Exclusive: PayPal closes French BDS media account

The BDS entities were, according to legal experts, in violation of France's anti-discrimination Lellouche Law, which bans discrimination based on national origin.

July 13, 2018 05:48
1 minute read.
Exclusive: PayPal closes French BDS media account

The PayPal app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustration photo. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The giant US online payment service PayPal shut down the account of a major French boycott, divestment and sanctions organization targeting Israel on Friday, after being informed by The Jerusalem Post that site was in violation of France’s anti-discrimination Lellouche Law, which bans discrimination based on national origin.
The PayPal link on the website of Agence Media Palestine – the Paris-based BDS organization – now reads, “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”

That website states: “The campaign for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israeli occupation and settlements is growing in the world and in France.”

French BDS organizations have faced a series of financial setbacks since 2016. In 2018 alone, PayPal terminated the accounts of four BDS organizations prior to the closure of Agence Media Palestine.

The BDS entities were, according to legal experts, in violation of the Lellouche Law, which makes it illegal to target Israelis based on their national origin.

After the closure of their PayPal accounts, a number of the BDS organizations switched their donor payment to the French online payment company HelloAsso.

Post queries to HelloAsso were not returned. In addition to PayPal, Agence Media Palestine maintains a HelloAsso account. The Post has learned that legal action is slated againt HelloAsso for discrimination against Israelis.

In March, PayPal closed the account of French BDS organization Collectif 69 Palestine and the French branch of the International Solidarity Movement – an organization that Israel has accused of aligning itself with pro-Palestinian terrorists who murdered three civilians and wounded over 50 people in Tel Aviv in 2003.

In February PayPal shuttered the account of the BDS group Jewish French Union for Peace (UJFP). The previous month, it closed the account of the France-Palestine Solidarity Association.

After a Post 2016 exposé of another BDS organization – Campagne BDS France – PayPal and banking giant Credit Mutuel closed the group’s accounts amid escalating criticism over its illegal practices.

Agence Media Palestine did not immediately answer a Post query. The twitter feed of Agence Media Palestine numbers 3,887 followers as of Friday. The BDS organization’s Facebook page lists on Friday just over 54,000 likes.

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