Interesting. PayPal has cut off payments to the anti-Israel group BDS (Boycott Divestment, Sanctions) France.
According to the Jerusalem Post earlier this week the BDS France website’s link to PayPal returned an error message that “the recipient is currently unable to receive money.”
Now you can’t even find the link – it appears to have been removed entirely from the group’s webpage.
PayPal won’t confirm that the account has been shut down. It told the Jerusalem Post that “We can’t confirm or deny any limitation of a specific account”. However, the statement also hinted strongly that the account was closed on the grounds that PayPal co-operates fully with national laws.
The background to this is that France has Europe’s strongest anti-BDS law and applies them. The laws bar discrimination against people based on national origin and therefore the French courts view BDS as an illegal act because it targets Israelis due to their nationality.
Last month the French bank Credit Mutuel closed BDS France’s account, and, according to reports, the group then turned to PayPal in order to receive donations.
Credit Mutuel’s action followed that taken by BNP Paribas and the Austrian company the Erste group which also closed or cut ties with the organization.
The BDS movement argues that Israel is an apartheid state and seeks to force it to change policies. Those opposing BDS ask why it singles out the one democracy in the Middle East and ignores massive human rights violations elsewhere.
Organizations targeting BDS on a legal basis such as Jewish Human Rights Watch will follow the PayPal decision with interest.
This one will run and run.