In February, the United Kingdom officially designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group, joining 12 other countries that have done the same.
By JNS and EJP
A bipartisan group of members in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, urging Germany to officially designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
The signees were Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
This week, the German parliament rejected a bill to ban Hezbollah from the country.
“The threatening influence of Hezbollah extends beyond Israel and poses a tremendous risk to the security interests of Europe as a whole,” stated the letter. “As you know, your intelligence service has detailed that the number of Hezbollah members and supporters has increased to 1,050 in 2018.”
“The growth of support for Hezbollah will also contribute to the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, which has already resulted in deadly attacks against Jews,” it continued. “That is why we strongly urge Germany to take substantive action against Hezbollah through sanctions and other means that will hamper their ability to project influence in the region.”
In February, the United Kingdom officially designated Hezbollah as a whole as a terrorist group, joining 12 other countries that have a similar designation. Germany, like the European Union, only considers Hezbollah’s so-called ‘’military wing’’ as a terrorist organisation. Within the EU, besides Briatin, the Netherlands also considers all of Hezbollah a terrorist entity, as do the United States, Canada, Israel and even the Arab League.
Earlier this month, the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, rejected a resolution presented by the extreme-right Alternative for Germany (‘AfD) party to ban Hezbollah.
The Christian Democrat Union (CDU), the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Social Democrats (SPD), the Left, Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) rejected the resolution.
The AfD bill said that Hezbollah, as a proxy organisation of Iran, represents a “danger to Germany’s constitutional order.”
The Central Council of Jews in Germany has also called on Chancellor Merkel to fully ban Hezbollah.
The Council’s president, Josef Schuster, said “a continuation of the distinction between their individual wings would be negligent and should therefore be corrected as soon as possible.”
In a meeting Merkel, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also urged the German government to fully ban the Lebanese terror group.
“We’re also hoping to get Germany’s help—and we talked about this today—in recognizing Hezbollah as a unified entity and banning it from Germany as our ally, the United Kingdom, did this year,” said Pompeo.