Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Sunday,
Dec 21st

FAA flight ban undercut US-Israel trust

E-mail Print PDF

The US said that Iron Dome made it safe for Israel ?to withdraw from the West Bank. The US undermined its position by banning flights to Israel due to a single rocket.

Rarely have we seen a diplomatic move so poorly thought out. We refer to the short US ban on American flights to Ben Gurion Airport.

Of course, the ban was not cast as a diplomatic move at all, only a safety measure. Against the supposed unsafe Ben Gurion Airport, Aeroflot, British Airways, El Al and other carriers continued to fly in and out of Ben Gurion without incident. The US lifted its ban some 36 hours later, on Thursday, July 23.

This ban seemed to be a ploy to pressure Israel into a ceasefire (despite the repeated rejections thereof by Hamas) or into a reduction in the ferocity of its war against Hamas. After all, this type of ban was not applied to airports in all other troubled parts of the world. The US could not easily pressure Israel openly once the US said openly, and repeatedly, that Israel has a right to defend itself against missiles fired onto its cities, towns, villages and farms, and against tunnels dug under its kibbutzim and towns.

Read related news coverage, "Bloomberg snubs FAA flight ban"

Whatever its origin, this ban backfired badly. It certainly seemed to Israel that its airport was safe, given all the people and airlines that continued to use it. It certainly seemed that this ban — not extended consistently to all other troubled airports — was a backdoor way to send a message to Israel. This ban seemed punitive, not substantive, and rightly angered Israel’s leadership because it achieved Hamas’ major goal: communicating to the world that Israel is an unsafe place, just like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Ukraine. Thus, if there were not already sufficient justification for Israel to reject the Kerry-proposed ceasefire two days later, July 25 — a ceasefire that would financially and politically reward Hamas’ terrorism but not meet even one of Israel’s goals, such as the demilitarization of Gaza — Israel couldn’t trust it.

And even all this is not the major blunder. Sec. of State John Kerry spent roughy a year trying to convince Israel to withdraw all of its military forces from the West Bank, including along the Jordan River, because, after all, Iron Dome made the West Bank safe no matter how dreadfully a two-state solution might fail. Forget, for a moment, that no sane government can sign up for a plan that presumes the possibility of the regular firing of missiles upon its cities. The flight ban undermined Kerry’s argument in one fell swoop. A single missile led the US to conclude that Ben Gurion Airport was unsafe from Gaza. Obviously, Israel would be unsafe from the much closer, immediately adjacent West Bank.

Whoever came up with this ban was neither thinking strategically nor acting consistently.

The lugubrious conclusion here is that Israel has no choice but to destroy Hamas’ weapons — its missiles, its launchers, its mortars, its tunnels — once and for all.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 July 2014 11:34 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick seeking higher spot on Likud slate

Marcy Oster Glick, who was seriously injured in an assassination attempt in October, is running for the 33rd place on the Likud candidate list, which is reserved for a resident of the West Bank. ... [Link]

Son of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel robbed, assaulted

Marcy Oster Zach Emanuel, 17, son of Chicago’s first Jewish mayor, was put in a chokehold and robbed of his cell phone up the street from his home. ... [Link]

More anti-coexistence group activists arrested, questioned

Marcy Oster The controversial group Lehava opposes intermarriage and joint Jewish-Arab initiatives. ... [Link]

Czech Jewish community decries Putin invitation for Shoah commemorations

Marcy Oster The commemorations organized by the European Jewish Congress are scheduled for Jan. 26 and Jan. 27. ... [Link]

Gal Mekel released by New Orleans Pelicans

Marcy Oster Mekel, the second Israeli to play in the NBA after Omri Casspi, was waived earlier this season by the Dallas Mavericks ... [Link]

Israeli boy, 4, injured in West Bank rock attack

Marcy Oster Israeli soldiers were searching Sunday the area for suspects in the rock attack, according to the Israel Defense Forces. ... [Link]

Right-wing extremists from around Europe meet in Milan

Marcy Oster The gathering, organized by the Italian far-right party Forza Nuova, was intended as the first meeting of a new pan-European party called Alliance for Peace and Freedom. ... [Link]

Israel destroys Gaza cement factory in retaliation for rocket attack

Marcy Oster Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not ignore the firing of even one rocket from Gaza on Israel. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com