An Israeli citizen residing in New York has said that she will sue Kuwait airlines for refusing her entry onto a London-bound flight because she carried an Israeli passport, the New York Daily News reported on Friday.
Iris Eliazarov, a mother of four from Queens, used her Israeli passport when boarding the plane, but was denied entry and left stranded at the airport.
Calling herself “the Rosa Parks of international air travel,” Eliazarov compared herself to the famous civil rights activist who started the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger in the segregated city.
“I take the strength from the experience of Rosa Parks,” Eliazarov said in her sworn affidavit against Kuwait Airways.
When asked if the airline’s policy reflected the absence of diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Israel, the attorney representing the Gulf state’s airline, John Maggio, would not confirm or deny.
Eliazarov’s counsel claimed that the airline was in breach of state and federal civil rights laws, a position that the Federal charge asked the State Attorney general, Eric Schneidrman, to advise on.
“I didn’t think a discrimination like this could exist in America, in JFK [Airport), in New York City,” said David Nektalov, Eliazarov’s husband. “If they want to operate here, they have to obey our laws. Sixty years ago blacks weren’t allowed to ride buses. This is not about money. You have to make a stand.”