German State Parliament Urges Ban on Kuwait Airways Over 'anti-Semitic Policy'

The Hesse Parliament unanimously passes resolution urging federal government to take action over airline's practice of barring Israeli citizens

File photo: Kuwait Airways check-in counters at Kuwait Airport, March 18, 2012
Gustavo Ferrari/AP

A German state parliament has called on the federal government to prevent Kuwait Airways from taking off and landing in the country as long as it is allowed to ban Israeli citizens from flying with it.

The Hesse Parliament made the declaration Friday in a resolution. The move came in reaction to a ruling earlier this month by a court in Frankfurt that Kuwait Airways may bar Israeli citizens from boarding its planes in Germany.

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.

Kuwait does not recognize Israel, and Kuwaiti law prohibits companies from doing business with Israelis.

“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.

An Israeli student living in Frankfurt sued the airline over its cancellation of his flight to Bangkok in the summer of 2016. The flight was to originate in Frankfurt with a stopover in Kuwait. When the state-owned airline found out the student’s nationality, it canceled his ticket, referring to a 1964 law that bars any agreements with Israeli citizens.

The German court said it was unreasonable to expect an airline to “fulfill a contract if it means going against the laws of its state” and having to face legal consequences at home. The court added that it was not within its jurisdiction to decide whether Kuwaiti law was reasonable.