By Tevy Pilc
B'nai Brith Canada
A large French bank has delivered a massive blow to the Boycott and Sanctions movement.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the Credit Mutuel bank has closed the account belonging to La Campagne BDS France.The group was caught using illegal methods to open and operate its account for the purpose of attacking Israel through boycotts.
The closing of the account was confirmed by Israeli journalist Jean Patrick Grumberg, who works for the French-language American web site Dreuz.info. He told the Jerusalem Post, “BDS France used illegal ways to open its account and Credit Mutuel closed it.”
In addition to breaking banking laws, French Member of Parliament Meyer Habib also told the Post that French law “prohibits all forms of call for economic boycott.”
A spokesperson for the bank responded to the Post saying, “We cannot give any information about accounts held or not by the clients of the Credit Mutuel. We do not disclose information covered by banking secrecy, but we strictly respect the application of French law.”
The Post first exposed the BDS France account in April as part of an investigation of a network of bank accounts for European BDS networks. This was followed up by calls from the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions and the French embassy in Tel Aviv to shut down the account.
The account closing comes on the heels of two other European banks closing Boycott and Sanctions accounts. French bank BNP Paribas shut down a Boycott and Sanctions account in Germany held by its subsidiary bank in Munich back in February. Austrian bank Erste Group cancelled the account belonging to BDS Austria in April.
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Editor's Note: Tevy Pilc is B'nai Brith Canada's new writer/researcher. He is part of our new and improving Communications Centre. Anyone with news tips or ideas should feel free to e-mail Tevy, Chief Media Officer Marty York at firstname.lastname@example.org or New Media Manager Sam Eskenasi at email@example.com.