Economic boycott of Israel or national defense safety precaution?

Rob Buley --- The Daily Signal 

The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to temporarily ban U.S. flights to Israel escalated into a political showdown today between the Obama administration and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Following the FAA’s decision to extend the ban for a second day, the Texas Republican accused President Obama of using the federal agency to “launch an economic boycott on Israel” as the country fights a war against Hamas.

After a rocket landed within a mile of Tel Aviv’s airport Tuesday, the FAA prohibited U.S. flights from landing or taking off. Upon assessing the security situation in Israel late Wednesday night, the FAA said it had lifted the ban effective at 11:45 p.m. ET.

While the ban was in effect, Cruz asked the agency to respond to five questions about the ban,  including any political discussions that may have taken place with the White House. He also asked why the FAA still was allowing flights over Ukraine in the wake of the Malaysian Airlines attack that killed 298 people last week.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to temporarily ban U.S. flights to Israel escalated into a political showdown today between the Obama administration and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Following the FAA’s decision to extend the ban for a second day, the Texas Republican accused President Obama of using the federal agency to “launch an economic boycott on Israel” as the country fights a war against Hamas.

After a rocket landed within a mile of Tel Aviv’s airport Tuesday, the FAA prohibited U.S. flights from landing or taking off. Upon assessing the security situation in Israel late Wednesday night, the FAA said it had lifted the ban effective at 11:45 p.m. ET.

“President Obama has shown contempt for the Israeli government. He has been no friend to Israel.” -@NileGardiner

While the ban was in effect, Cruz asked the agency to respond to five questions about the ban,  including any political discussions that may have taken place with the White House. He also asked why the FAA still was allowing flights over Ukraine in the wake of the Malaysian Airlines attack that killed 298 people last week.

“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.

Cruz’s five questions prompted an angry response from the State Department later in the day. “It’s ridiculous and offensive, quite frankly,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Read the full story here.