TEL AVIV– Dozens of financial accounts in the US and Europe belonging to BDS-promoting organizations have been shut down amid an ongoing campaign by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs to unearth links between the organizations and terror groups including Hamas and the PFLP.
The ministry guided pro-Israel groups — many of which are legal NGOs — to alert fundraising platforms, including PayPal, PLAID and DonorBox, to the terror links of groups using their services.
Thirty accounts were closed, 10 in the US and 20 in Europe, the ministry said in a statement released Tuesday evening.
“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,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said.
“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,” Erdan said.
The news follows a damning report released by the ministry earlier this year outlining more than 100 links between terrorist organizations and anti-Israel NGOs.
The report, entitled “Terrorists in Suits,” also found that more than 30 terror operatives belonging to Hamas and the PFLP are employed in senior positions in those NGOs, with 20 of them having served time in prison for terrorism-related crimes, including murder.
On Tuesday, the ministry said that three accounts belonging to the Samidoun boycott organization were closed after the International Legal Forum nonprofit alerted the fundraising platforms to Samidoun’s affiliations with the PFLP.
The Ramallah-based BDS National Committee, the umbrella organization leading the global BDS movement, had its crowdfunding account on DonorBox shut down after its connections to the PFLP, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups were revealed. The BNC’s leader Salah Khawaja served a year in an Israeli prison on terror charges, the ministry said. The group subsequently attempted to open another crowdfunding account on Charityweb, but it was shut down within hours.
The pro-BDS group Al-Haq, whose leader Shawan Jabari was formerly a senior member of the PFLP terror group and who served a prison sentence of two years for terrorist activity, had its credit card accounts shuttered.
The Interpal organization’s MyDonate crowdfunding account and several credit card accounts were closed over the group’s ties to Hamas.