Exclusive: PayPal closes Nazi party account linked to Hezbollah, Assad, BDS
The PayPal app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustration photo
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A range of German and American politicians over the years have urged PayPal to terminate the The Third Way account.
The US-based online payment service PayPal has shut the account of The Third Way, a neo-Nazi party, after a series of Jerusalem Post articles revealed the German group’s links to Hezbollah, Syrian President Bashar Assad and support for the anti-Israel boycott, sanctions and divestment movement.The PayPal donation section on Der Dritte Weg (the Third Way) website currently states: “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”
In May 2017, the Post reported that the website of the Third Way published a report in April on a visit by its members to Lebanon to champion Hezbollah’s war against Israel.Members of the extremist group can be viewed on their website visiting the Hezbollah propaganda museum called Where the Land Speaks to the Heavens in the village of Mleeta in southern Lebanon. Kai Zimmermann, a senior leader of Der Dritte Weg, posed next to a plaque reading, “No, Israel is not invincible.” The neo-Nazi group labeled Israel a “terror state” on its website.The US, the Arab League, Canada, the Netherlands, and Israel classify Hezbollah’s entire organization a terrorist entity. The European Union, including Germany, merely proscribed Hezbollah’s so-called “military wing” as a terrorist group in 2013. The Third Way, whose goal is the creation of “German socialism,” wrote on its website: “What every person can do against the Zionist genocide.” The neo-Nazi group supports the BDS movement against the Jewish state.German intelligence officials in the state of Baden Württemberg wrote in a 2018 report that propaganda from the Third Way calling to boycott Israeli products “roughly recalls similar measures against German Jews by the National Socialists, for example, on April 1, 1933 (the slogan: ‘Germans! Defend yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews!’)”A graphic on the Third Way’s website states: “Boycott products from Israel: 729=Made in Israel.” The number 729 is used in bar codes to identify Israel-based products and companies. The intelligence agency for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate wrote in its 2018 report: “The Third Way’s slogan ‘Boycott Products from Israel’... betrays significant parallels to the anti-Jewish agitation of the National Socialists,”.According to the organization’s website, members of the Third Way met with the extremist Syrian Social Nationalist Party in Lebanon and representatives of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria.German intelligence reports in 2018, which were reviewed by the Post, documented the radical antisemitic and xenophobic activities of the organization.The Post contacted PayPal in November, 2018 seeking a comment with respect to its account for the Third Way in light of the mass murder of American Jews in October at a Pittsburgh synagogue. PayPal declined to comment.ROBERT BOWERS, a far-right extremist and raving antisemite murdered 11 Jews and wounded an additional seven people in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The deadly assault was the worst incident of antisemitic violence in US history.The Third Way’s PayPal webpage, where the account is listed, calls to support a convicted Holocaust denier, saying, “Freedom for Horst Mahler: Political Prisoner of the Federal Republic of Germany.”German authorities recognize the Third Way as a clear and present danger to minorities. Hans George Maassen, the former head of the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic security agency, said in a 2015 German TV interview, “We have already seen that their [The Third Way’s] agitation, their condoning of violence and their praising of aggression are encouraging further acts of violence.” He added, “We are concerned that not only refugee shelters but also actual people will be hurt.”A range of German and American politicians over the years have urged PayPal to terminate The Third Way account. In 2017, the communications director for Reps. Jennifer DiSiena and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) told The Jerusalem Post: “Congressman Zeldin supports the closure of this PayPal account.”Volker Beck, a former Green Party deputy in the Bundestag who was chairman of the German-Israel Parliamentary Group, told the Post in 2017, “I find that one should not voluntarily provide an account to a neo-Nazi party, Holocaust deniers and other antisemites. Therefore, I also expect companies [to show] some civil courage.”PayPal shut down a number of pro-BDS French organization accounts in 2018.In a related BDS financial development in Germany, the US-based human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center included the German Bank for Social Economy at number seven on its 2018 list of the top-10 worst outbreaks of antisemitism because it “stands with antisemitic BDSers.” The center said, “When it comes to issues related to antisemitism and threats to the Jewish state, Germany receives a great deal of attention. In recent years, to their credit, German cities, companies and financial institutions have recognized the antisemitic underpinnings of BDS and shunned interaction with a global campaign seeking the Jewish state’s demise.“In 2018, however, one important financial institution, the Bank for Social Economy, insists on doing business with the radical ‘Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East,’ which strongly endorses boycotting the Jewish state.”The group’s sister organization, the US-based Jewish Voice for Peace, hosted convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh at one of its conferences in 2017. Odeh was responsible for the 1969 Jerusalem supermarket bombing that killed two Hebrew University students.The Post has sent press queries to the Third Way and PayPal seeking comments.