U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel without achieving his goal of negotiating a ceasefire. Meanwhile, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's protest against the FAA's flight ban (sort of) yielded results.
Each man arrived in the country just hours ago with a plan in mind. For Kerry, it was to get Israel and Hamas to work out a ceasefire to end the seventeen-day conflagration that has caused the deaths of approximately 700 Palestinians, brought over 2,200 rockets down upon Israel from Gaza, and frozen nearly all international travel to Israel.
Kerry left Israel on Wednesday without the ceasefire, but claims some progress was made. Speaking at a press conference in Qatar, Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas, begged to differ:
Everyone wanted us to accept a ceasefire and then negotiate for our rights, we reject this and we reject it again today."
Bloomberg's trip was a crusade against the FAA, which issued (and then renewed) a ban on flights to Israel after part of a Hamas rocket landed near Ben Gurion Airport outside of Tel Aviv on Monday. As we noted earlier, the ban had engendered some opposition and also threatened to put Israel's economy on precarious footing.