Germany's Commerzbank shuts anti-BDS account in landmark move
Commerzbank declined to comment on the Der Semit's account due to data protection and bank secrecy laws. (Opednews.com)
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In the latest in a series of similar account closures by international banks, German bank Commerzbank has shut down a boycott Israel account, the first action of its kind in that country, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The account has been “dealt with” and the bank notified the account holder more than a month ago, a source told the Post.
The closure of the anti-Israel account because of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activity is believed to be the first instance of a German bank taking action to halt the movement.
“I welcome and commend the decision by Commerzbank and other European banks to close the accounts of BDS organizations. This is the right thing to do from both a legal, financial and moral perspective. The BDS campaign, which seeks the destruction of Israel, is discriminatory, anti-Semitic and anti-peace, and often has connections to extremist and terrorist groups,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told the Post on Tuesday.
Erdan, who is tasked with combating BDS for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration, added: “I call on other banks to follow Commerzbank’s example, particularly those with connections to official state bodies that claim to oppose BDS. I will continue to work to expose the true face of the BDS extremists and their supporters, and to ensure that they face the full consequences of their actions.”
The closed account allegedly belongs to the anti-Israel and pro-BDS website Der Semit, which lists its account in a small town in the state of Hesse, in which Frankfurt, which is the home to Commerzbank’s headquarters, also is located.
“We cannot, because of data protection and bank secrecy laws answer questions regarding existing account relationships,” Commerzbank spokesman Michael Machauer told the Post. “Commerzbank adheres to all compliance standards and regulations governing accounts.”
The Commerzbank account holder for the pro-BDS website in Hesse declined to comment.
The anti-Israel activist, who owns the BDS website, lost a court case to the prominent German Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder in 2007. Broder termed the owner of the website “expert[s] in applied Jew-phobia.”
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