Exclusive: German lawyer sues Expedia for denying service to Israeli

Kuwait's regime is also embroiled in bias against Israelis.

The logo of global online travel brand Expedia is pictured at the International Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The logo of global online travel brand Expedia is pictured at the International Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin
A prominent German attorney has filed a lawsuit against online travel agency Expedia for denying service to an Israeli passenger who wanted to fly on a Kuwait Airways plane.
A court hearing will take place on Wednesday, attorney Nathan Gelbart told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday.
Kuwait Airways denies transportation of Israeli passengers because of a racist boycott law against the Jewish state, claiming it must not let Israeli passengers on board,” he said.
“The truth is: Kuwait Airways does not want to transport Israeli passengers. The antisemitic regime of Kuwait owns Kuwait Airways... and can change this situation with one phone call,” Gelbart told the Post.
“This is ridiculous,” he said. “Expedia.de shamefully supports this racist boycott by selling tickets for Kuwait Airways. Gelbart Legal together with the US-based Lawfare Project will continue to fight against racism and discrimination against Jews, especially when it occurs on German soil.”
“Kuwait Airways discriminates against Jews – and Expedia provides support” in connection with the alleged bias," Gelbart said.
The lawsuit was filed against the German branch of Expedia. The “de” in Expedia.de is an abbreviation for Deutschland (Germany).
Expedia is based in Seattle, Washington.
Brooke Goldstein, the founder and executive director of The Lawfare Project, told the Post that "Expedia seems to be facilitating Kuwait Airways' illegal discrimination against Israelis. We've alerted the company both publicly and privately to this fact, yet Expedia continues its complicity by booking Kuwait Airways flights."
She added that "We urgently advise Expedia to cancel its commercial relationship with Kuwait Airways or potentially face liabilities under US anti-boycott and anti-discrimination laws as well. If Barry Diller isn't aware of this he should be. Does he want his name associated with this type of anti-Jewish bigotry?"
The implications of Gelbart’s lawsuit could have an effect on Kuwait’s regime. A proven charge of bias could lead to Expedia discontinuing business with the Gulf monarchy.
The Post sent a query to Expedia on Saturday.
Berlin-based Gelbart has won significant cases over the years, including a landmark one in January 2018 against a German antisemite who has ties with the EU- and the US-designated terrorist entity Hamas.
The pro-Hamas German activist sought to block the head of the Munich Jewish community, Charlotte Knobloch, from repeating her statement in which she said he is “notorious for his antisemitic remarks.”
The obscure activist promotes the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel. Gelbart won the case, permitting Knobloch to repeat her remarks.