Creating new perspectives since 2009

Hollywood's Mark Ruffalo praised for calling out PayPal’s discrimination against Palestinians

June 8, 2022 at 2:37 pm

Mark Ruffalo on March 1, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois [Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images]

​​Hollywood A-lister, Mark Ruffalo, has called out PayPal Holdings for its discrimination against Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, who are denied access to its digital payment platform.

A vocal critic of Israel’s apartheid against Palestine, he wrote on Twitter: “Friends: PayPal operates in Israel’s illegal settlements – but is refusing to provide service to Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank, in direct violation of UN guidelines.”

He also attached a link to a petition urging PayPal to offer its services in the Palestinian territories.

Organised by SumOfUs, an international NGO that seeks to counter the power of big businesses, the petition reads, “SumOfUs members like you made a huge difference in getting Ben & Jerry’s to be the first large global corporation to pull out of the illegally Occupied Palestinian Territory in years.”

“Multiple sources within the company said the tens of thousands of you that took action had a huge impact in this decision.”

The petition adds that almost half of those living in Gaza are unemployed, causing many to look to the internet to earn a living.

It calls on readers to “tell PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians and offer its services to everyone in Gaza and the West Bank”.

OPINION: Emma Watson is with Palestine

Following his post, the American Hulk actor, who has previously weighed in on the Palestine issue, was praised for not shying away from condemning Israeli abuses and institutionalised discrimination that violate international law.

Last year, the 54-year-old actor had stated it is time for sanctions to be imposed on Israel to free Palestinians after the Israeli court issued mass eviction orders of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

“Sanctions on South Africa helped free its black people – it’s time for sanctions on Israel to free Palestinians. Join the call,” he wrote on Twitter.

While Palestinians can use other means to receive money from abroad—Apple Pay is available locally, and Palestinian banks are part of SWIFT, the global system for cross-border payments – PayPal is the world’s leader in e-commerce payment processing, according to 7amleh, the Palestinian digital rights group.

“Without the international brand recognition and versatility of PayPal, Palestinians are still lacking the necessary access to financial markets to improve their economic situation,” it said in a report.

“It remains unclear as to why PayPal is reluctant to offer its services to Palestinians with bank accounts in the West Bank and Gaza, as this could be a clear way for PayPal to support economic development and equality in Palestine.”

WATCH: Hold Israel to a higher standard, says John Legend