above~Very short take off on runway 23 for Kuwait City via Frankfurt!

Kuwait Airways is not obliged to transport Israeli passengers, a German court has ruled.

The verdict – delivered over a case in which the airline cancelled a passenger’s ticket – has led to accusations of anti-Semitism.

The passenger, known only as Adar M, was travelling from Frankfurt to Bangkok when Kuwait Airways cancelled his ticket. But the court, in Frankfurt, ruled that the airline was merely respecting Kuwaiti law, and that it would have faced legal repercussions in its home country had it flown him to his destination.

As reported in Die Welt this week, German law covers discrimination based on race, ethnicity or religion, but not nationality. As of 2006, the law stipulates: “With effect as of 18th August 2006 the German General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) came into force. Objective of the law is to provide comprehensive protection against discrimination on the basis of race and ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.”

The court added that it wasn’t charged with deciding whether the law made sense, rather that it was unreasonable for the airline to ““fulfill a contract if it commits a violation of the law of its own state and therefore expects to be punished there.” It said it could not take a stance on Kuwaiti law.

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A 1964 law bars Kuwait from recognising Israel 

The passenger had booked a flight travelling from Frankfurt to Bangkok, with a stop over in Kuwaiti capital, Kuwait City. However, after discovering that he was travelling on an Israeli passport, the airline cancelled the man’s booking and offered to rebook him with another airline. Refusing, Adar M later sued the airline for discrimination. 

Kuwaiti nationals are not allowed close contact with Israelis due to a 1964 law which prohibits agreements between the two nations and precludes recognition of Israel, as reported in AP. 19 of the 21 Arab League members don’t fully recognise the Israeli state, with the exceptions of neighbouring Jordan and Egypt. 

In response to the ruling, the passenger’s lawyer told the Jewish Chronicle: “the statement by the court that my client was supposed to accept transportation on other airlines is nothing more than capitulating to anti-Semitic discrimination by Kuwait Airways.”

Gelbert said he and his client intend to appeal the verdict, calling the ruling: “shameful for democracy and for Germany in general,” a sentiment echoed by Germany’s Central Council of Jews. The council criticised the decision, saying it was: “unbearable that a foreign company operating based on deeply anti-Semitic national laws is allowed to be active in Germany.”

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Kuwait Airways Airbus A330-200 landing & takeoff at Geneva

In 2015, the US government ruled that Kuwait Airways had violated American law after an Israeli citizen was denied travel between New York and London. The airline subsequently dropped the route rather than alter its policy.

Brief history of the Arab league where Israelis are not particularly welcomed

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The Arab League is an intergovernmental organization (IGO), a voluntary association of independent African and Middle East countries whose peoples are mainly Arabic speaking.

The stated purposes of the Arab League are to strengthen ties among the member states, coordinate their policies, and promote their common interests.

The league was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan (originally Transjordan, Jordan, as of 1950), and Yemen.

Countries that later joined are: Algeria (1962), Bahrain (1971), Comoros (1993), Djibouti (1977), Kuwait (1961), Libya (1953), Mauritania (1973), Morocco (1958), Oman (1971), Qatar (1971), Somalia (1974), Southern Yemen (1967), Sudan (1956), Tunisia (1958), and the United Arab Emirates (1971). The Palestine Liberation Organization was admitted in 1976.
In January 2003 Eritrea joined the Arab League as an observer.

Egypt’s membership was suspended in 1979 after it signed a peace treaty with Israel; the league’s headquarters was moved from Cairo, Egypt, to Tunis, Tunisia.

In 1987 Arab leaders decided to renew diplomatic ties with Egypt. Egypt was readmitted to the league in 1989 and the league’s headquarters was moved back to Cairo.

Libya was suspended from the Arab League on 22 February 2011. On 27 August 2011, the Arab League voted to restore Libya’s membership by accrediting a representative of the National Transitional Council, which was partially recognized as the interim government of the country in the wake of Gaddafi’s ouster from the capital of Tripoli.

On 12 November 2011, the League passed a decree that would suspend Syria’s membership if the government failed to stop violence against civilian protestors by 16 November amidst the uprising. Despite this, the government did not yield to the League’s demands.

29 March 2015, the League agrees to create joint military force. The League has been meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh amid a crisis in Yemen and the threat of jihadists who have made major gains in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
The Arab League will work with military representatives of its members to organise what has been described as a voluntary force. Analysts say that it is unlikely all 22 members will join the proposed force.

The 22 Member States of the Arab League
Founder States
Member State Admission Member State Admission
Algeria 16-08-1962 Bahrain 11-09-1971
Comoros 20-11-1993 Djibouti 04-09-1977
Egypt * 22-03-1945 Iraq * 22-03-1945
Jordan * 22-03-1945 Kuwait 20-07-1961
Lebanon * 22-03-1945 Libya 28-03-1953
Mauritania 26-11-1973 Morocco 01-10-1958
Oman 29-09-1971 Palestine 09-09-1976
Qatar 11-09-1971 Saudi Arabia * 22-03-1945
Somalia 14-02-1974 Sudan 19-01-1956
Syria * 22-03-1945 Tunisia 01-10-1958
United Arab Emirates 06-12-1971 Yemen * 05-05-1945
Eritrea joined the Arab League as an observer in January 2003.

Related Links
League of Arab States
The official Arab League website.

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