U.S. senators urge German bank to stop enabling antisemitic BDS campaign
Two powerful US Republican senators, both of whom ran significant campaigns for the presidency of America in 2016, weighed in on Thursday against a German bank for aiding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio told The Jerusalem Post that “The BDS movement, with its thinly-veiled antisemitic agenda, is engaged in economic warfare against the Jewish State of Israel. I urge our allies in Europe to ensure that European financial institutions do not enable boycotts against the Jewish state or provide indirect support to any pro-BDS organization, especially ones with connections to Palestinian terrorists.”
The Germany-based Bank for Social Economy (Bank für Sozialwirtschaft) provides at least four accounts to organizations that promote BDS, including one entity that has links to an American group that has praised a convicted terrorist from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The US and the EU both classify the PFLP as a terrorist organization.
In a statement to the Post, a spokesman for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, said that “The anti-Israel boycott movement is built on antisemitism and lies, and seeks to destroy Israel. Many US states, including Texas, have quite rightly passed legislation to combat BDS – and those laws seem to be having their intended effects. Unfortunately, we must continue to do even more to combat growing antsemitism abroad, amid increasing calls to destroy Israel.”
Prominent German Jewish organizations and activists expressed outrage over the Cologne-based bank’s decision to strengthen the BDS campaign against Israel.
Rubio and Cruz joined a lengthy list of Jewish groups in the US, Germany and Europe calling on the bank to sever ties with the BDS movement. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan urged the bank to pull the plug on its pro-BDS business in February.
Numerous Post press queries to the bank’s CEO Harald Schmitz were not returned.