PayPal shuts account of French BDS group with links to terrorism

"This recipient is currently unable to receive money."

The PayPal app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustration photo (photo credit: REUTERS)
The PayPal app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustration photo
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The US online payment service PayPal on Thursday pulled the plug on the account of 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.
 Israeli journalist Jean Patrick Grumberg, a reporter for the French-language American website, notified PayPal that ISM-France supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel. PayPal has terminated a total of four BDS accounts since 2016 in France due to likely violations of the country’s law barring discrimination based on national origin.
In an email to Grumberg, Fabien Darrigues, PayPal’s head of communication for Southern Europe, wrote: “As always, PayPal analyzes all cases that are reported to us and acts when necessary when they violate the law or our regulations. However, being bound by our privacy policy and banking secrecy, we are not able to give more information about specific accounts.”
When The Jerusalem Post attempted to access the PayPal donation section of the ISM-France website, the page read: “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”
The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said on its website that the 2003 attack at the entrance to the Tel Aviv bar Mike’s Place was jointly claimed by Hamas and by Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. According to the ministry, two British “terrorists were careful to establish their presence in Judea and Samaria by forging links with foreign left-wing activists and members of the International Solidarity Movement.”
The Foreign Ministry added that “ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against IDF soldiers. At times, their activity in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations. Foreign left-wing activists, especially ISM members, who seek entry into Israel, often do so under false pretenses, via cover stories – entry for matrimonial, tourist, religious and other purposes – which they coordinate prior to arriving in Israel.”
PayPal shuttered the account of the BDS entity Collectif 69 Palestine earlier this month. In February, PayPal severed its service for the BDS organization French Union for Peace (UJFP). In January, PayPal closed the account of the France-Palestine Solidarity Association.
The Post initiated an investigative series in 2016 into the funding streams of BDS organizations and the connections between them and terrorist entities.
PayPal shut the account of BDS France in 2016.
The France Palestine Solidarity Association Executive Board issued a rambling statement on Monday, stating: “In lending a complacent ear to such mudslinging and to the lackeys that sling it; in closing accounts without even conferring with its customers; in leaving our requests for explanation and reparations unanswered; and by (in all likelihood) ‘leaking’ information that feeds propaganda and misinformation about our organizations, PayPal is manifestly on the side of the oppressors who flout international law, oppress the Palestinian people, and threaten freedom of speech around the world.”
France’s Lellouche Law, which outlaws discrimination based on national origin, has been applied to BDS organizations and activists.
The France Palestine Solidarity Association claims there is no law in France that bars a boycott of a foreign state.
Banks in France, Germany, Ireland, Austria and the United States have terminated scores of BDS accounts since 2016 because of the boycott campaign.
NGOs have been found to have connections to terrorism, spread antisemitism, and violate anti-hate and anti-bias laws and executive orders.
The Germany-based Bank for Social Economy is currently under fire from two organizations – Munich Citizens Against Antisemitism and Israel Hatred, and the pro-Israel group Action Forum – for hosting four BDS accounts.