JP: German bans Hamas BDS accounts
The German Postbank asserted to The Jerusalem Post that its account for the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Community in Germany is no longer operational.
The Post can reveal that a membership fee form on the Palestinian organization's website lists the Postbank as the account to which member fees can be sent.
In late November, a spokesman for Postbank, Oliver Rittmaier, emailed the Post, stating that the account was "not active." "You can be assured that we are not interested in maintaining relationships with extremist groups," the bank's spokesman added. When we discover such a relationship, we terminate it in accordance with applicable law."
Rittmaier reported the bank could not comment on whether it will seek that the Palestinian Community deletes 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.
The Palestinian Community in Germany declined to answer a Post query. The Palestinian organization supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The German parliament labeled BDS 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 Hamas.
The German journalist Frank Jansen reported in November on two studies that showed 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 USA have classified Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization.
Jansen wrote that the two organization Bundesverband der Recherche-und Informationsstellen Antisemitismus (RIAS) and Internationale Institut für Bildung, Sozial-und Antisemitismusforschung (IIBSA) named the Palestinian Community in Germany as part 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 Palestine Committee Stuttgart has an account with the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The Central Council of Jews in Germany, the Federal Commissioner for Combating Antisemitism Felix Klein, the head of the German-Israel Friendship Society Uwe Becker, and the governments of the United States and Israel have all urged German banks to close accounts with pro-BDS organizations.
The Post's investigation into the financing of BDS in Europe resulted in the closure of more than 20 BDS accounts, including those in Germany. Following the Post exposés, the DAB, Deutsche Bank, Postbank, Commerzbank, and Bank for Social Economy all closed pro-BDS accounts.
SOURCE: THE JERUSALEM POST