Racist PayPal has Removed My Account of 15 Years Without Any Warning Whatsoever
Racist PayPal has Removed My Account of 15 Years Without Any Warning Whatsoever
PayPal is a signed up supporter of the Apartheid State of Israel and that it would appear is the reason for Removing My Account
https://www.youtube.com/embed/drDJzoT7YfwPayPal’s policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is a form of digital discrimination, whereby Palestinians cannot access the service, while Israeli settlers in illegal settlements a few miles away can. PayPal also deprives Palestinians of their right to access the global economy. Even users who manage to sign up are often deplatformed once their identities are discovered.
It was an innocuously headed email ‘We need some information regarding your PayPal account (Ref ID – 3236271647)’ but like most things from United States Corporations it was a lie. They didn’t want or require any information. Quite the contrary. After 15 years of having an account, PayPal had decided to remove my account –without warning.
As is always the case with corporate liars they gave a generic excuse:
‘Due to the nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement. As a result, we have placed a permanent limitation on your account.’
And what were the nature of my activities? Perhaps the money I had sent to organisations in Gaza in order that the recipients might survive Israel’s starvation blockade? Surely not. After all the good ol’ United States supports democracy and freedom in the world – well everywhere bar Palestine anyway!
It is of course a mystery but in reality it is no mystery in so far as it is clear that the reason for my removal is clearly political or as they put it ‘the nature of your activities’.
I protested and appealed and their first instance response was
‘Please be advised that due to the violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy, your account will remain permanently limited.’
The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to limit an account for any violation of the User Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy.’
Which is about as clear as mud because they provide no information as to what I have done which violates their User Agreement. I therefore sent PP the following appeal:
Today you have today closed my account for an alleged infringement of terms after 15 years with you. You have given me absolutely no reason bar the generic one
Due to the nature of your activities, we have chosen to discontinue service to you in accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement.
You have given me no indication as to what these ‘activities’ that you object to are. The reality is that I have been subject to a complaint by person or persons unknown. It does not take much guesswork to work out who. I have been subject to malicious complaints by racists unknown and you have jumped accordingly like an obedient dog.
If there was any serious complaint or infringement by me then you would have informed me and asked for my response but corporate ‘justice’ is to ask no questions but simply to rule accordingly.
This is of course outrageous. You haven’t told me the slightest detail of what my supposed infringement is. You have just said there is one. The suspicion must be that this is political not a breach of terms. Of course you have absolute power to do this but this is an abuse of power for which US financial corporations are well known and I shall treat it as such and publicise it as an attack on a well known Jewish anti-Zionist blogger.
It would seem that my real offence is opposing the world’s only Apartheid state, Israel.
It is strange that you have never brought any breach of terms to my attention before in the 15 years I have had a Paypal account. I have done nothing today that I haven’t done in the past.
Your very inability to provide me with a specific and detailed account of my breach suggests that there isn’t one and that you are simply operating on behalf of Israeli/United States foreign policy which is to support the dispossession of the Palestinians, the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh, the theft and demolition of Palestinian homes and much more.
I also note that you have done the same to the accounts of many Palestinian human rights activists so I should take your action as some kind of compliment. I will of course notify all those who have ever had any transactions with me on the account, which fortunately I have always recorded.
This decision is shameful and if you have any shame, which is unlikely for a financial mega corporation, you will reverse this decision, apologise and provide suitable compensation for the waste of my time.
They promised to get back to me within 24 hours but what is one lie amongst many? Since then I have been researching PayPal’s policy towards Palestine and Palestinians. It appears that it is PayPal’s policy not to provide Palestinians with any facilities whatsoever in Occupied West Bank but to provide the Zionist settlers there with all the facilities they want. In other words PayPal is actively complicit in the oppression of the Palestinians and actively supportive of the occupation.
As an international payment organisation it is very difficult to boycott PP. I understand that but given their extreme pro-Zionist partiality, something common of course to all US social media and financial corporations it is important that we give publicity to their nefarious activities and consider how best to respond to their behaviour.
I have posted on my blog appeals for donations to help with the upkeep of my blog such as hosting costs, protection etc. At the moment they ask people to send it via PayPal. Obviously this is not longer possible.
