The Jerusalem Post

Israeli challenges German court ruling on Kuwait air travel ban


BERLIN (Reuters) – An Israeli man filed an appeal on Monday against a German court’s ruling that upheld Kuwait Airways’ right to ban him from boarding a flight due to his citizenshi­p, a legal decision that triggered sharp criticism from German officials and Jewish groups.

The appeal argues that the ruling accepted a racist Kuwaiti law and allowed the airline to override German laws that require airlines to transport any passenger with valid travel documents, according to the Lawfare Project, which filed the appeal.

“We cannot allow our laws to be subverted by the state-sponsored racism of our nations,” said Nathan Gelbart, the German attorney for the group, which fights anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli discrimina­tion around the world.

He said the decision by the Frankfurt District Court had allowed “antisemiti­c discrimina­tion to be imported into our country and helped whitewash and sanitize it.”

Kuwait Airways has not commented on the decision.

The Frankfurt court last month ruled Kuwait Airways had the right to refuse to carry the Israeli man on a flight to Bangkok that began in Frankfurt and included a stopover in Kuwait City, since it was abiding by the laws of Kuwait, a country that does not recognize the State of Israel.

It said Germany’s anti-discrimina­tion law applied only in cases of discrimina­tion on the basis of race, ethnic background or religion, not citizenshi­p.

The ruling was sharply criticized by German government officials and the Central Council of Jews in Germany, which said the Kuwaiti law was reminiscen­t of Nazi policies.

Three German state parliament­s – in Bavaria, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia – have passed resolution­s condemning the airline for its policy.

Acting Transporta­tion Minister Christian Schmidt also raised concerns about the issue in a letter delivered to the Kuwaiti government in late November, saying it was “fundamenta­lly unacceptab­le to exclude citizens because of their nationalit­y,” according to the Lawfare Project.

A spate of antisemiti­c acts in Germany in recent weeks, including the burning of Israeli flags, has triggered concern and calls by top officials to put more emphasis on the Holocaust in courses for migrants.

Rights groups say antisemiti­sm and violent acts have increased in recent years, amid growing support for farright political groups and the influx of more than a million migrants from Syria and other countries that are at war with Israel.

 ?? (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) ?? US VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence.
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) US VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence.
 ?? (Wikimedia Commons) ?? A KUWAIT AIRWAYS Boeing 777-300ER on its final approach to Heathrow Airport.
(Wikimedia Commons) A KUWAIT AIRWAYS Boeing 777-300ER on its final approach to Heathrow Airport.

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