Barred from traveling through Kuwait over his Israeli citizenship, Arab Israeli Facebook star Nuseir Yassin on Sunday blasted the country for boycotting the Jewish state in a video viewed over 400,000 times.
Yassin was scheduled to fly from New York to India via Kuwait. When he arrived at the JFK airport he was told that he would not be permitted to travel because he held an Israeli passport and Kuwait does not permit Israeli citizens to enter the country.
In the Nas Daily Facebook video, Yassin slammed Kuwait’s anti-Israel policy, saying it did not help the Palestinians. He said the boycott only benefited the leaders, “not the Muslims and not the Jews.” Furthermore, Yassin argued, it was hypocritical for the country to profess to boycott Israel while using many Israeli products.
This is not okay.I said my two cents in the video. Here is the rest of the story: This is not the airline's fault. Don't blame Kuwait Airways. The people that work there were nothing but nice to me and my girlfriend. In fact, they even helped us with our visa to India. They also paid up to put me in a different airline just so I can get to my final destination. Alyne got on their flight with no problems. I didn't lose money here. They just have to work by the laws of the country. And the laws of their country, Kuwait, are what pissed me off. Not the airline.The laws of Israel do not explicitly ban anyone from entering Israel, but they also make it hard enough to get a visa if you're coming from Kuwait. That's also not okay. I am sick of being in the middle of a never ending conflict. Some Arab countries don't like me because I am Israeli, and some Israelis don't like me because I am also Palestinian. It's a lose-lose situation. The only win in my life was to move to the US….LIKE Nas Daily on Facebook!@NasDaily on Instagram! Music: Skyline by Meizong
Posted by Nas Daily on Sunday, October 1, 2017
“Dear Kuwait. If you want to boycott Israel, be my guest. Refuse me service,” Yassin said in the video. “But also give me your USB flash drives, your phones, your safe driving cars, your Viber, your Waze or your anti-virus. This is also Israel.”
In his video, he accused Kuwait of not caring about the Palestinians.
“If you want to boycott Israel because of Palestine, I don’t think you actually care,” he said. “Because you’re also boycotting 2,000,000 Muslim Palestinian Israelis, like me.”
Turning to the wider Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which encourages a boycott of Israel, Yassin told his 2 million followers the movement merely benefits the leaders, but doesn’t help the people.
“This stupid ban is pure politics,” he said. “And the only people benefiting from it are not the airlines, not the Muslims and not the Jews. It only benefits the people in power. The outdated, undemocratic kings of the Arabs and the far-right Israeli leaders.”
In the accompanying post, Yassin stressed that he was not complaining about the airline, which was courteous and understanding, but rather the country. Yassin wrote that Kuwait Airways paid to book him on a Qatar Airways flight and that he didn’t lose any money.
The video was the 541st one-minute video Yassin has posted to his Nas Daily Facebook page in as many days.
A Harvard University graduate from the town of Arraba in Israel’s Lower Galilee, Yassin last year quit his well-paying job as a computer engineer at PayPal in New York to start making the videos, which he films and uploads from around the world.
The motivation was simple, he explained in video No. 339: “Look, I’m just a 25-year-old hairy kid who wants to live the best possible life and put it on Facebook in one-minute videos. That’s it.”
In his videos, Yassin wears a grey T-shirt emblazoned with a gauge that is 32 percent full, explaining that he has already used up that percentage of his lifespan.
Yassin said he makes no money from his Facebook page but earns a few thousand dollars a month by filming one-minute video advertisements, consulting, and holding workshops.
In 2015, the US government found that Kuwait Airways unlawfully discriminated against a passenger traveling on an Israeli passport by refusing to sell him a ticket for a New York-London flight.
At the time the airline explained that it’s against the law in Kuwait to do business with any Israeli citizen or company, and that punishment for a violation could result in imprisonment and hard labor, according to the department.
Two months later Kuwait Airways stopped flying the New York to London route rather than carry Israeli passengers.
JTA and Associated Press contributed to this report.