German state parliament urges federal ban on Kuwait Airways over anti-Semitism

A German state parliament has called on the federal government to revoke landing rights for Kuwait Airlines as long as it continues its ban on Israeli passengers.

Earlier this month, a court in Frankfurt ruled in favor of Kuwait Airways, permitting its discriminatory ban against Israeli citizens to continue. The decision caused outrage among Israelis and Jews as well as German government officials, who protested the decision, including the German Justice Ministry, which urged a ban on the carrier, Reuters reported last week.

Christian Lange, parliamentary state secretary in the ministry, appealed to Chancellor Angela Merkel to personally advocate a ban on Kuwait Airways’ operations in Germany, Reuters said.

“We cannot say ‘Never again’ at a remembrance ceremony, but then remain silent when activists in Germany call for a boycott of Israel, or, as in this case, when an airline refuses to carry Israeli citizens,” Lange stated, according to the report.

“Especially the German government must make clear that we reject this form of discrimination and hate, and that we stand by the side of our Israeli friends,” he told the chancellor.

The court decision in favor of the carrier was made soon after Germany marked the anniversary of the Nov. 9, 1938 Nazi pogroms against the Jews, known as Kristallnacht, the “Night of the Broken Glass.”

“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,” stated Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The  Lawfare Project, a New York-based non-profit, which represented the plaintiff.

An Israeli student living in Frankfurt had sued the airline over its cancellation of his flight to Bangkok in the summer of 2016, due to his nationality.

On Friday, the Hesse Parliament, reacting to the court’s ruling in favor the Kuwaiti carrier, issued a declaration calling on Germany to prevent the carrier from taking off and landing in the country, JTA reported.

“Such legislation is contrary to the principles of an open society and is not only an ‘anti-Israeli’ policy, but also a clearly anti-Semitic one,” the resolution, passed unanimously by the Hesse Parliament, read, JTA said.

The resolution is “a clear signal against anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli policy,” said Christian Democratic Union parliamentary leader Michael Boddenberg, according to the German language Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.