German BDS group confirms bank closed its account

Ruhr University Bochum tells ‘Post’ cancellation slated

March 1, 2016 20:02
2 minute read.
Head offices of the former CNEP bank, now BNP-Paribas,

Head offices of the former CNEP bank, now BNP-Paribas,. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

BERLIN – The hardcore BDS-Kampagne (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign) announced on its website that the French-German DAB Bank in Munich will terminate its account on April 14.

In what is widely considered a victory for the anti- BDS position in Germany, the BDS-Kampagne wrote on Monday, “The DAB Bank, in fact, canceled the account as of April 14.”

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German law allows a grace period from the notification of the closure to permit the account holder to wind down the group’s transactions.

In an exclusive, The Jerusalem Post reported on the closure of DAB Bank account in February.

Dr. Jürgen Eikenbusch, the spokesman for DAB Bank Munich, told the Post at the time: “Because of bank secrecy [financial laws] we cannot provide you with concrete information about the account. We took the information very seriously and are examining the topic and are taking, if necessary, the corresponding measures.”

DAB is owned by French banking giant BNP Paribas.

The Post learned in February that DAB planned to shut the anti-Israel account.

Doris Ghannam, who is listed on the BDS website as the holder of the DAB account, refused to answer Post email and telephone queries in February. Post efforts to reach Ghannam via telephone on Tuesday were not successful.

The confirmation of the closure by the BDS group could lead to a sweeping domino effect for BDS accounts across Europe.

It is unclear if action by BNP Paribas against the BDS-Kampagne account is connected to possible violations of French anti-BDS or anti-terrorism laws.

Meanwhile, Ruhr University Bochum – one of Germany’s largest public academic institutions – informed The Jerusalem Post via Twitter that it canceled a slated March BDS lecture.

“The university management canceled the event taking place in RUB’s rooms,” wrote the university on Monday.

The Post reported on Saturday on the planned lecture from Salah al-Khawaja, a member of the executive committee of the Palestinian National Committee BDS, who was scheduled to speak on “Palestinian civil resistance against the Israeli occupation power and settler politics as well as the Stop the Wall and BDS campaigns.”

The university notified the Post in German and English tweets about the cancellation.

The German tweet provided a link to the cancellation notice posted on the university’s website.

The notice reads: “The working circle Palestine NRW rented a room for March 18 in the Blue Square. The Ruhr University Bochum distances itself from content of the announcement [for the BDS talk]. The event is canceled because of these reasons and will not take place in the Blue Square.”

The university is located in the industrial stronghold city of Bochum in the West German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

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