December 15, 2018

German Court Verdict Allowing Kuwait Airways to Discriminate Against Israelis to Be Appealed

A German court’s verdict allowing Kuwait Airways to discriminate against Israelis is going to be appealed.

The case at hand involves an Israeli who is claiming that Kuwait Airways prevented from purchasing a ticket simply because he is Israeli. In November, a court in Frankfurt sided with the airline on the grounds that they were “merely respecting the laws of Kuwait,” referencing the Kuwait government’s policy of refusing businesses to provide services to Israelis.

According to a press release from The Lawfare Project, the appeal “aided and abetted Kuwait in imposing its antisemitic, anti-Israeli laws even though such discrimination is illegal in Germany.”

“We thought we had consigned antisemitism to our history books,” Nathan Gelbart, the The Lawfare Project’s German counsel, said in the press release. “The Frankfurt District Court’s verdict has allowed antisemitic discrimination to be imported into our country and helped whitewash and sanitize it. We cannot allow our laws to be subverted by the state-sponsored racism of other nations.”

Prominent German officials condemned the court’s ruling.

“An airline that practices discrimination and anti-Semitism by refusing to fly Israeli passengers should not be allowed to take off or land in Frankfurt,” Frankfurt Mayor Uwe Becker told Reuters.

Foreign Ministry Secretary Michael Roth also called the ruling “incomprehensible.”

The Lawfare Project is optimistic about the appeal.

“We are very confident in the merits of this case, which seeks to address a flagrant violation of human rights in Germany,” Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, told the Journal in an emailed statement. “This has been echoed in a multitude of statements from Germany’s political leaders condemning Kuwait Airways’ discriminatory and anti-Semitic policy. There should be no place for this kind of hateful and discriminatory policy in Germany, and we are hopeful that country’s political and legal system will act to end it immediately.”

The Journal reported in October that Germany had opened an investigation into Kuwait Airways’ practice of banning Israelis from their flights. The United States government concluded in 2015 that it was illegal for Kuwait Airlines to ban an Israeli from flying from New York to London, resulting in the airline to put an end to such flights.