AN international funds transfer company has apologised after a Jewish Australian businessman was told he could not send money to an educational institution in Israel “due to its involvement with the IDF”.
The businessman, who has an account with World First, asked the company to transfer money to BINA because his daughter is studying there.
“Apologies but my compliance team has informed me that we won’t be able to pay this beneficiary due to its involvement with the IDF,” a World First dealer responded.
The businessman said he was shocked by the response. “I am from Israel, I served in the IDF and for them to paint it like a terrorist organisation made me feel very bad,” he told The AJN.
“I feel discriminated against because they made it like the IDF isn’t genuine.”
However, World First’s chief operation officer Paul Basson told The AJN that the money transfer wasn’t rejected because of the link to the IDF.
“This particular client was operating a corporate account and our compliance team identified that it was a deviation from his profile,” Basson said. “The transfer was personal in nature.”
According to Basson, the reason the IDF was mentioned was because the client usually procures “food stuff” and that in his opinion the reference to the IDF on BINA’s website suggests that it would not be a business he would be dealing with.
When asked by The AJN to explain the direct link in the email to the IDF, Basson insisted it was a mistake.
“I think the fact of the matter here is that the reference to IDF should not have gone to the client because it was not relevant.
“It was unfortunate and wrong. I regret that the term IDF was mentioned and I have explained why it came up.”
Insisting that World First was not party to the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, Basson said, “We have corrected the situation, he has been advised to open a personal account and we are absolutely fine to pay that -beneficiary.”
B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said this alarming incident cannot be left unanswered.
“Any refusal to deal with an Israeli institution, large or small, is an egregious attack on the Jewish State and contradicts our fundamental values of fairness and tolerance,” Abramovich said.