German diplomats have said accusations of antisemitism against Kuwait Airways for its practice of refusing Israeli passengers are exaggerated, triggering sharp criticism from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a German lawyer who sued the airline.
The statement defending state-owned Kuwait Airways was first reported by the Düsseldorf-based business daily Handelsblatt on Monday.
A court in Frankfurt ruled in November that Kuwait Airways was within its rights to refuse service to an Israeli citizen. The Israeli in the lawsuit had booked a flight on Kuwait Airways from Frankfurt to Bangkok.
Katharina Ziegler, a German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, declined to comment on the record in response to a query from The Jerusalem Post addressed to Heiko Maas, the new foreign minister. Maas has promised improved German-Israel relations after the anti-Israel policies of his predecessor, Sigmar Gabriel. Germany’s Foreign Ministry is widely viewed as one of the harshest critics of the Jewish state within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration. The US- and EU-designated terrorist entity Hamas praised Gabriel in January for terming Israel an “apartheid regime.”