30 financial accounts associated with BDS-promoting NGOs shut down

Ministry of Strategic Affairs says reports on ties between these NGOs and terrorism led to the accounts’ closures.

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June 11, 2019 03:57
3 minute read.
Strategic Affairs Minister briefs the media on February 3 about the terror connections with BDS orga

Strategic Affairs Minister briefs the media on February 3 about the terror connections with BDS organizations. (photo credit: MINISTRY OF STRATEGIC AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY)

 
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Thirty financial accounts associated with BDS-promoting nonprofits with ties to terrorism or terror operatives have been closed in the last two years, according to a report by the Strategic Affairs Ministry. The data – results of an undisclosed economic campaign by the ministry and pro-Israel organizations – were revealed for the first time on Monday.

Ten of the closed accounts were in the United States, while 20 were in Europe.

According to the ministry, these closures have “significantly curtailed the influx of funds” received by these organizations.

“For years, boycott promoters have disguised themselves as ‘human rights activists,’ managing to raise tens of millions of euros from Western countries and citizens who thought they were contributing to causes supporting justice and equality,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement. “Over time though, we have revealed that the supposed ‘human rights’ NGOs are, in reality, filled with antisemitic operatives with deep ties to terrorist groups fixated on destroying the State of Israel.”

“As a result of our actions, countries and financial institutions are now distancing themselves from these organizations,” Erdan continued.

The report cited several examples of accounts closed, such as three belonging to the boycott organization Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – one each on PayPal, Donorbox and Plaid – which were shut down at the request of the International Legal Forum. The forum had brought to the platforms’ attention Samidoun’s close ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The ties were originally made clear in another report, published by the ministry earlier this year, called Terrorists in Suits. That report revealed more than 100 links between terror groups and organizations promoting boycotts of Israel, including the employment of 30 current and “retired” terror operatives. It showed how these terrorists use BDS organizations to whitewash their true activities against Israel and reported on efforts by terrorist operatives to use a “human rights activists” persona to mask their true selves. By doing so, these individuals obtain legitimacy and money from Western countries to finance activities to boycott and delegitimize Israel.

The Terrorists in Suits report showed that Samidoun’s two representatives in Europe, Mustafa Awad and Muhammad Khatib, are both members of terrorist organizations.

Samidoun publicly responded to the closure of its accounts, accusing the Strategic Affairs Ministry for pursuing its organization and members, adding that the ministry’s exposure of the organization’s connections to terrorist groups constitutes “one of its most significant threats.”

Similarly, in May 2018, the credit card accounts of the Al-Haq organization were closed due to work of a pro-Israel NGO revealing their links to terrorism. Al-Haq is a veteran organization active in the Palestinian arena, and one of the leaders in promoting boycotts and delegitimization of Israel.

The earlier report uncovered, for example, that Shawan Jabarin, a senior PFLP activist who served several prison terms in Israel for his involvement in terrorism, is today director-general of Al-Haq. The organization describes itself as “an independent Palestinian human rights organization [that] monitors and documents human rights violations by all parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Jabarin recruited al-Haq activists who were involved in terrorism and served a prison sentence of two years for doing so.

Other examples in Monday’s report include the BDS National Committee (BNC), the umbrella organization leading the global BDS campaign from its headquarters in Ramallah. BNC had its crowdfunding account on Donorbox shut down through a combination effort by the ministry and the NGO Shurat Hadin.

Also known as the Israel Law Center, Shurat Hadin used the ministry’s information – such as that BNC Secretary Salah Khawaja served a year in an Israeli prison due to contact with a hostile entity – to approach Donorbox and request it close the organization’s account.

According to the new report, the closure of the Donorbox account is “preventing the organization from raising money by using a significant financial pipeline.”

After the Donorbox closure, BNC opened another account on the website Charityweb, “but this attempt was unsuccessful, as the account was closed within a few hours,” according to the report.

Furthermore, over the past two years a number of fund-raising accounts associated with Interpal, which has been found to have ties with Hamas, have been closed. The organization’s MyDonate crowdfunding account was frozen, and a number of its credit card accounts were canceled.

“Our efforts have drastically undermined the boycott campaign, leading to it having much less finances to operate with, and being barred from receiving financial services,” Erdan said.

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