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A statue is pictured next to the logo of Germanys Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany..(Photo by: REUTERS)
Did German bank close account of Israeli news website due to antisemitism?
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
05/10/2019
In a telephone conversation with Deutsche Bank, the bank told 'Israel Heute' that "it did not have to justify the decision and therefore would not say anything more."
The giant Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, which advanced Hitler’s goal to exterminate European Jewry, closed the account of the German-language Israeli news website and magazine Israel Heute (Israel Today) shortly before Passover.
 
On Wednesday, Aviel Schneider wrote on the website that Deutsche Bank terminated Israel Heute’s account without an explanation.
 
“As of mid-June, there will be no more banking for Israel Today in Jerusalem,” wrote Schneider.
 
When asked about Deutsche Bank’s closure of the group’s account and if it was closed because it is a Jewish, Israeli outlet, a spokesman wrote to The Jerusalem Post by email on Thursday the following:
 
“Please understand that we cannot comment on suspected or actual customer relationships. Our commitment to Yad Vashem exemplifies our desire for reconciliation and our close ties with the Israeli people. This basic understanding also shapes our business connections. “
 
The spokesman added: “The closure of account connections can have different causes, including regulatory reasons. However, in no case does it have anything to do with religious affiliation. Deutsche Bank stands for diversity and pluralism.”
 
Schneider asked if there were “political reasons” for the Deutsche Bank’s closure of the account.
 
The Post followed up with the question about whether the bank violated New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order barring Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activity against Israel. Deutsche Bank has investments in New York State business. The executive order prohibits New York to do business with companies that engage in economic warfare against the Jewish state.
 
Schneider wrote that Israel Heute has had an account with Deutsche Bank for over 40 years. “We were very surprised. Our account at the bank had always been properly managed. There had never been any problems,” said Schneider.
 
In a telephone conversation with the bank, it told Israel Heute that “It did not have to justify the decision and therefore would not say anything more,” according to Schneider.
 
Schneider added that, “even if Deutsche Bank has the full right to stop providing service to Israel Today and its customers, I think that after so many years, our editors in Jerusalem have [the right to] at least a minimal explanation for this decision. The uncertainty raises the question of whether we did something wrong. This makes us feel twice punished in Jerusalem by Deutsche Bank.”
 
Israel Today states on its website that it “is a Jerusalem news agency that brings local news from a biblical and objective perspective. It was founded in 1978 as a monthly newsletter in German. In January 1999, we began publishing English-speaking Israel Today to meet the increasing demand for news from Israel in the English-speaking market. A Norwegian as well as a Dutch edition now appear monthly.”
 
During the Nazi movement, the Deutsche Bank fired its Jewish board members and looted Jewish-owned businesses. The bank helped finance the Auschwitz death camp.
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