I would therefore ask people to make any donations in the future to the following account:
Name of Account: Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre
Account No: 0409 3879
Sort Code: 09-01-50
Reference: Web donations
I post below a number of articles as to the nature of PayPal’s racism:
For many years, Palestinian rights defenders have championed the cause of Palestinians in the occupied territories, who are denied access to PayPal, while Israeli settlers have full access to PayPal products. A recent campaign, led by Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh, calls on PayPal to adhere to its own code of business conduct and ethics, by halting its discrimination against residents and citizens of Palestine. 7amleh has also published a detailed report on PayPal’s actions in Palestine.
This is not the first time PayPal has denied service to a vulnerable group; the company routinely cuts off payments to those engaged in sex work or the sale of sexually explicit content, and last year, PayPal division Venmo was sued for blocking payments associated with Islam or Arab nationalities or ethnicities.
It is unclear why PayPal chose to deny service to Palestinians, but they’re not unique. Many American companies have taken an overly broad interpretation of anti-terrorism statutes and sanctions, denying service to entire groups or geographic areas—rather than narrowly targeting those parties whom they are legally obligated to block. This practice is deeply troubling, causing serious harm to those who rely on digital services for their basic needs.
PayPal is among the most global of payment processors, and for many it is a lifesaver, allowing people to sidestep local banks’ extortionate overseas transfer fees and outright prohibitions. PayPal is how many around the world purchase goods and services from abroad, pay freelancers, or send money to family. By denying access to Palestinians, PayPal makes it hard or even impossible to engage in the normal commerce of everyday life.
We call on PayPal to explain their decision to deny services to Palestinians. And we renew our call—and that of our co-signers—for PayPal to review its practices to implement the Santa Clara Principles and permit lawful transactions on its platform, halting its discrimination against marginalized groups.
PayPal has closed the account of the French web site Agence Media Palestine in response to a global campaign by Israel to organise a crackdown on Palestinian supporters and critics of Israel, using fabricated claims of anti-Semitism.
The closure of the account by the American payment-processing corporation poses difficulties for Palestinians and Palestinian journalists, as there are few other international payment mechanisms. It marks a dangerous new stage in the ongoing campaign to isolate the Palestinians, criminalise political expression and censor freedom of speech on the Internet.
Agence Media Palestine, a Palestine solidarity organisation, publishes articles on Palestine in French, translating many from sources published elsewhere. It lists as its supporters prominent figures in France, such as the late author and concentration camp survivor Stéphane Hessel, Israeli filmmaker Eyal Sivan and human rights activist Mireille Fanon-Mendès France.
Within hours of Agence Media Palestine receiving notification from PayPal that it had closed its account, without citing any reason or violations of the terms of agreement, the web site received an email from Benjamin Weinthal, saying, “Your organisation lists PayPal as a donation method, but the payment is blocked.”
He asked, “Did PayPal close your account? If so, what was the reason for the closure?”
“Is your account in violation of France’s anti-discrimination law?”
Weinthal was gloating. He is a Berlin-based journalist and research fellow for the American neo-conservative group, the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies (FDD). The FDD works closely with the Israeli government and has sought to discredit the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights by linking it with terrorism, Hamas and Iran. The Jerusalem Post, along with a host of right-wing media organisations, regularly publish his articles.
According to the Electronic Intifada web site, Weinthal described the smear tactics he uses to engineer crackdowns on individuals and organisations that he claims are anti-Semitic because of their criticisms of Israel at a meeting of Israel lobbyists in Europe in 2016.
Outlining a playbook that will be familiar to the thousands of workers and young people in the UK now seeing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn slandered, he said, “You have to exaggerate to get these ideas across, because they don’t understand what contemporary anti-Semitism is, many of them.”
He admitted to using smear tactics as an essential component of his work and boasted of getting the journalists Max Blumenthal and David Sheen banned from the German parliament in 2014. He explained how he had compared Blumenthal, who is Jewish, to Horst Mahler, a former left-wing activist who became a Nazi.
Weinthal also described how he had tried to put pressure on PayPal and banks to close the accounts of human rights and civil society groups, focusing on groups across France, Germany and Austria.
The FDD functions as a front for the Israeli government, as Sima Vaknin-Gil, Israel’s director-general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, admitted.
