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German Banks Close Accounts For Marxist-Leninist Party With Ties To Palestinian Terrorists

Benjamin Weinthal
17th November 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany announced on Thursday that the Deutsche Bank and the Postbank shut down all of the party's bank accounts in Germany. 

The anti-Israel Marxist-Leninist Party has been engulfed in an election scandal alleging it campaigned during the federal election with The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)--an EU and US designated terrorist organization.

In a statement released on its German-language website, Gabi Fechtner, the Marxist-Leninist Party (MLPD) chairwoman, said the termination of the accounts "is a massive attack on the management of the MLPD." She added that that the closure of the accounts "means a new high point in the criminalization campaign against the MLPD and a politically motivated bank boycott."

The Marxist-Leninist Party lashed out at The Jerusalem Post for its investigative series on the party's connection with the PFLP prior to the September, 24 federal election. 

The party, which adheres to the line of the late Soviet Union dictator Josef Stalin, wrote that negative press coverage is related to its support for the "Palestinian liberation struggle." The Marxist-Leninist Party campaigned on a joint list with the PFLP and its supporters, according to German media reports. 

The Marxist-Leninist Party did not secure the required 5% of the vote to enter the Bundestag. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency monitors the Marxist Leninist Party and its 1,800 members because the party is deemed a threat to the country’s constitutional democracy.

Fechtner said "all of the defemations with respect to our alleged terror connections...are without substance." The Marxist-Leninist Party leader said: "We demand that the Deutsche Bank and the Postbank immediately withdraw the cancellations." She added that if the banks refuse to re-open the accounts, the Marxist-Leninist Party will initiate legal action.

Tim Oliver Ambrosius,  a Deutsche Bank spokesman, told the Post that the bank declines to comment. 

Iris Laduch-Reichelt, a spokeswoman for Postbank, told the Post by email that the bank cannot provide "concrete information" on accounts because of bank privacy laws. She added that the Postbank decides to conduct business relations based on the bank's values and its legal standards. "We can end, for example, a business relationship if a customer violates applicable law or the customer is not in line with our values," Laduch-Reichelt said.

The Marxist Leninist Party called for “Solidarity with the just resistance of the Palestinian people against Israel’s war of aggression and state terrorism” during the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in 2009. The party says the PFLP should be delisted as a terrorist organization.

According to a report in the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper, the Marxist Leninist Party had €4.17m. available for its electoral campaign ahead of the September election. It is unclear how much money, if any, was allocated to the PFLP and its supporters. In addition to the four Deutsche Bank accounts listed on the Marxist Leninist Party’s website, the GLS Bank in Bochum operates an account for the party.

The Marxist Leninist Party said in an early September statement that “the PFLP is not a member of our alliance. Sympathizers of the PFLP are, however, engaged in our alliance and are represented... in the interests of the Palestinians.”

However, German media showed screenshots of Marxist Leninist Party election literature listing the PFLP as an alliance partner of the party.

The PFLP's Leila Khaled, a convicted terrorist involed in US and Israeli plane hijackings, has toured Europe over the years to promote the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state.

Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal.

Follow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Twitter @FDD.

Tags

communism, europe, palestinians