Germany should bar Kuwait Airways

The law forbids any discrimination on the grounds of the citizenship or residence of the customers.

By VOLKER BECK
November 23, 2017 20:12
1 minute read.
Dubai International Airport

Emirates Airlines aircrafts are seen at Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates May 10, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Adar M., an Israeli student who lives in Germany, bought a ticket from Kuwait Airways to fly from Frankfurt to Bangkok via Kuwait. The airline declined to honor the ticket and instead offered him a ticket to Bangkok on a different route.

The German Air Traffic Act is very clear: Airlines that provide scheduled services, except in the case of unreasonableness, are obliged to conclude transport contracts with everybody and transport them within the published timetable. The law forbids any discrimination on the grounds of the citizenship or residence of the customers.

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Nevertheless, the District Court of Frankfurt am Main accepted the airline’s argument and found it unreasonable for Kuwait Airways to transport Israeli citizens.

This was due to the Kuwait Unity Act of 1964, which regulates the boycott of the Jewish state and sanctions any Kuwaiti contacts with Israelis.

If Germany’s own recognition of Israel’s existence and security has any meaning, it must withdraw permission for Kuwait Airways to operate from the country. We cannot excuse Kuwait’s antisemitic boycott of the State of Israel.

Federal Minister of Transport Christian Schmidt should not hesitate any longer to act.

Germany’s message must be clear to Kuwait Airways: In our country an airline has to carry everybody or nobody.

You have the choice! You do not recognize Israeli passports, so we do not recognize your right to operate from our country. It should be a simple choice for your state and its state-owned carrier.

The writer was a German MP from 1994 to 2017. In 2015 the Central Council of Jews in Germany gave to him the Leo Baeck-Award for his support of the Jewish people.


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