Kuwait Airways airplane
Kuwait Airways airplaneiStock

German government ministers have reacted strongly to Thursday's ruling in Frankfurt District Court stating that the airline may refuse to carry Israeli passengers.

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.

The Lawfare Project fights legal cases against anti-Jewish discrimination around the world.

Lawfare Project Executive Director Brooke Goldstein 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.

“Yesterday’s verdict was a dark moment for justice in Germany,” he said. “Today’s interventions from Minister Roth and State Secretary Lange make me optimistic that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in Germany.”

Deputy German Foreign Minister Michael Roth contacted the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Germany to request that he raise this matter with the Kuwaiti Government at the earliest opportunity.

Speaking to Die Welt newspaper, Roth said, “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 Angela Merkel to demand her intervention on the matter.

In his letter to Merkel released by the Justice Ministry, 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Federal Republic of Germany, to personally ensure that the landing rights of Kuwait Airways in Germany are immediately withdrawn.”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 our side of our Israeli friends. Our friendship with Israel is non-negotiable. Such discrimination is not tolerable!”

The plaintiff will be launching an appeal.

“We cannot let this injustice stand. We will continue to fight such obvious anti-Semitic bigotry using the full force of the law, in Germany and anywhere else,” said Goldstein.