German bank shuts account of group sympathetic to Palestinian terrorists

The International Alliance used its Sparkasse account in the university city of Witten to secure donations.

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September 1, 2018 19:45
4 minute read.
German bank shuts account of group sympathetic to Palestinian terrorists

The German flag is pictured at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE)

The German bank Sparkasse last week closed the account of the International Alliance – an organization that  sympathizes with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization and supports boycotting Israel.

The journalist Stefan Laurin from the news website Ruhrbarone first exposed the link between the International Alliance (Internationalistisches Bündnis) and the Witten branch of the Sparkasse in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Laurin wrote in August in an article titled “Sparkasse-Witten: Account for sympathizers of Terror” that “The International Alliance is an association of different organizations: In addition to the Marxist Leninist Party of Germany and the Maoist youth organization Young Struggle, belong the Sympathizers of the PFLP to this alliance.”

The International Alliance used its Sparkasse account in the university city of Witten to secure donations.

Laurin wrote on Saturday that “The International Alliance also demonstrated in the middle of August in Bochum for Stefanie Carp, the director of the Ruhrtriennale [a music and cultural festival], and spoke in favor for a boycott of Israel.”

The industrial city of Bochum is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, and Carp is under fire for holding a podium discussion in August where advocates of the BDS campaign were given a significant platform to assault Israel’s existence.

The Jerusalem Post has sent a press query to the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, ahead of his Tuesday visit to Israel. The Post asked Laschet, among a series of questions, if he plans to dismiss Carp and urge the Bank for Social Economy to shut down the pro-BDS account with the extremist group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East in Germany.

Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East called Jewish Voice in the United State its “sister” organization. Jewish Voice in the USA supports the convicted PFLP terrorist Rasmea Odeh. The US deported her last year because she lied about her terrorism conviction when she entered the US. Odeh was responsible for a 1969 bombing that murdered two students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe, in a Jerusalem supermarket.

The International Alliance did not respond to a Post query but published a statement on its website in defense of its work for the PFLP.

“We are in favor of canceling the PFLP from the politically instrumentalized terror list… We see it as our democratic obligation to condemn the Israeli occupation policies of the brutal massacre in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military in May of this year.”

The International Alliance said the Sparkasse said in its letter it closed the anti-Israel group’s account due to pressure on social media and because the International Alliance “publicly expresses open sympathy for the PFLP.” The International Alliance added that its account was terminated because it could not be ruled out that its activities finance terrorism.

The Alliance said that it will take legal action “against this politically motivated closure of the account and the damaging business behavior, as well as the defamation.”

The ongoing Post investigative series exposed German banks that hold accounts with pro-BDS organizations and entities that show sympathy toward – or allegedly support – Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the PFLP.

As a result of the Post’s exposé articles since 2016, the Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, the DAB bank in Munich, and the Post Bank have terminated accounts for German NGOs and groups that wage economic warfare against the Jewish state and are linked with sympathizers of the PFLP and Hamas.

The Marxist Leninist Party of Germany suffered a humiliating legal defeat in August when it sought to reverse the decision by the Deutsche Bank to terminate its accounts. A court in the city of Essen ruled in favor the Deutsche Bank. The MLPD seeks to delist the PFLP as a terrorist organization. The MLPD holds an account with the bank GLS in Bochum.

In 2014, two PFLP operatives murdered four rabbis in a Jerusalem Synagogue during morning prayers.

In response to the Cologne-based Bank for Social Economy’s defense of its BDS customer Jewish Voice, the German branch of Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal terminated its account on Thursday with the bank and relocated its business to the Frankfurt Sparkasse.

The city of Frankfurt blocks all city business with the entities that engage in BDS. The prominent anti-BDS activist Malca Goldstein-Wolf wrote on Twitter: “Prof. Schmitz, after the Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified BDS as antisemitic, what now needs to take place until the bank [for Social Economy] positions itself on the right side against Jew-haters? Just asking.”  The city of Berlin’s intelligence agency (the Office for Protection of the Constitution) released its annual report on Tuesday, designating BDS as an expression of modern antisemitism. The Bank for Social Economy’s  chairman Harald Schmitz declined to answer a Post press query.


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