Australia’s peak Palestine advocacy group has this week closed its account with Paypal, citing its policy of refusing access to Palestinians as the reason for its decision.
The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) adopted a policy of active support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement 18months ago – a movement that advocates economic moves against any body profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This is APAN’s first active move of boycott.
“We can no longer support a company that does business with Illegal Israeli settlements, but refuses to do business with Palestinians,” said Nasser Mashni, Treasurer of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.
As part of a sustained international campaign against Paypal for two years, APAN recently delivered a petition of over a thousand signatures to Paypal in Australia demanding they give Palestinians access to its services.
Paypal’s response was that they have no intention to offer services to Palestinians in the foreseeable future and will continue blocking access in the West Bank and Gaza, a move that further impacts the livelihoods of people and Palestinian communities already economically strangled by the ongoing illegal Occupation.
Paypal also said it will continue its services to Israel, including to Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.
“If my family in Nablus wish to support a charity, they can’t use Paypal. If my friends in Bethlehem want to run business selling their home-made souvenirs, they can’t use Paypal,” Mashni said.
“But if someone wants to donate money to an illegal settlement in the West Bank of Israel, then they can use Paypal. This is an online apartheid and we can no longer support it.”