German Ministry of Transport launches investigation into Kuwait Airways discrimination against Israeli travellers

Pro-Israel nonprofit group The Lawfare Project found multiple instances of Israeli travellers being refused passage on the airline purely because of their nationality


Earlier this year two University of Minnesota researchers analysed airline maps and found that several Middle-East-based airlines, including Kuwait Airways, used ones with Israel removed.

Now a new investigation ordered by German Federal Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt will examine whether Kuwait Airways’ established policy of refusing to fly Israeli passengers violates aviation law.

This is separate to already in-progress legal proceedings started by US-based pro-Israel nonprofit legal group The Lawfare Project in support of an Israeli traveller who booked a ticket with Kuwait Airways to fly from Frankfurt to Bangkok, only to be refused at the last minute when it emerged that he was an Israeli citizen.

In October, an Israeli-Arab social media star, Nuseir Yassi, posted a Facebook video about his experience of being refused to board a Kuwait Airways flight from New York to India because of his Israeli passport. The video has received over 700,000 views.

Volker Beck, a former Bundestag member from the Green Party, made clear what he sees as the choice facing Kuwait Airways. “Stop the discrimination or stop doing business in Germany”, he said on Monday in comments to the German Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, which is assisting the Israelis banned from travelling with their legal cases, said, “We commend the German Federal Ministry of Transport for launching an investigation into Kuwait Airways’ discriminatory practices. Our team will continue to pursue legal action until the German Government makes clear that Kuwait Airways must either comply with the law or cease doing business in their country.”

Nathan Gelbart, The Lawfare Project’s German counsel said, “This case makes clear that there should be no room for discrimination in Germany. Our country’s laws and common values should call German policymakers to act immediately in ending Kuwait Airways’ systematic violations of civil rights in our country.”

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