Susan SettenbrinoThe writer is an attorney, former prosecutor, adjunct associate professor and radio host. .
Clearly Israel believes it is unwarranted and considering the flights that have come and gone uninterrupted, it appears that they are correct. Former Mayor Bloomberg has also demonstrated that, in his opinion, the FAA ban is certainly a drastic measure that only enables Hamas and Israel's detractors.
The pundits claim because a rocket came within a mile of the airport that this calls for such a drastic measure. Yet, such logic was not utilized to protect American passengers from the more likely scenario of being a flight victim of a bird strike.
As ABC News reported in an article written by Lisa Stark and Kate Barrett, published on June 9, 2009, entitled, "Capt. Sully Sullenberger Recounts Landing on Hudson River" the Federal Aviation Administration made public federal data documenting "where and how often planes hit birds" for the first time. According to the article "many travelers had argued they had a right to know where and when bird strikes happen after the emergency landing of US Airways flight 1549." According to the data the incidents of bird strikes increased significantly, "hitting a peak of 9,650 bird strikes in 2007. In total, FAA data indicates there have been more than 73,000 bird strikes in the United States in the past eight years."
Clearly, the FAA, if truly acting out of concern for the passengers and the public, certainly should have dealt with the significant dangers already proven to exist by such bird strikes. The FAA's malfeasance in addressing a known danger to the public undermines its credibility when it advances a passenger safety argument in locking down on all flights to and from Israel. Some television personalities have opined that perhaps the FAA is overreacting considering the recent tragedy of flight MH17. However, it appears that the missile(s) responsible for that disaster were far superior and capable of engaging in reaching a specific target, as has proven to be the case.
It creates an impossible burden on Israel to "prove" that in fact such erratic continuous missiles will never pose a possible danger to the public and flight passengers.
To consider whether perhaps the FAA's invocation of the drastic ban could have political motivations, we should consider the consequences to Israel and the current political situation. Clearly the consequences to Israel could be drastic. It could have a crippling effect upon Israel's economy at a very vulnerable time. It also creates a motivation for Hamas to continue with its rocket onslaught. It creates an impossible burden on Israel to "prove" that in fact such erratic continuous missiles will never pose a possible danger to the public and flight passengers.
Clearly, any country being bombarded with thousands of erratic missiles poses a danger, to varying degrees, for any of its population and those choosing to visit the region at such a time. Every endeavor one chooses has risks. However, it is all the more important that given this current situation, Israel is given a full and fair opportunity to truly defend itself, its population, and its visitors. Israel's defense must be a long-term defense strategy that destroys the tunnels and the missile capabilities in all meaningful and sustainable ways. By FAA creating this ban, it further compromises Israel's right to truly and meaningfully defend itself, because it enables and rewards Hamas while creating unnecessary pressure for Israel to submit to a situation that will only further its declared enemies capabilities against it.
Supporting Israel, our ally and friend, in the Mid-East strengthens America's security and its population enormously.
Every endeavor has risks. It appears that the bird strikes have posed significant security risks to the airlines and the public at large. Elal, one of the most trusted and safest airlines has determined that traveling to and from Israel is safe at this time. The FAA may want to consult with El Al, review the facts, the risks, and perhaps reconsider its ban?