German bank closes Hamas/BDS group account - exclusive

Critics claim German banks continue to provide accounts to BDS and other extremist organizations.

 A Postbank sign is seen in Munich, Germany, August 1, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/MICHAELA REHLE)
A Postbank sign is seen in Munich, Germany, August 1, 2017.

The German Postbank has confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that its account for the Hamas-linked Palestinian Community in Germany is no longer active.

The Post can reveal that a membership fee form listed on the webpage of the Palestinian organization lists the Postbank as the bank of its account, where member fees can be sent.

Oliver Rittmaier, a spokesman for the Postbank, emailed the Post in late November that the account was “not active.” The bank’s spokesman added: “You can be assured that we are not interested in maintaining relationships with extremist groups. When we discover such a relationship, we end it under applicable law.”

Rittmaier said the bank could not comment on whether it will seek that the Palestinian Community delete the bank’s information from its membership form. He said he cannot discuss the matter due to legal reasons.

It is unclear when the account was discontinued. The account number is listed as 11563105, Postbank, BLZ [Bank Code] 10010010.

An anti-Israeli protest inspired by BDS (credit: REUTERS)An anti-Israeli protest inspired by BDS (credit: REUTERS)

The Palestinian Community in Germany declined to answer a Post query. The organization supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, which the German parliament labeled as an antisemitic campaign in 2019.

According to a 2020 intelligence report from Berlin’s domestic spy agency, the “Palestinian Community in Germany is an umbrella association for Palestinian organizations in Germany whose members overwhelmingly belong to Hamas or sympathize” with the terrorist group.

The German journalist Frank Jansen reported in November on two studies showing the role of the Palestinian Community in Germany in stoking antisemitism in May during Israel’s war with Hamas in response to rocket attacks from the jihadi organization that controls the Gaza Strip. The EU and the US have classified Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization.

Jansen wrote that two German organizations – the Federal Association of Research and Information Centers for Antisemitism (RIAS) and the International Institute for Education, Social and Antisemitism Studies (IIBSA) – named the Palestinian Community in Germany as one of the “actors of the antisemitic campaign in Germany.” The other extremists groups included the fascist Turkish Grey Wolves, neo-Nazis and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

German banks continue to provide accounts to BDS and other extremist organizations, according to critics.

The Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany provides an account to the pro-BDS entity Palestine Committee Stuttgart. Among those urging German banks to close accounts with pro-BDS organizations are the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Federal Commissioner for Combating Antisemitism Felix Klein and German-Israel Friendship Society head Uwe Becker, as well as the American and Israel governments.

The Post’s investigative series into the financing of BDS in Europe has led to the closure of more than 20 BDS accounts, including some in Germany. The DAB, Deutsche Bank, Postbank, Commerzbank and Bank for Social Economy have terminated pro-BDS accounts after Post exposés.