Kuwait Airways is facing a discrimination lawsuit from a New York City woman, who claims that her Israeli citizenship was the reason she was refused a seat on one of the company’s planes.
Iris Eliazrov moved to the U.S. when she was just 11-years-old, and is now 26, according to the Daily Mail. She was barred from a Kuwait Airways flight to London on November 1, allegedly because of a company policy that prevents Israeli citizens from flying with the airline. Though Eliazrov’s husband, David Nektalov, was allowed to board the Kuwait Airways jet, she was forced to book passage with another airline.
A lawsuit filed by the mother-of-four has gained traction in recent days, as federal Judge Roslynn Mauskopf ordered the offices of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday to weigh in on the dispute.
EXCLUSIVE: Kuwait Airways banned Israeli woman: suit – http://t.co/HkmbgjbLsH pic.twitter.com/b47Dsa7LSq
— Noted News (@NotedNews1) February 6, 2015
As the New York Daily News reports, there is a law on the books in Kuwait that prevents Israeli citizens from traveling with the airline. When asked if that law is in place due to the lack of diplomatic relations between Kuwait and Israel, John Maggio, a lawyer representing Kuwait Airways, said that he could neither confirm nor deny that fact.
Maggio further asserted that Eliazrov’s suit has no merit, due to the fact that Kuwait Airways refused her passage based on citizenship, not religion. He postulated that a Muslim person carrying an Israeli passport would likewise be refused service. He then compared Kuwait’s policy with one in place in the United States, which prohibits American firms from doing business with companies in Iran.
Kuwait Airways. Old fleet. Boeing 727 pic.twitter.com/UdKVSuKyYl
— PJ de Jong (@jong_pj) January 27, 2015
“I didn’t think a discrimination like this could exist in America, in JFK (Airport), in New York City,” Nektalov asserted. “If they want to operate here, they have to obey our laws. Sixty years ago blacks weren’t allowed to ride buses. This is not about money. You have to make a stand.”
Last July, a Jewish woman was kicked off a JetBlue flight in Palm Beach, Florida, after an alleged verbal altercation with a Palestinian woman. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Dr. Lisa Rosenberg was asked to leave the airplane following the incident, and though angered, she complied with the request.
Though a federal ruling has stated that Kuwait Airways’ policy does not violate anti-discrimination laws, another Israeli national filed a petition last year with the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals challenging that assessment.
[Image via the New York Daily News]