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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Is the FAA the new IRS?

US Secretary of State John FN Kerry assured Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration decision to ban flights to Israel was strictly a safety issue and there are no ulterior motives.
Kerry, in Cairo to broker a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, told Netanyahu by telephone that U.S. authorities would review the order within a day, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted as having said.
The notice "was issued to protect American citizens and American carriers," Psaki said in the Egyptian capital.
"The only consideration in issuing the notice was the safety and security of our citizens," she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration "continues to monitor and evaluate the situation, and will issue updated guidelines no later than 24 hours from the time the (notice) went into force," she said, according to AFP.
It bears pointing out that what landed in a backyard in Yahud, five kilometers from the airport, on Tuesday, was not a rocket but a piece of shrapnel from a rocket that was shot down by Iron Dome.

But is this really just a safety question? WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein argues that it may not be. 
Behind the scenes, several Jerusalem diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity questioned whether the FAA flight-ban was in part a tactic to press Israel into a truce with Hamas. A cease-fire would tentatively stop Hamas’ rocketing of the Jewish state.
Kerry is currently in Egypt in an attempt to negotiate a truce.
State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf suggested to reporters Tuesday that Kerry may stay in the Middle East until progress is made toward a cease-fire.
Except that the last three 'cease fires' did not stop Hamas' rockets, and it's Hamas that is unwilling to accept an unconditional cease fire (which Israelis are quite pleased about, but that's a separate story).

The Obama administration has already been caught using one government agency - the IRS - to advance its political agenda. Could it now be using another, namely the FAA?

Meanwhile, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg left on a flight to Israel on Tuesday night to show that it's safe to travel to Israel (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). 
In a statement Bloomberg said, “This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel. Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world and El Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely. The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the FAA to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel.”
Of course, as I noted before, El Al's planes have a means of shooting down missiles shot at them. Other airlines' planes do not. But I agree with Bloomberg. You probably have a better chance of being hit by lightning than of your plane being struck by a Hamas rocket. 

But this should be yet another motivation to destroy Hamas quickly.

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