German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Announces Investigation into Kuwait Airways’ Illegal Discrimination Against Israeli Nationals, Thanks to Lawfare Project Litigation

Kuwait Airways is under intense legal, and now political, scrutiny in Germany for its policy of discriminating against Israelis. The airline of the gulf kingdom is already the subject of legal proceedings in the Frankfurt District Court after it banned an Israeli passenger from boarding a flight to Thailand last summer. The Jewish News and The Algemeiner reported on the matter this morning.

Now, the German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt, has added to the pressure facing Kuwait Airways. Separately to the ongoing case brought by an Israeli passenger, Dobrindt has ordered an investigation by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure into whether the airline’s current policy of refusing service to Israeli nationals violates existing air traffic laws.

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 Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

Pressure is mounting on the gulf state’s national airline to stop discriminating against would-be passengers purely on the basis of Israeli nationality. Kuwait Airways has already cancelled its New York-London route and all inter-European flights, after The Lawfare Project initiated actions against the airline in the United States and Switzerland. In October, Israeli-Arab social media star Nas Daily produced a Facebook video after he was barred from boarding a Kuwait Airways flight from New York to India because of his Israeli passport. The video has received over 700,000 views.

Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, which is assisting the Israelis banned from travelling with their legal case, said, “We commend the Ministry 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 can 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.”