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Discrimination charge Israeli citizen takes Kuwait Airways to court

The airline's policy of boycotting Israeli citizens was deemed to be illegal in the US

(Alan Wilson/Flickr Creative Commons)

A Geneva resident of Israeli nationality has filed a complaint against the airline at a Geneva court, claiming that it refused to sell him a ticket because of his nationality. 

The Israeli citizen had wanted to fly from Geneva to Frankfurt with Kuwait Airways. 

The passenger’s lawyer, Philippe Grumbach, said on Monday that his client was denied the right to fly solely because of his Israeli citizenship. The complaint alleges a violation of Swiss law, which condemns discrimination based on race, religion or ethnic origin of a person. 

Grumbach has also asked the Federal Office of Civil Aviation to intervene, as the right of a Swiss resident to travel was violated. The lawyer also demanded that Kuwait Airways’ operating license be suspended as long as the company does not comply with the law. 

This case was first publicised by the American organisation The Lawfare Project, which fights against the boycott of Israel. The organisation has already confronted Kuwait Airways on the same issue in the United States. The airline decided in December 2015 to suspend its route between New York and London after the US Transport Department ordered it to stop denying Israeli nationals the right to board.

Kuwait Airways’ Geneva director John Fernandini denied any knowledge of this particular case but added that the airline has imposed such rules for security reasons. He also added that Kuwaitis are not allowed to fly with Israel’s national airline El Al. and agencies

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