"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," Cruz said in a statement, arguing that the flight ban would have a negative impact on Israel's tourism industry."The facts"? Here are the facts: (1) a Hamas rocket "landed about a mile away from the airport on Tuesday" (per the TPM piece), and (2) Malaysia Airlines has taken a lot of heat for allowing MH-17 to fly over the area in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists are fighting the government. (Malaysia Airlines was just doing what other airlines were doing, but fat lot of good it has done them to point that out.) Given the facts, it was prudent for the FAA to initiate a ban, at least until it was able to clarify the extent of the risk posed by the fighting. That the ban inconveniences people is unfortunate, but weigh that against being shot down.
And "an economic boycott"? Did the FAA ban the Internet, electronic funds transfers, and shipping, too? Way to overreach, Ted.
I guarantee you that, in the aftermath of MH-17's shoot-down, if a U.S. carrier's plane were to be hit by a Hamas rocket, Cruz would be leading the charge for a Senate hearing to grill the FAA on why no flight ban was in place. Now that the ban has been lifted, Cruz may get his chance. The New York Times piece notes that the European Aviation Safety Agency continues to recommend that airlines continue to avoid Tel Aviv — not a good sign that the facts on the ground have changed. I really hope the FAA didn't buckle under political pressure.
As for Cruz, his jibe at the Obama administration is part of a long line of knavish remarks designed to rouse his ill-informed constituents' base passions. Some who knew him before his entry into politics swear he's s smart, savvy man. I don't know: he's a pretty convincing moron. If his friends are right, though, he's a despicable fire-starter who claims to believe things he knows are abjectly false. "Smart" doesn't imply "honest".
Idiot or panderer? Either way, Cruz is as big a jackass as Marco Rubio.