Israeli Flyer Begins Legal Action Against Kuwait Airways After Being Refused Seat

A ground crewmember takes a peek inside the cabin of a Kuwait Airways Airbus A340 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, 01 November 2006.

An Israeli traveller has begun legal action against Kuwait Airways alleging the carrier refused to sell him a ticket for passage between Geneva and Frankfurt.

The claimant’s lawyer alleges that travel was denied purely on the basis of nationality and that was a violation of Swiss law, which condemns discrimination based on race, religion or ethnic origin of a person.

Tribune de Geneva reports that lawyer Philippe Grumbach has asked the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) to address this issue on behalf of his client, noting that the right of a person residing in Switzerland to travel was violated. The lawyer also claimed that Kuwait Airways operating license be suspended while the company does not comply with the law.

According to the Tribune, the case was drawn to public attention by the Lawfare Project, an American organization that fights against the global boycott imposed by some countries against the State of Israel.

Kuwait Airways in Geneva is reported to have responded that it has no knowledge of the matter and that any rules the airline imposes are for  security reasons.

The Lawfare Project outlined the case in a statement:

The criminal complaint is based on the airline’s violation of the Swiss Penal Code as well as Swiss constitutional provisions that protect individuals facing discrimination based on race, religion or ethnicity. The civil complaint argues that KAC is violating the fundamental rights of Swiss residents and those traveling through Switzerland, and asks that the FOCA demand an end to KAC’s discrimination and withdraw the airline’s operating license until such time as the airline comes into compliance with Swiss law.

The plaintiff, a Geneva resident of Israeli origin, is presently studying at a Swiss academic institution. As stated in the complaint, the plaintiff has been “engaged since adolescence in the fight against inequality and discrimination of all kinds.” The plaintiff was accompanied to the Geneva airport by a Swiss court bailiff who transcribed a report detailing the refusal of the Kuwait Airways ticketing staff to sell a flight ticket to the plaintiff. He was “outraged and indignant to have been discriminated against because of [his] Israeli citizenship” and felt compelled to bring these legal actions to uphold his civil and human rights.

As Breitbart London reported, the Lawfare Project has already addressed the matter of discrimination against Israelis by Kuwait Airways in the United States via a different case.

In January, the carrier announced a halt in passenger service from New York’s JFK airport to Heathrow in London due to a requirement by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that it cease discrimination against Israeli travelers.

“The US Department of Transportation will not tolerate unlawful discrimination, and has mandated that the airline immediately cease that practice and allow Israeli passengers to travel between the US and London,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said before Kuwait Airways announced it was withdrawing the service rather than comply.

The Times of Israel reported that DOT notified Kuwait Airways its policies violated American law in September, 2015 after reviewing a complaint filed by an Israeli named Eldad Gatt.

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