New York woman challenges Kuwait over non-acceptance of Israeli passports

A woman from New York has begun what could be a groundbreaking challenge to a law in Kuwait prohibiting people with Israeli passports from flying on Kuwait Airways.

Kuwait Airlines

Kuwait Airlines Image by Mark Harkin / CC BY 2.0

Iris Eliazarov has filed a lawsuit against the airline after she was turned away from the flight once she had produced her Israeli passport. “I didn’t expect that to happen, especially living in New York,” she stressed.

Eliazarov was intending to travel from JFK to London with her husband, ABC’s Eyewitness News reported. However, a Kuwait Airways worker told her she would not be allowed to board the flight. When she asked the reason, she was told: “Because you have an Israeli passport.”

Eliazarov always uses her Israeli passport when travelling, while her husband, David Nektalov, has a US passport. He went to his wife’s aid when he saw she was having problems with the official. “He’s like, ‘listen, she’s not getting on that plane,’” Nektalov recalled.

Kuwait refuses to recognise Israel as a state so passports from that country are not recognized. The airline then said they would book Eliazarov on a different airline but they would not re-book her husband. The couple decided a lawsuit was necessary believing the airline should be made to change this policy, adding that no one should have to go through what she was forced to face. Eliazarov believes that if they want to make money serving Americans, they should do so, in line with American laws.

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