Europe

PayPal Closes Account of Neo-Nazi Group with Ties to Assad, Hezbollah, and Anti-Israel Boycotts

PayPal, the U.S.-headquartered digital payments company, has shut the account of The Third Way, a German neo-Nazi party with links to Iranian-backed Hezbollah, the Syrian regime, and the anti-Israel boycott movement, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

The donation section on The Third Way website states: “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.” The group’s PayPal page, where the account is listed, encourages support for a convicted Holocaust denier, saying, “Freedom for Horst Mahler: Political Prisoner of the Federal Republic of Germany.”

The intelligence agency in the German state of Baden Württemberg said in 2018 that propaganda campaigns from the Third Way calling to boycott Israeli products mirror “similar measures against German Jews by the National Socialists.”

On their website, members of The Third Way can be seen meeting with the extremist Syrian Social Nationalist Party in Lebanon and representatives of the Assad regime in Syria. The Neo-Nazi group also visited the Hezbollah propaganda museum in the village of Mleeta in southern Lebanon.

Kai Zimmermann, a senior figure in the movement, posed next to a plaque reading, “No, Israel is not invincible.” The group labels Israel a “terror state” on its website.

German and American officials have long urged PayPal to shut the account of the extremist Neo-Nazi group. In 2017, Jennifer DiSiena, then the communications director for Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) told the Post: “Congressman Zeldin supports the closure of this PayPal account.”

Volker Beck, a former Green Party deputy in the Bundestag who chaired the German-Israel Parliamentary Group, shared their view: “I find that one should not voluntarily provide an account to a neo-Nazi party, Holocaust deniers and other antisemites. Therefore, I also expect companies [to show] some civil courage,” he said.

PayPal terminated a number of pro-BDS French organization accounts in 2018.

The United States, Canada, Israel, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Netherlands all classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The European Union merely proscribed Hezbollah’s so-called “military wing” as a terrorist group in 2013. Hezbollah’s leaders reject the distinction.

[Photo: Helen Zhang / YouTube ]