Europe

German Bank to Close Major BDS Account

The DAB Bank in Munich is set to discontinue the account of a leading group associated with the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign in Germany, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

The website of BDS-Kampagne [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] names DAB Bank Munich as the institution through which it accepts money transfers, according to the Post. DAB Bank is the German branch of the French banking giant BNP Paribas. BDS is outlawed in France, where its campaigners can be prosecuted for “inciting hate or discrimination.” According to the Post, it isn’t certain if the group’s account was targeted due to its BDS activity or under anti-terrorism laws.

“[Because] of bank secrecy [financial laws] we cannot provide you with concrete information about the account,” Dr. Jürgen Eikenbusch, a spokesman for DAB Bank Munich, told the Post. “We took the information very seriously and are examining the topic and are taking, if necessary, the corresponding measures.”

German law grants BDS-Kampagne sixty days to close its account and remove all references to DAB Bank on its website. The owner of the account, Doris Ghannam, refused to answer the Post‘s questions about her group’s activities, including its views on the Iran-backed groups Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which are designated as terrorist organizations by the United States and European Union.

BNP Paribas agreed in 2014 to pay nearly $9 billion in fines for conducting illicit business with Iran in violation of U.S. law.

[Photo: Marko Kudjerski / Flickr ]