German court rules travel portal can ‘discriminate’ against Israelis

A court in the southern Germany city of Munich affirmed on Wednesday the right of a travel portal to deny service to an Israeli passenger because of a stopover in Kuwait–a regime that boycotts the Jewish state. The Israeli Shmuel M, who lives in Germany, wanted to travel in 2018 from Munich to Sri Lanka, with a layover in Kuwait in. His ticket was cancelled because the Kuwaiti monarchy boycotts Israelis. Shmuel, whose last name was listed in the DPA wire service report, filed a lawsuit against the travel portal.

The court concluded that the travel portal can deny Israelis service based on Israeli nationality and “because of the actual impossibility” of the trip.The Jerusalem Post learned that the online travel portal, which was not identified in the German media, is the German branch of the US-based Expedia. Expedia Group’s headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington. Kuwait Airways has barred other Israelis from service in Germany.Nathan Gelbart, a Berlin-based attorney who represents Shmuel, told the Jerusalem Post on Thursday that “the Bavaria Supreme Court unfortunately has adopted the plaintiffs view that boycotting Israelis is no discrimination against Jews. With other words, discriminating Jews on German soil is fine as long as they are Israelis.”Regrettably, the Munich Court hereby promotes well known antisemitic BDS methodology. There is only one way to stop this shame, suspending Kuwait Airways landing rights in Germany until they cease their discriminating transportation policy. I will be discussing further steps with our US partners from The Lawfare Project.”

BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel. The German Bundestag declared BDS antisemitic in 2019. Gelbart added: “The truth is that Kuwait Airways does not want to transport Israeli passengers. The antisemitic regime of Kuwait owns Kuwait Airways… and can change this situation with one phone call.”Germany’s Bundestag and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration have made no serious efforts to amend German law to bar bias against Israelis in the federal republic. Andreas Scheuer, the German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, has imposed no penalties against Kuwait Airways or the the regime of of Kuwait in Germany.

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