Lawfare Project scores major victories in Spain, makes waves in Germany

The Lawfare Project is now celebrating a string of major victories in Spain. A court in Barcelona last week voided a BDS measure passed by the city’s council of arts, a court in Andalusia last month suspended a large city’s boycott of companies that engage in free trade with Israel, and, just a few days ago, a court in northwestern Spain stopped a motion passed by a city council to boycott Israeli companies. These three decisions prove that justice and civil rights will win out no matter how BDS proponents try to justify their hateful, discriminatory policies. To date, The Lawfare Project has realized 44 victories since it began operating in Spain.

At the same time, The Lawfare Project has made waves in Germany, where an appellate court heard a case we brought against Kuwait Airways on behalf of an Israeli passenger. Our client was barred from a Kuwait Airways flight originating within Europe because of the airline’s discriminatory policy banning all Israelis from flying. Unfortunately, the German appellate court upheld the lower court's verdict permitting Kuwait Airways to discriminate against Israelis and Jews.

The Lawfare Project has sought justice against Kuwait Airways for many years. We successfully forced the airline to terminate half its U.S. operations and all inter-European flights, and we are now pursuing legal actions in other jurisdictions.

The Lawfare Project will appeal this latest German ruling to secure justice for our client. At the same time, we continue to encourage Germany’s elected leaders to take action in response to this clear violation of European laws and unquestionable contradiction of its values. We are confident that the court’s ruling was incorrect and will be overturned on appeal, if not nullified by political action.

Tremendous outrage over this discriminatory policy has brought mounting political pressure against Kuwait Airways. Several major political figures, including Germany’s transport minister and justice minister have said they will pursue this issue politically and diplomatically. Earlier this year, three regional parliaments in Germany also passed resolutions condemning Kuwait Airways for its racist and discriminatory policy.

"Our position is clear: it cannot and must not be that an airline refuses to carry Israelis in Germany,” said federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer. "Discrimination and anti-Semitism are absolutely unacceptable."

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency deemed the Israeli ban "unacceptable" in a press statement and called for an extension of discrimination laws to counteract such cases in the future.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said, "It is 2018. No airline should be allowed to categorically reject Israelis."

Similar opposition was voiced last year when the Frankfurt District Court found in favor of Kuwait Airways. Christian Lange, German State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, issued a strong rebuke to Kuwait Airways and wrote to Chancellor Angela Merkel to demand her intervention in the matter:

I would like to ask you hereby, as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, to personally ensure that the landing rights of Kuwait Airways in Germany are immediately withdrawn. We must never be silent when Jews are discriminated against or harassed. And the German federal government must make it clear that it rejects this form of discrimination and hatred — and that we are on the side of our Israeli friends. Our friendship with Israel is non-negotiable. Such discrimination is not tolerable!

Michael Roth, Germany's Foreign Minister, contacted the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Germany to request that he raise this matter with the Kuwaiti government. In comments to the newspaper Die Welt, he said: "It is incomprehensible to me if in today's Germany a passenger cannot board a plane simply because of his nationality."

Volker Beck, former Bundestag member from the Green Party, said: "Stop the discrimination or stop doing business in Germany."

This case has brought significant international media attention to Kuwait Airways' bigotry, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters, CNSNews, and Tablet.

It is shocking and appalling that a court has legitimized hatred and discrimination against Jews in Germany during our day and age. We must never stand by when Jews or Israelis face discrimination. The Lawfare Project's international network of lawyers is on the front lines around the world, working to stop hatred and protect the civil and human rights of the Jewish people.