Action Alert: Help Urge PayPal to open up to Palestinians
Pay Palestine! Support the United Church of Canada & United Church of Christ’s efforts to use economic leverage to end PayPal’s discrimination against Palestinians
As consumers buy more and more online, PayPal has seen a rise in its market share. According to estimates, the global online consumer market represents $2.5 trillion annually. There is nothing to suggest that this trend will change in the near future. PayPal’s invitation to use its services says, “From everyday purchases to running a business, people around the world rely on us to pay and get paid.” PayPal is popular, well-known, and convenient, and is used by entrepreneurs, businesses, and non-profits in 203 countries around the world.
PayPal has refused, so far, to contract with Palestinian businesses and banks in the West Bank or Gaza. It does, however, work with Israeli banks, allowing businesses located in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank to benefit from PayPal’s services. Palestinians are unable to establish bank accounts in Israeli banks, and are therefore excluded. This refusal hurts PayPal, hurts Palestinians, and supports the Israeli occupation because it:
- is an obstacle to Palestinian tech sector growth;
- prevents Palestinian entrepreneurs and non-profits from receiving payments and contributions;
- forgoes an opportunity for PayPal’s expansion into a profitable Palestinian market, which would be easier to enter than some other countries PayPal has already entered;
- contrasts with PayPal’s commitment to equal rights, as witnessed by its decision not to establish a customer service center in North Carolina in response to the state’s HB2, the so-called “Bathroom Bill”; and
- is simply discriminatory.
Join us in requesting the company to extend services to West Bank and Gazan Palestinians.
The United Church of Canada’s “Unsettling Goods” campaign and the United Church of Christ’s decisions to use economic leverage (2015 and 2005) encourage members to explore and pursue ways to bring financial pressures to bear to work for peace with justice and an end the Israeli occupation.
As you make purchases and charitable contributions, you will very likely have the option to use PayPal to send payments and donations. Pay attention to the method the vendor or non-profit uses. If it is PayPal, please consider:
- channeling your digital transaction directly, without PayPal as an intermediary, if that is an option;
- contacting PayPal to let them know that you have used PayPal’s services but are disappointed to have learned of their refusal to make those services available to Palestinian businesses and non-profit organizations in the West Bank and Gaza (or that you have and will seek other means to make payments online until PayPal agrees to partner with Palestinians); and
- Sign this petition calling for PalPal to end its practice of discrimination of Palestinians;
- Use the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine to publicize your action, and let us know too (United Church of Christ and United Church of Canada).
United Church of Canada resources:
- PayPal Fact Sheet (part of the “Unsettling Goods” campaign)
- UCCanada action alert