The Jerusalem Post’s disclosure of a bank account in Germany held by an entity that supports the BDS movement prompted Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan to urge the Germany-based Bank for Social Economy this week to pull the financial plug on its accounts that enable activities to boycott the Jewish state.
“I call on all German banks to cut their ties with any and all BDS organizations, and join the many German institutions and leaders who have united against the antisemitic boycott campaign,” Erdan told the Post via email.
“During my recent trip to Frankfurt, I emphasized the need to defeat the discriminatory and hate-filled BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] campaign against Israel’s right to exist,” he added. “This stance has already been adopted by our close friends in Germany, including the CDU [Christian Democratic Union Party] and major municipalities such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.”
Erdan was in Germany in late November to speak at a pro-Israel conference in the city of Frankfurt.
The pro-BDS group – German Coordination Circle Palestine/Israel (KOPI) listed an account with Bank for Social Economy in a letter it sent recently to raise funds for the pro-BDS website Das Palästina Portal – The Palestine Portal. Despite the letter, the bank said on December 17 that KOPI does not hold an account there.
The Palestine Portal website is deemed anti-Zionist by the scholar Dr. Lars Rensmann, who is a Professor of European Politics and Society in the Centre of International Relations Research at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
According to the 2008 Bundestag “Expert Forum on Combating Antisemitism – Challenges and Successful Strategies” – where the Post was present and Rensmann delivered his presentation on modern antisemitism in Germany – the alleged antisemitism of The Palestine Portal was a topic at the forum.
The published report of the hearing from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe documented the comparisons between Israel and a Nazi on the Palestine Portal’s website and other websites: The demonization of Israel as an “apartheid state” or as “Nazisreal” now has a long tradition in “anti-Zionist” or allegedly “pro-Palestinian” publications – with or without links to “the Left.”
This includes cartoons portraying Israeli politicians as revenants of Nazis, as exemplified in the portrayal of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in Nazi-uniform on the portal’s website.