Belfast Telegraph

Plane crazy discrimination against Israeli student has brought back troubling ghosts of humanity's darkest capacity for hate

By Lindy McDowell

A court in Frankfurt has ruled that Kuwait Airways did not break the law by refusing to carry a passenger who had booked a flight with the airline company last year.

Who was this rogue and what unpardonable crime had he committed that led to Kuwait Airways banning him from even setting foot on their plane?

He was a young student, living in Germany, who had booked to fly to Bangkok. But he had an Israeli passport. And the flight would have involved a stopover in Kuwait.

And since the Kuwaiti rulers are involved in a boycott of Israel (along, shamefully, with many academic institutions and so called "liberal" entities in Britain and Ireland) the airline staff refused to allow him to board the plane.

Shocking enough.

But how much worse was that subsequent court ruling that, while it is illegal in Germany to discriminate against someone on grounds of race, religion or ethnicity, it isn't, apparently, illegal to discriminate on the grounds of nationality.

To sum up then, a court in Germany, forever synonymous with the Holocaust, finds that it is perfectly acceptable in 2017 to discriminate openly against someone solely for being a citizen of Israel, the Jewish state.

As darkly ominous as the court finding, I think, has been how little debate this ruling has elicited in the media.

Had an airline refused to carry a passenger on the grounds that they were say, black or Irish or transgender or Christian or overweight you imagine this would have been way higher up the headlines.

But it's okay when it's the Israelis. It's okay when it's the Jews.

Israel is singled out as the Great Satan nation. And not solely by the check-in desk at Kuwait Airways.

No other country on Earth faces such a barrage of concerted censure, condemnation, organised boycott and bullying as the home of the Jews.

All this goes way, way beyond valid criticism of Israeli government. It is the demonisation of a nation and its people. And let's not kid ourselves that it is entirely coincidental that such demonisation is visited upon the world's only Jewish nation.

How heartened all the boycotters of Israel - including many in Ireland, north and south - must feel to learn that a German court has now endorsed their bigotry.

This legal sanction of discrimination - and the lack of outcry about it - is chillingly reflective of how everyday and commonplace anti-Semitism has now become in Europe in 2017. Week in, week out there are stories in the news about attacks on Jewish people, their property and their synagogues.

The Jews get it from both the far right and the far left.

But it's that great, foul slick of anti-Semitism currently running through so-called liberal society that is especially abhorrent and concerning.

Anti-Semitism is now so viral within Jeremy Corbyn's Labour that it's become unremarkable. Some might even say, compulsory.

In a recent letter to a national newspaper three of the most prominent and respected writers of the day - Simon Schama, Simon Sebag Montefiore and Howard Jacobson - describe Corbyn's response to this as "derisory".

But anti-Semitism is fashionable. An intrinsic component of the Leftie flat-pack starter kit. You can't be cool and Corbynite without it.

But it's not just Jezza to blame.

Shamefully universities - seats of learning - academics, people who would regard themselves as liberal and intellectual and enlightened have backed the pernicious boycott of Israel that has helped to normalise and to nurture the not-unconnected and undeniable escalation of anti-Semitic abuse.

Within living memory of mankind's worst genocide, we are allowing to fester and flourish once again in Europe a visceral and increasingly overt hatred of the Jews.

What is wrong with us? Where does this end?

I just can't bear this corporate schmaltz

Heathrow Airport is just the latest to issue a cutesy-pie seasonal advertisement featuring two bears and a story of undying love in the cuddly toy department. 

Awwwhh! Or rather not. I don’t know about you but I’ve had it up to here with major corporate concerns flogging their wares with twee commercials which are supposed to have us reaching for the Kleenex. This is fooling nobody.

If they want to show the love at Christmas-time how about cutting back on the “heart-strings” advertising budget. And passing it on to the rest of us as price cuts.

A wonderful year is written in the stars

According to leading astrologer Oscar Cainer, Jupiter and Venus are currently aligned in what he calls a “lovebomb”. Or to put it in less celestial-speak, good news for the world.

“In 2006, when Jupiter and Venus combined in Scorpio, Saddam Hussein was being held to account for war crimes,” he says, and “in 1994, these planets joined just as loyalists laid down their weapons in Belfast”.

He believes the coup against Robert Mugabe may be evidence of the positive alignment this time around. He doesn’t mention the retirement of Gerry Adams.

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