Speed Reads

Israel and Palestine

Ted Cruz accuses Obama of launching 'economic boycott on Israel'

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday suggested President Obama was deliberately punishing Israel via a Federal Aviation Administration ban on flights to and from Tel Aviv.

Tourism nets Israel $11 billion, Cruz wrote in a press release, so a blanket flight ban "may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector." Ergo, "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."

The FAA has said it imposed the travel ban for security reasons given Israel's ongoing military campaign and the reports of a rocket attack near Tel Aviv's airport on Tuesday. The ban came after major U.S. and international airlines already announced they would not fly to Tel Aviv for the same reasons.

Cruz's press release came out the day after a Weekly Standard article made the same claim that the travel ban was perhaps aimed at cowing Israel.