Thursday, March 31, 2016

Austria: Jewish community demands bank drop BDS group

Via Jerusalem Post:
The Vienna-based Erste Group bank – a financial giant in Central and Eastern Europe – has become embroiled in an anti-Semitism row because its provides an account to a BDS group in Austria.

“The bank should tell BDS Austria to take its business elsewhere, ” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

He said the account could give Erste Group “a black eye because of anti-Semitism.”

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign targets the Jewish state with economic pressure to advance Palestinian interests.

The secretary-general of Vienna’s Jewish community, Raimund Fastenbauer, told the Post last week that Erste Group should close the account of BDS Austria. “Our president [Oskar Deutsch] said at a rally that the BDS campaign is anti-Semitic,” added Fastenbauer.

Cooper praised the leadership of the more than 7,000 Jews in Vienna for “standing up to an anti-peace movement [BDS] that has elements of anti-Semitism.”

“If BDS becomes embedded in mainstream society, the economy, academia, culture, it will have a long-term toxic effect,” said Cooper.
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