Group calls out U.S. for failing to address airline’s discrimination against Israelis

A Kuwait Airways plane. Credit: Steve Fitzgerald.

( The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit that says it facilitates “responses to the perversion and misapplication of international & national human rights law,” called out U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx for failing to address discrimination against Israelis by Kuwait Airways.

Earlier this year, Foxx denied a complaint surrounding Kuwait Airways’ refusal to transport Israeli nationals on nonstop flights from New York to London, saying the airline did not violate U.S. anti-discrimination law because it is bound instead by Kuwait’s legal prohibition against Israeli passport holders from entering the country. 

“The Secretary’s rationale is particularly unfounded because the flight at issue goes from New York to London; the fact that Israeli passport holders cannot enter Kuwait is wholly irrelevant,” the Lawfare Project said April 8. “Moreover, if any entity conducts business in the United States, it must comply with U.S. law.”

Eldad Gatt, who filed the initial complaint in 2013, last month initiated further legal action in U.S. federal court, stating that the U.S. has “officially endorsed Kuwait Airways’ policy of boycotting Israeli nationals, and has explicitly authorized Kuwait Airways to continue its blatantly discriminatory practices.”

The Lawfare Project said it “hopes the judiciary will enforce the law—where the Secretary failed to do so—and uphold the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

Posted on April 18, 2014 .