The Lawfare Project has announced that it has filed a new case against Kuwait Airways in Germany, over the airline’s policy of anti-Semitic discrimination on its flights. The case is being brought by a Frankfurt-based Israeli businessman who booked a flight from Munich to Sri Lanka in November last year, only to be denied the right to travel.
This is the second case in which The Lawfare Project has represented Israelis barred from traveling in Germany by Kuwait Airways. A previous case originally brought in 2017 involving the same discriminatory policy triggered outcry in Germany and remains under review by Germany’s Constitutional High Court.
The plaintiff in the new case, known as Shmuel M, booked business class tickets from Munich to Colombo, which was the quickest flight to Sri Lanka available from that airport. When Shmuel M asked about the availability of kosher food on the flight the airline asked whether he holds an Israeli passport. When he confirmed that he did, he was told that he would be unable to travel and would need to speak to the airline’s lawyers for further information.
As a result, Shmuel M is suing Kuwait Airways with The Lawfare Project providing his legal representation. The case has been filed at the Landshut District Court, which has jurisdiction over Munich International Airport. Kuwait Airways is yet to reply to the claims writ. It is likely that a hearing will take place later this year.
Kuwait Airways 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.
On past occasions, 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 its inter-European flights, rather than compromise its discriminatory practices.
Brooke Goldstein, the Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, the legal think-tank and litigation fund representing the plaintiff, said: “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.”
“When a Jewish passenger is denied the right to travel after requesting a kosher meal, in Germany of all places, then anyone who respects the values of equality, fairness and the rule of law should be appalled.”
Nathan Gelbart, The Lawfare Project’s German counsel, said: “If Kuwait Airways wishes to continue operating in Germany then the message should be clear: carry everyone or carry no one. 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.”