanistan had riots at the airport the same week, at the airport itself, and no stoppage of frights, definitely no ban.

      • Mordecai Ben Natan


        GET RID OF THAT S O B.

        WHY DID JEWS VOTE FOR THAT *&(**(()&&^.?


        • A more important question that you seem to have missed relates to your ignorance and prejudice: When will you stop reading those comic books in favor of serious tomes? When will you walk– no –RUN to the nearest library to study the history of the modern Jewish State.

  • FAA dependent of the President? Give me a break, the director is appointed by the President. They want Israel to capitulate and to stop the war so that the Hamas can say that they won. Shame on the Democratic party who I always supported and voted for. Shame on all of us.

    • Interesting.
      You say you have always voted for the Democratic party? So have I…..
      But that has come to an end. I wonder how many others of us have been created by the hijacking of the Democratic party? Next time I register – it will be as a Republican.


    We have Hit,….

    barack bottom … !

  • Kerry Berger

    You wouldn’t read such remarks as those below on the Washington Post or any major US Newspaper. Seems that the level of opposition to Israel in the mass media is following the propaganda of Hamas and the PA. This is becoming a disturbing trend. However, part of the blame must go to Bibi and his rightwing Cabinet. You can’t have a functioning democracy when there is NO separation of religion from politics as it is now in Israel.

  • Didn’t Obama just sign an agreement to send billions of $$ to Qutar, a terrorist supplying nation?

  • Steven Kovner

    Netanyahu should tell the US and EU that since the situation is so dangerous that they cannot allow aircraft to fly to Israel, then Israel has no choice but to escalate the effort to stop the rocket attacks to guarantee safety, and then step up the operation to eliminate Hamas’ rockets.
    The US and EU are trying to put the screws to Israel, so respond appropriately by making it backfire on them.

  • Carla Isselmann

    After the Second World War ,the Israeli’s in 1948 needed an Airforce and secretly obtained three Flying Fortresses to defend itself. Since the early days, Israel has been able to defy stupidity in American politics and showed the American politicians how wrong their policy was, however, now it is criminal.FAA should be left out! Air Canada and British Airways are well run companies from good countries and in need, you know where your friends are. Americans: send your government home and fast!Approval rate under 40%….

  • evolution v. creationism

  • Shmuel David

    G-D knew that the Torah would be carried by the Jewish People who would be dispersed throughout the world. The last chapter of the Torah bears a warning to the Nations who it was predicted would cause harm to the Jewish People:

    “Therefore O ye nations, make the lot of His People a happy one. For He will avenge the blood of His servitors. And vengeance will fall back on His enemies. And His people are to bring atonement to His world of men.”
    Deuteronomy 34:43

    • Mordecai Ben Natan




  • This is absolutely an economic boycott against Israel to force it to comply with Obamas demands. Obama has backed the saudi plan and will do all he can to impose it. Obama will soon recognize hamas’ political wing as a non terrorist entity and will negotiate with it. Is there anyone who still thinks Obama is not anti Israel? This boycott shows how Obama has Israels back. Obama is isolating Israel. Without commercial airlines there is no way in or out of Israel Time to hit the streets and protest!!!

  • It’s quite eye-opening that JFK has flights going to Baghdad, Iraq and Tripli, Libya, two of the most hostile areas on the globe, but not to Tel Aviv, Israel. Thank you, President Obama, for being a two-faced, back-stabbing, anti-Israel disgrace — and that goes for you, too, John Kerry (a/k/a Kohn)!

  • To the Jewish people
    “Now is the time to say clearly and categorically, even if we don’t share a faith we certainly share a fate, we are one family! Argumentative definitely, dysfunctional occasionally, but one family. Let there be between us a bond of indivisible non judgmental and unconditional love!”
    It is easy to say and It is hard to practice. Give it a try and see how rewarding it is.
    A unified nation is a strong nation.

  • Steven Katz

    Actually, the flight ban smells like anti-Semitism.
    I’ve asked the question on other sites … how many flights were cancelled to Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Egypt etc during all the turmoil in those countries?

  • In short: Obama and Kerry want to stop Israeli’s attack on Hamas so they can rebuild and rearm Hamas.

  • I want to know how those 70% of American Jews who voted for
    Obama ( twice !) live with themselves now ?
    Idiots !

  • The danger is very minute. Curious to ban flights to Israel when the danger is much greater in other parts of the world and flights continue there. But what do you expect from a muslim president and his leftist antisemitic administration? I’ll be glad when he’s gone. Just two more years until he’s gone, if the US doesn’t collapse from his intentional mismanagement first. How can so many of my fellow Americans be so blind? It breaks my heart.

  • Video of Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS: President Obama, You Have Some Nerve:.

    Video is on

    Another holocaust is possible. If it happened once it can happen again. Thank G-d we have Israel. We need to do everything possible to keep Israel militarily strong. Jews get out of Europe. There can be no compromise regarding Israel nor can we depend on the good will of others. This unfortunately is a lesson that many Jews have never learned. Never forget, never forgive never again. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
    Subject: Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS President Obama You Have
    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg SAYS President Obama You Have …
    G-d helps those who help themselves.

  • Air Canada is flying again Toronto – Tel Aviv!

  • Cruz is right! This amounts to an unsanctioned economic boycott! How disgusting! We may have hit a new low.

    • But isn’t the FAA independent of the Presiddent?

      • Arie Menachem

        The FAA is an agency of the Department of Transportation, a part of the Executive Branch, which ultimately answers directly to the President.

      • No US bureaucracy is independent of the president. He is the head of the federal government and all it’s agencies and bureaucracies. There are laws of course governing just what he can tell them to do. For instance it’s illegal for him to tell the IRS to target his political enemies, and yet we see that has been done. You think the FAA is any different?

      • So is the IRS.

      • yes but NO The Pres can dictate to his cabinet members. This Pres loves using, legally or not, his executive powers

      • Yeah, just like the IRS.

      • The FAA is not staffed with people who serve at the will of the President. But now that he’s been in office for six years, a majority of the appointees are his. They will do what he wants — and clearly have.

      • No, executive legislation happens any time the executive branch uses their authority to make new law not enacted by the legislature. This has been happening for some time now it is ILLEGAL to use the FAA, IRS, NSA etc. for political means as he is. We need to respond, 1. massive protest trip to Israel 2. Congressional investigation 3. NO JEW votes Democrat EVER again 4. We help black people with all our might because HE is letting them die on the streets and rot in prison. Either you are with US or you are with THEM.

      • My next door neighbor is a very nice man from Africa.
        Trying to be friendly, on a Sunday afternoon I invited him to have a beer with me while he was mowing his lawn.
        He graciously declined.
        In surprise I blurted out, are you by any chance a Muslim?
        His answer was, No but mother was.
        Maybe our leaders father was also from Africa, which would explain some of his leanings

    • Texans, Cruz and Perry, more true friends of Israel.

      • Even Clint-own is better. But ideally a Conservative may save America at this point, from Islamic rule of Universities, unlimited free Visas and citizenship to Arabs, Obama started, and helping minorities in the Middle East, and supporting change in the Muslim world rather than terrorists who control Pallywood like Al-Jazeera. Disengage from Islam is the only way to save America. Keep our dealings with Islam to the bear minimum, the whole world especially Europe has shown as in the case on sanctions on Iran, will follow suit, ending with a peaceful world.


      You’re very correct,… we have hit a new low,………

      It’s called,….. “We have hit barack bottom”

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