January 16, 2019

Germany to Investigate Kuwait Airways for Israeli Discrimination

Germany is going to be investigating Kuwait Airways for their discrimination of Israeli passengers.

Alexander Dobrindt, the German Federal Transport minister, has ordered the ministry to determine if Kuwait Airways’ denial of services to Israelis breaks any of Germany’s laws.

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project, told the Journal that she wanted to “congratulate” Germany for initiating the investigation.

“I’m very hopeful that they will come to the conclusion, as we have, that Kuwait Airways is in blatant violation of the anti-discrimination laws and that there’s absolutely no excuse for that type of bigoted animus, especially given the history of Europe and Germany,” said Goldstein. “…The government should not tolerate commercial discrimination against people because of their race, religion or national origin.”

The Lawfare Project is involved in another case in which an Israeli is claiming that Kuwait Airways blocked him from purchasing a ticket from Frankfurt to Thailand simply because he was Israeli. Goldstein described the case as “pretty much open and shut.”

“Kuwait Airways has admitted that they are refusing to carry Israeli national, so there’s no excuse,” said Goldstein. “They’re in violation of the law.”

Kuwait Airways is forbidden by their government from providing services to Israelis as part of the Arab League’s 1945 boycott of Israel. Other Arab countries, like Jordan and Egypt, engage in such business with Israel despite the boycott.

In December 2015, the United States found Kuwait Airways to be in violation of the law for refusing allow Israelis to fly between New York City and London. Instead of complying with the law, Kuwait Airways decided to cease all flights between the two cities altogether.

In June 2017, the airline was reportedly facing mounting losses.

“The irony ​is ​that the Arab League boycott was instituted to bankrupt Israel and​,​ instead,​ these companies are ​willing ​t​o bankrupt themselves just to prove the ferocity of their animus,” Amanda Berman, the Lawfare Project’s director of legal affairs, told Forbes.