The Ministry of Strategic Affairs (MSA), led by Minister Gilad Erdan, revealed today for the first time the results of an undisclosed economic campaign the ministry and pro-Israel organizations have conducted over the past two years against financial accounts of BDS-promoting organizations. The campaign has already led to the closure of 30 accounts, largely as a result of the ministry revealing direct ties shared between the organizations to terrorist groups or operatives. Ten of the accounts were closed in the United States, twenty in Europe.
Following the release of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs report earlier this year, “Terrorists in Suits“, which revealed the ties shared between terror groups such as Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and organizations promoting anti-Israel boycotts, financial entities around the world have closed accounts associated with organizations listed, significantly curtailing the influx of funds they receive.
Just recently, three accounts belonging to the boycott organization Samidoun were closed. The accounts were closed following the request of The International Legal Forum, which were drawn to the attention of various fundraising platforms (Paypal, Donorbox and PLAID), along with information regarding Samidoun’s close ties to the PFLP. As revealed in the Terrorists in Suits report, the organization’s two representatives in Europe, Mustafa Awad and Muhammad Khatib, are both members of the terrorist group. Awad was recently released from Israeli prison for his involvement in several terrorist organizations, including the PFLP, and for receiving training from the Iranian terrorist group Hezbollah.
Samidoun even publicly responded to the closure of its accounts, accusing the Ministry of Strategic Affairs for pursuing its organization and members.
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs notes that the closure of the accounts has disrupted Samidoun’s ability to carry out its activities and has significantly harmed their fundraising efforts. The organization also revealed that the exposure of their connections to terrorist groups constitutes “one of its most significant threats.”
**Other examples of BDS-terror affiliated organizations that had their accounts closed are listed below in the appendix.
Minister Erdan: “Minister Erdan: “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. Over time though, we have revealed that the supposed ‘human rights’ NGOs are in reality, filled with anti-Semitic operatives with deep ties to terrorist groups fixated on destroying the State of Israel. As a result of our actions, countries and financial institutions are now distancing themselves from these organizations. Our efforts have drastically undermined the boycott campaign, leading to it having much less finances to operate, and barred from receiving financial services.”
Examples of key organizations whose accounts have been closed:
1. BDS National Committee (BNC)
On December 21, 2018, the BNC’s, the umbrella organization leading the global BDS campaign from its headquarters in Ramallah, had its crowdfunding account on DonorBox shut down.
The BNC rejects the existence of the State of Israel, acts to classify it as an apartheid state, and aims harm its relations in political, economic, security and cultural aspects. The BNC has a cultural-academic arm, PACBI (the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel), which acts to isolate Israel academically and culturally, and uses violence and intimidation against cultural figures that uphold ties with Israel.
The BDS National Committee is a coalition of 28 Palestinian organizations and associations. Foremost among them is the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces, itself a coalition of 12 Palestinian factions, including the designated terrorist groups PFLP, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Following the revelation of the BNC’s ties to terror by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the NGO Shurat Hadin successfully urged DonorBox to close their account with the platform, thus preventing the organization from raising money from using a significant financial pipeline, for their ties to terrorism. As an example, the BNC Secretariat, Salah Khawaja, served a year in an Israeli prison due to contact with a hostile entity.
Afterwards, the BNC then opened another account on the website “Charityweb”, but this attempt was unsuccessful as the account was closed within a few hours.
2. Al Haq
In May 2018, the organization’s credit card accounts were closed due to work of a pro-Israel NGO revealing their links to terrorism.
Al-Haq is one of the leaders in promoting boycotts and delegitimization of Israel and a veteran organization active in the Palestinian arena.
Al-Haq has extensive ties with a number of “NGOs” while working towards promoting boycotts. For example, in March 2017 a group of French organizations together with Al-Haq published a report entitled, “The Dangerous Liaisons of French Banks with the Israeli Colonization.” The report includes recommendations for the French Government regarding the relationships between “French financial institutions with the Israeli banking system and the settlements”.
The organization is active in the UN Human Rights Council and is involved in exerting pressure on the council to publish a “blacklist” of companies operating in Judea and Samaria.
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. Jabarin employs former PFLP activists who also served prison sentences.
Over the past two years a number of fundraising accounts associated with Interpal, which has been found to have ties with Hamas, have been closed. The organization’s MyDonate crowdfunding account was frozen, as well as a number of its credit card accounts were cancelled.
Interpal was established in 1994 as a British aid fund, which plays a major role in transferring funds for Hamas’s civilian infrastructure and constitutes a significant part of delegitimization activity against Israel in the UK. Interpal is one of the prominent members of the British delegitimization organizations and is active in the BDS campaign.
The organization was outlawed in Israel as an “unlawful association” (1997) and was deemed a terrorist organization in 1998. Interpal was also included in US Executive Order 13224, which ordered the freezing of the assets of five charitable societies that finance Hamas and six senior Hamas leaders (August 2003).
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)