Speaking on an Al-Jazeera undercover investigation into the Israel lobby in the US that has yet to be aired–due to pressure by Israel on the Qatari government which funds the news channel–Vaknin-Gil stated that the FDD was “working on” projects for Israel including “data gathering, information analysis, working on activist organisations, money trail.”
“We have FDD,” and “We have others working on this.”
According to the documentary, the FDD operates as an agent of the Israeli government, despite not being registered as such in accordance with US law.
The day after PayPal closed Agence Media Palestine’s account, Weinthal authored an article falsely claiming that organisations supporting the BDS campaign are “in violation of the Lellouche Law, which makes it illegal to target Israelis based on their national origin.” This is the same claim he used in January after PayPal closed the account of another campaign group, Association France Palestine Solidarité.
Agence Media Palestine accused Paypal of an “arbitrary act,” saying it was impossible to “ignore the links between PayPal and the extreme right-wing propagandist Benjamin Weinthal.”
It added that unless PayPal justified its action, it “reserves the right to take legal action.”
The web site said that it might launch an “information campaign about this discriminatory act for the benefit of a state that has just passed an apartheid law,” a reference to Israel’s recent nation-state law that privileges the rights of Jews above Israel’s other citizens.
PayPal has yet to reply substantively to Agence Media Palestine ’s letters.
PayPal processes more than $300 million in sales transactions every day, around 18 percent of the world’s e-commerce sales, and has a market capitalisation of some $100 billion. It has a long record of using its position to conduct political censorship on behalf of the US state and its allies.
Recently, the corporate giant blocked sales of the World Socialist Web Site pamphlet, The Struggle Against Imperialism and for Workers’Power in Iran.
PayPal, along with MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Western Union and Bank of America, also collaborated with the Obama administration in 2010 by imposing a more than seven-year-long financial blockade on the anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks, preventing it from receiving donations.
PayPal has also blocked the sale of publications and the use of its services by organisations linked with Iran, under the pretext of abiding by the US-led sanctions regime, imposed by the US and European powers to cripple Iran’s economy and destabilise its government.
PayPal’s action is part of a broader censorship drive by the US technology and social media giants, including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Twitter, that work closely with US intelligence agencies as well as Israel and its military intelligence organisations. In effect, they have given Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government the power to censor criticism by removing it from the Internet.
Last January, the New York Times confirmed an earlier report from Al-Jazeera that said, “Israel submitted 158 requests for Facebook over the past few months to remove what Israel deemed as ‘inciting content,’ and the company complied with 95 percent of those requests.”
The Times’s chief White House correspondent Peter Baker wrote, “Israeli security agencies monitor Facebook and send the company posts they consider incitement,” and “Facebook has responded by removing most of them.”
Palestinian and international human rights groups have challenged Facebook over its role in censoring Palestinian voices online and sharing information with the Israeli government, which has arrested hundreds of Palestinians over Facebook posts.
In September 2016, Facebook executives met Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who heads the campaign against the BDS movement, to improve “cooperation against incitement to terror and murder.” Since then, it has worked closely with Israel to silence Palestinian criticism of Israel.
Israel’s Ministry of Justice published a report a year later, stating that its cyber unit handled 2,241 cases of online content and succeeded in getting 70 percent of it removed.
Jordana Cutler, Facebook’s head of policy and communications in Israel, admitted that the social media company works “very closely with the cyber departments in the justice ministry and the police and with other elements in the army and the Shin Bet [Israel’s internal security service].” She was previously a senior adviser to Netanyahu.
Unit 8200, the Israel Defence Forces’ cyber spy agency, monitors social media and other forms of electronic communication. It employs Israeli soldiers and students as well as “scouring Jewish communities abroad for young computer prodigies willing to join its ranks” to spread propaganda online and try to get content inimical to Israeli interests banned. Many such individuals work voluntarily and independently.
In addition, the government funds or sponsors projects that seek to place pro-Israel content throughout the Internet and remove information Israel does not want people to see.
Last December, an Israeli report stated that the Strategic Affairs Ministry had a budget of some $70 million to “stand at the forefront of the battle against delegitimisation, adopting methods from the fields of intelligence and technology.”