Germany’s Hessen Wants to Revoke Kuwait’s Landing Rights Due to Anti-Semitism

View of Kuwait Airways check-in counters at Kuwait Airport. (AP Photo/Gustavo Ferrari)

Germany’s Hessen region does not want to take part in the Kuwait Airways ongoing anti-Israel campaign after the airline’s ban on Israeli passengers was not overruled by the Frankfurt district court. The court dismissed the claim for compensation for discrimination. The judges found it was unreasonable for Kuwait Airways to violate their own country’s laws, as Kuwaiti law prohibiting the transport of Israeli passengers. The verdict was condemned as anti-Semitism by Jewish groups.

Last Friday, the Hessian state parliament called for prohibiting the airline takeoffs and landings in Germany, as long as they exclude Israelis, reported Frankfurter Rundschau. Frankfurt airport, one of Europe’s largest airports and a major international hub, is in Hessian state.

The Hessian state parliament called for the federal government to examine legal possibilities, in order to prohibit “service providers, who acted on this legal basis of … Kuwait, the supply of services and goods in Germany,”  Friday.

The parliament condemns Kuwait for putting penalties on contracting with Israelis through service providers of its own country. “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 parliament’s statement read. The Hessian politicians welcome the announcement of the Federal Government to talk about it with representatives of the emirate intensively.

The decision gives”a clear signal against anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli policy,” said CDU parliamentary leader Michael Boddenberg.

SPD Group Chairman Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel added: “A case like Kuwait Airways must not be repeated if we want to preserve the liberal, enlightened basic element of our legal system.”

It was noted that courts in the U.S. and Switzerland had ruled differently than the German judges. They ruled that Kuwait Airways needed to transport Israelis. The airline then cut flights to New York and intra-European flights from their flight schedule.

Deputy German Foreign Minister Michael Roth also criticized the airline’s policy, telling Die Welt newspaper that he had contacted the Kuwaiti ambassador in Germany about the issue.

German Transport Minister Christian Schmidt told Bild newspaper that it was not acceptable to discriminate against airline passengers because of their nationality, and said the German government would address the matter with the Kuwaiti government.

“This requires contacts at the ministerial level,” Schmidt told the newspaper.

“We will do all we can within our legal means to prevent something like this in the future,” Schmidt told the paper.

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