July 23, 2014
We understand the need and the responsibility to protect the safety of airline travelers, but we are concerned by the FAA decision to ban all commercial flights by US airliners to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. For the past two weeks, Israel has endured hundreds of rockets launched by Hamas terrorists from Gaza. Yet, air travel to Israel has been safe and unhindered. Safety is an important consideration, but this decision appears overly harsh and excessive. Moreover, we are concerned that it could have the unintended effect of encouraging terrorists to become even more committed to make civil aviation a target.
Hamas terrorists are seeking to inflict human, physical and economic damage on our ally. That is why we are concerned the ban could have the effect of isolating Israel at a time when we should be demonstrating our strong solidarity. America should be strengthening our connection with Israel through additional assistance to its self-defense efforts, enhanced economic cooperation and increased numbers of Americans traveling to the Jewish state.
The American people have shown in this difficult moment that they stand strongly with our democratic ally. Now is not the time to send the entirely wrong message with a ban on flights to Israel. We urge a review of the policy immediately.