Today, the FAA announced that airliners would not be authorized to fly to Israel for 24 hours. This follows an announcement by the State Department issuing an advisory against travel to Israel. Noah Pollak of The Weekly Standard offers this interesting insight:
So why did the State Department issue this warning not when long-range rocket fire was a more serious threat, but only yesterday, days after such fire had decreased sharply, and coinciding with Kerry’s trip to the region?The answer may be that the Obama administration is using the travel warning to exert pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire.
It could be a shot across the bow – a deniable but very real signal to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Obama administration’s support for Israel’s operation in Gaza has come to an end, and that there will be consequences for its continuation.
I think Pollak is pretty spot on here. But I think there is one other consideration to keep in mind. We are five days removed from the Russians shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. If the Russians are capable of shooting down a civilian airliner then we certainly can’t put it past Hamas to do the same. If Hamas is capable of using its own people as human shields then why would they have any qualms about shooting down an airliner full of Americans, Dutch, Malaysians or anyone else?
If Hamas didn’t have such a low regard for human life there would be no reason for the Obama Administration to issue a travel advisory and halt flights to Israel.