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PayPal Terminates French Anti-Israel Boycott Group’s Account

The leading international online payment service PayPal has shut down the account of France’s largest anti-Israel boycott group, Benjamin Weinthal of The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

Weinthal confirmed the closure by clicking on the PayPal donation link on the website of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign in France and getting the notice, “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.” In earlier tests the link was functioning.

BDS France previously had an account at the French banking giant Credit Mutuel, but the account was reportedly closed earlier this month for running afoul of French law.

France’s highest civil court ruled last October that BDS is a form of hate speech. Dozens of BDS campaigners have been convicted in France of “inciting hate or discrimination.” Some have also been charged under an anti-racism law that bans “the targeting of specific nations for discriminatory treatment.”

Following the closure of BDS France’s Credit Mutuel account, French reporter Jean Patrick Grumberg informed PayPal that BDS France is now receiving payments through the service.

A statement from PayPal wouldn’t acknowledge that it had terminated BDS France’s account due to “customer confidentiality rules,” but asserted that “compliance with all local laws is something we take very seriously.”

Since PayPal is an American company with offices in Chicago, hosting the account could have put the payment service in violation of Illinois’ anti-BDS laws.

Weinthal reported in February that a German bank, a subsidiary of the French giant BNP Paribas, came under legal pressure to close the account of Germany’s BDS campaign since it put the institution in violation of French law. The German BDS campaign confirmed that its account had been closed a few weeks later.

In April, the Post reported that an Austrian banking giant terminated the account of an anti-Israel group involved in the BDS campaign.

The BDS campaign attempts to delegitimize and isolate Israel in an effort to advance Palestinian interests, and many of its leaders have publicly affirmed that they seek Israel’s destruction. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, an opponent of the two-state solution, said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance,” while leading activist As’ad Abu Khalil acknowledged in 2012 that “the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel.”

[Photo: PayPal / YouTube ]