(photo credit: STEVE FITZGERALD/WIKIMEDIA)
The Lawfare Project announced Monday that it has filed a second case against Kuwait Airways in Germany alleging antisemitic discrimination on its flights.
The case is being brought in the Landshut District Court on behalf of a Frankfurt-based Israeli businessman, Shmuel M., who booked a flight from Munich to Sri Lanka in November, but was then blocked by Kuwait Airways from using the ticket.
In 2016, the Lawfare Project led an effort to file a first lawsuit against Kuwait Airways in a German court for the airline’s discriminatory policy of banning Israelis as passengers.
In September 2018, a German appeals court slammed Kuwait Airways for its ban on Israeli passengers, but said practical issues left it unable to force the airline to treat Israelis equally.
The Lawfare Project has filed an appeal to an even higher court, but in the meantime it has noted that the German public, media and government offices have overwhelmingly supported its position.
In the new case, Shmuel M. booked business-class tickets from Munich to Colombo, which was the quickest flight to Sri Lanka available from that airport.
When he asked about obtaining kosher food on the flight, the airline asked whether he held an Israeli passport.
After confirming that he did, the airline told him it would not honor his ticket and that he would need to speak to its lawyers for additional information.
Kuwait Airways has not yet replied, but a hearing will likely be scheduled for later this year.
The airline has previously justified its discrimination by citing a decades-old Kuwaiti law that bans all Kuwaiti citizens and companies from doing any business with citizens of the Jewish state.
In the past, legal pressure by the Lawfare Project against Kuwait Airways in the US and Switzerland led to the airline canceling its NYC-London flights and all of its inter-European flights, rather than compromise its discriminatory practices.
Lawfare Project executive director Brooke Goldstein said that, “Time and again, Kuwait Airways has shown itself to be a bigoted airline with a bigoted policy that should have no place in a modern liberal democracy. An airline that kicks Israelis off planes should be kicked out of Germany.”
German local counsel Nathan Gelbart added: “There can be no discrimination against Jews on German soil. As long as we permit an airline to advertise flights for everyone except Israelis, it is a stain on the moral fabric of our country.”
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