Frustration mounts at Germany’s inaction on anti-Israel Kuwaiti Airways

Jewish groups and MPs question why statements critical of the airline's refusal to fly Israeli passengers have not led to action.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

Germany's Bundestag
Germany's Bundestag

For years the ruling government in Germany has known about the practice by Kuwait Airways of barring Israeli passengers, including inside Germany.

However, even with critical statements as long ago as 2017 by government ministers, nothing has been done, reported the Welt news site.

In 2017, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Michael Roth (SPD) said that it was “incomprehensible when a passenger in today's Germany cannot board a plane simply because of his nationality.”

He was replying to a ruling by a Frankfurt district court that sided with the airline in its refusal to transport an Israeli citizen inside Germany.

A year later, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) reiterated the same position critical of the airline.

"If the talks that have begun with the Kuwaiti side do not lead to any result, it will have negative consequences for the flight operations of this airline in Germany," he said at the time.

In September 2018, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main rejected the government’s appeal. He stated of the decision: "It cannot and must not be that an airline refuses to carry Israelis in Germany."

With the current government’s term nearly up, the situation has not changed.

"It is disappointing that the government coalition did not act here and did not take the necessary steps," said Josef Schuster, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

The Council has long called for Kuwait Airways, which is owned by the Kuwaiti government, to be banned from landing and taking off in Germany.

"Unfortunately, the Federal Ministry of Transport has so far failed to take a clear stance against the discriminatory practice of Kuwait Airways," said Schuster.

There is a move among SPD politicians involved in transportation issues to draft a motion to be put forward at the last minute as the current parliamentary session is winding down. However, there is no clear agreement on its contents.

"If the Federal Republic of Germany holds on to the air traffic rights with Kuwait, it will make itself the extended arm of an anti-Israeli policy,” said SPD MP Bela Bach.

She noted that the country’s current aviation agreement with Kuwait has very little economic significance for Germany.

"We should therefore ask ourselves why the federal government is sticking to this agreement," she said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)