UPDATE: German Justice Ministry Asks Chancellor Merkel to Strip Kuwait Airways of German Landing Rights
Press Release – November 17, 2017
Justice Ministry State Secretary Christian Lange: “I ask you hereby, as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, to personally see that Kuwait Airways immediately has its landing rights in Germany withdrawn. We must never be silent when Jews are discriminated against or harassed.”
German Foreign Minister Presses Kuwaiti Ambassador over Kuwait Airways’ anti-Israeli policy
Minister of State Michael Roth: “It is incomprehensible to me if in today’s Germany a passenger cannot board a plane simply because of his nationality.”
The Lawfare Project, the Israeli plaintiff’s law firm, welcomes Ministerial interventions
The Lawfare Project’s Brooke Goldstein: “The judge reached an absurd verdict yesterday that whitewashed antisemitism. I applaud Minister Roth and State Secretary Lange for taking a stand and hope we will see justice done.”
BERLIN, GERMANY—German government ministries have reacted strongly to yesterday’s ruling in Frankfurt District Court in favor of Kuwait Airways in a lawsuit against the airline. The case was brought by an Israeli passenger, represented by The Lawfare Project, who had bought a ticket from Frankfurt to Bangkok but was barred from boarding his flight because of his nationality.
Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, the law firm representing the plaintiff commented:
“To see a Jewish person banned from exercising his freedoms in Germany in 2017 is chilling enough. To see that discrimination whitewashed and legitimized by a German judge is grotesque. I applaud Minister Roth and State Secretary Lange for taking a stand and hope we will see justice done.”
Nathan Gelbart, the Lawfare Project’s German counsel confirmed that the Israeli passenger would appeal. He said:
“Yesterday’s verdict was a dark moment for justice in Germany. Today’s interventions from Minister Roth and State Secretary Lange make me optimistic that antisemitism will not be tolerated in Germany.”
The Israeli passenger has now received support from some of the highest levels of the German federal government.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Michael Roth has contacted the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Germany to request that he raise this matter with the Kuwaiti government at the earliest opportunity. He said in comments to the Die Welt newspaper:
“It is incomprehensible to me if in today’s Germany a passenger cannot board a plane simply because of his nationality.”
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christian Lange, also issued a strong rebuke to Kuwait Airways and wrote to Chancellor Merkel to demand her intervention on the matter. In his letter to the Chancellor released by the Justice Ministry, State Secretary Lange wrote:
“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!”
The plaintiff will be launching an appeal. The Lawfare Project, which fights legal cases against anti-Jewish discrimination around the world, will announce the next steps of the appeal process shortly. “We cannot let this injustice stand. We will continue to fight such obvious antisemitic bigotry using the full force of the law, in Germany and anywhere else,” said Brooke Goldstein.
A copy of the letter from Justice Ministry State Secretary to Chancellor Merkel is available here (in German).