Israeli ministry shuts down financial accounts of 30 pro-BDS groups

“For years, boycott promoters have disguised themselves as ‘human rights activists,’ managing to raise tens of millions of euros,” said Strategic Affairs Minister Erdan.

By World Israel News Staff 

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs (MSA) says that it has been operating an “economic campaign” over the past two years against “financial accounts of BDS-promoting organizations.”

It says that the effort has been conducted in cooperation with “pro-Israel organizations” and has already led to the closure of 30 accounts. Ten were in the U.S. and 20 in Europe.

The ministry, which is tasked with countering the BDS movement, is led by Likud Minister Gilad Erdan. BDS is the acronym for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – a global anti-Israel campaign.

After the ministry filed a report earlier this year on “ties shared between terror groups such as Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and organizations promoting anti-Israel boycotts,” it now says its work has led to the closure of various bank accounts, including that belonging to the “boycott organization Samidoun”  after the ministry “revealed ties”  between the organization and the PFLP.

Among other “key organizations” cited by the ministry as having their bank accounts closed was the BDS National Committee (BNC), described by the ministry as “the umbrella organization leading the global BDS campaign from its headquarters in Ramallah,” the capital city of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

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The MSA says that the BNC had its crowdfunding account on DonorBox shut down.  The Israeli ministry charges that the BNC “rejects the existence of the State of Israel, acts to classify it as an apartheid state, and aims [to] harm its relations in political, economic, security, and cultural aspects.”

Another organization targeted by the Israeli government and pro-Israel organizations is Al-Haq, “one of the leaders in promoting boycotts and delegitimization of Israel and a veteran organization active in the Palestinian arena,” says the MSA, adding that “the organization is headed by Shawan Jabarin, a former senior member of the PFLP who served a prison sentence of two years for terrorist activity” and who “employs former PFLP activists who also served prison sentences.”

The organization’s credit card accounts have now been closed, says the Israeli ministry.

Another group mentioned in the MSA report is Interpal, a “British aid fund” which is, in fact, “one of the prominent members of the British delegitimization organizations and is active in the BDS campaign.”

According to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, the organization was outlawed in Israel as an “unlawful association” in 1997 and was deemed a terrorist organization in 1998. Interpal was also included in a U.S. executive order in 2003 which termed it a charitable society that finances Hamas and therefore whose assets should be frozen.

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