The latest on bank confiscation of funds for Palestinians whose homes were destroyed in Gaza
Your calls and emails have caused Bank of NY Mellon and Bank of the West to twice postpone their deadlines for threatened actions.
As you know, the Free Palestine Movement is a human rights advocacy organization and its sister, the Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund is a humanitarian aid organization. Is it likely that we will surrender our own human rights at the same time that we fight for those of Palestinians? We don’t think so.
The latest communication from Quinn Osborne, Vice President and Lead Counsel for Bank of the West says that we must answer a list of questions or “the Funds will be blocked in accordance with the U.S. sanctions laws.” We would very much like to see the laws that authorize banks to block the return of funds to depositors in the case of cancelled transactions. We do not believe that such laws exist and neither does our legal counsel, Tom Nelson. We also do not believe that they have the right to ask any questions in the case of a cancelled transaction, only if they are being asked to complete the transaction.
We have already filed a complaint with the State of California and we are preparing a press release. The reference number for the wire transfer is 20150126-00006615, sent on 26 January, 2015. If you call BNY Mellon at (212) 495-1784, you can ask for the compliance section of the international wire transfer department and demand the funds of that cancelled transaction to be returned to the Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund immediately. We will also try to find more numbers and email addresses for you to call and write.
Please let us know your experience and any ideas that you may have to bring further pressure on lawless banks that take upon themselves authority that they do not have. Let us know especially if you withdraw your account from Bank of the West. We know of one very big account that was already moved to another bank. Thank you!