In my day to day life, I try to practice ethical consumption, which is why I can no longer support the services of PayPal. PayPal refuses to extend its services to Palestinians, but Israelis living in illegal West Bank settlements are able to access PayPal, according to The Electronic Intifada.
PayPal is a service used by various companies to pay freelancers, like me. PayPal needs to recognize and support Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, as acknowledging and supporting Palestine is a humanitarian issue. It is not fair that I can use this service to get paid, while Palestinians in Palestine cannot.
The action of refusing a company’s service because of their dismal ethical standards is called boycotting.
Fun fact: it works.
Current Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) campaigns are aiming to improve the quality of life of Palestinians and end the Israeli apartheid. They have had success in the past in their advocacy to end the apartheid in South Africa.
PayPal is not alone when it comes to ignoring Palestinians but honoring Israelis living in illegal settlements in the West Bank. The global accommodations book website Airbnb continues to list lodging in these illegal settlements. Despite advocacy from groups like CodePink and Palestine Action Network, Airbnb refuses to stop advertising these illegal properties.
— PalestineActionNet (@palactnet) January 19, 2016
Fortunately, there are money-sending services which do recognize Palestine. Here are five different companies that you can send money through, which recognize Palestine.
Western Union operates in over 200 countries and has over 500,000 agent locations through the world. In 2017, they helped complete over 800 million transactions.
How to send money: A person can send money on their website or through an app.
How quickly money will be received: Money will be received within minutes
Payoneer, like Western Union, operates in over 200 countries and operates on a set of values, which includes integrity. This company was founded in 2005
How to send money: A person can send money on their website.
How quickly will money be received: Money will be received in no more than two hours.
WorldFirst was founded in 2004. There are no fees to open or hold an account with WorldFirst.
How to send money: A person can send money online and by phone
How quickly money will be received: Money will be transferred in a day.
WordRemit operates in over 140 countries and claims to have low exchange rates.
How to send money: A person can send money online.
How quickly money will be received: A transfer will be received within an hour.
CurrencyFair is regulated by the central bank of Ireland. Ireland itself recently divested from goods made in illegal Israeli settlements.
How to send money: You can send money on CurrencyFair’s website
How quickly money will be received: Money will be transferred in 1-2 days.
Recognizing and standing with Palestinians should be a priority for anyone who stands for peace and the sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. This is why I encourage people to boycott Paypal until they recognize Palestinians living in Palestine.