German court rules travel portal can ‘discriminate’ against Israelis

An Israeli had his entrance denied because he had a layover in Kuwait, whose monarchy boycotts Israel.
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Kuwait Airways (photo credit: STEVE FITZGERALD/WIKIMEDIA)

Kuwait Airways (photo credit: STEVE FITZGERALD/WIKIMEDIA)

A Munich court has affirmed the right of a travel portal to deny service to an Israeli passenger because of a stopover in Kuwait, which boycotts the Jewish state.

The Israeli, Shmuel M, who lives in Germany, wanted to travel in 2018 from Munich to Sri Lanka, with a layover in Kuwait. His ticket was canceled, because Kuwait boycotts Israelis. Shmuel filed a lawsuit against the travel portal.

The court concluded that the travel portal can deny Israelis service based on Israeli nationality and “because of the actual impossibility” of the trip.

The Jerusalem Post learned that the online travel portal, which was not identified in the German media, is the German branch of the Seattle-based Expedia.

Nathan Gelbart, a Berlin-based attorney who represents Shmuel, told the Post that “the Bavaria Supreme Court unfortunately has adopted the plaintiffs view that boycotting Israelis is no discrimination against Jews. In other words, discriminating Jews on German soil is fine as long as they are Israelis.

“Regrettably, the Munich court hereby promotes well-known antisemitic BDS methodology. There is only one way to stop this shame, suspending Kuwait Airways landing rights in Germany until they cease their discriminating transportation policy. I will be discussing further steps with our US partners from The Lawfare Project.”

The German Bundestag declared BDS [the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel] as antisemitic in 2019.

Germany’s Bundestag and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration have made no serious efforts to amend German law to bar bias against Israelis in the federal republic. German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer has imposed no penalties against Kuwait Airways or the regime of Kuwait in Germany.

Benjamin Ryberg, an attorney and Chief Operating Officer & Director of Research for The Lawfare Project, told the Post that “in this day and age when the world is crying out against discrimination, we at The Lawfare Project are incredibly disappointed by the court’s ruling. The court in this case has abdicated its responsibility to block flagrant antisemitic discrimination and decided instead to sidestep this important issue.”

He added that “this is not the end of our fight to stop the indefensible discrimination against Israelis by Kuwait Airways. Regardless of this ruling, The Lawfare Project will pursue justice against Kuwait Airways in every available jurisdiction across the globe until it halts its vile and illegal practice. All persons of conscience should protest the German court’s rubber-stamping of such bigotry.”

German court rules travel portal can ‘discriminate’ against Israelis

An Israeli had his entrance denied because he had a layover in Kuwait, whose monarchy boycotts Israel.
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