Berlin probes Kuwait Airways for discrimination against Israelis

A video uploaded to Facebook went viral after an Israeli-Arab was barred from getting on Kuwait Airways flight because of his Israeli passport.

October 25, 2017 19:11
1 minute read.
Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways. (photo credit: STEVE FITZGERALD/WIKIMEDIA)

Germany is investigating whether Kuwait Airways, in violation of air-traffic laws, has refused to sell tickets to Israelis.

The probe, launched Tuesday by Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, follows a lawsuit filed by the Lawfare Project against the airline for alleged discrimination against an Israeli who sought to fly from Frankfurt to Thailand last summer but was denied a ticket purchase because of Israeli nationality.

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Nathan Gelbart, the Lawfare Project’s German counsel, said: “This case makes clear that there should be no room for discrimination in Germany. Our country’s laws and common values should call German policy-makers to act immediately in ending Kuwait Airways’ systematic violations of civil rights in our country.”

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project, said, “We commend the German Federal Ministry of Transport for launching an investigation into Kuwait Airways’ discriminatory practices. Our team will continue to pursue legal action until the German government makes clear that Kuwait Airways must either comply with the law or cease doing business in their country.”

The lawsuit against Kuwait Airlines is being heard in the city of Frankfurt.

Volker Beck, a former Bundestag deputy from the Green Party and an expert on German antisemitism, told the Frankfurter Rundschau paper on Tuesday: “Stop the discrimination or stop doing business in Germany.”

According to a statement from the Lawfare Project, “Pressure is mounting on the Gulf state’s national airline to stop discriminating against would-be passengers purely on the basis of Israeli nationality. Cases have already been brought against Kuwait Airways in the United States and Switzerland, leading to the cancellation of the airline’s JFK-London Heathrow flight path.”

The statement added, “In October, an Israeli-Arab social media star, Nuseir Yassin, produced a Facebook video after he was banned from boarding a Kuwait Airways flight from New York to India, because of his Israeli passport. The video has received over 700,000 views.”

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