German politicians urge EU to blacklist Hezbollah
Mideast specialist says Lebanese organization "qualifies" to be designated a terrorist entity on all accounts.
The European Parliament building in Strasbourg Photo: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
BERLIN – After Bulgaria’s interior minister said last week that Hezbollah
operatives were involved in last year’s deadly terror attack on the European
country’s soil, a number of German politicians have called for a ban of the
Lebanese terrorist group.
The July bombing of an Israeli tour bus in
Burgas caused the deaths of five passengers and their Bulgarian bus driver. Over
30 Israelis sustained injuries.
“Hezbollah belongs on the EU terror
list,” said Elmar Brok of the conservative Christian Democratic Union and
chairman of the European parliament’s foreign affairs committee. He was quoted
in the Hamburger Abendblatt paper, along with leading German expert on terrorism
Dr. Guido Steinberg.
Steinberg, a Mideast specialist with the
Berlin-based Foundation for Science and Politics, said that based on the EU
preconditions for designating a body a terrorist entity, “Hezbollah qualifies on
The legal standard for including an entity on the EU
terror list states that whoever carries out a terror attack on the life or
well-being of a person or causes considerable damage to a private institution
can be outlawed within the EU.
France, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Sweden and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration have resisted labeling
Hezbollah a terror group.
In a statement to The Jerusalem Post, Philipp
Missfelder, a member of the Bundestag and spokesman on foreign affairs for the
CDU/CSU parliamentary group, said, “Terrorism is part of the core of Hezbollah’s
Since its establishment in 1982, Hezbollah’s stated aim has
been to destroy the State of Israel. The death of five Israeli tourists and the
Bulgarian bus driver nonetheless represents a new dimension in the radical
Shi’ite militia’s armed struggle.”
He said an EU ban would “hit the
militia where it hurts by freezing its assets and flow of funds in Europe, which
would deprive Hezbollah of the financial basis for further acts of
Blasting Hezbollah for its global terrorism, he pointed out
that “worldwide, Hezbollah has murdered more than 1,000 civilians and UN
peace-keepers in suicide attacks and bombings. High-ranking Hezbollah members
were also charged with being responsible for the assassination of Lebanese prime
minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.”
Die Welt quoted the spokesman of
the Free Democratic Party, MP Rainer Stinner, as saying that if it could be
proven that Hezbollah’s entire organization and its leadership had actively
planned the terror attack, “then this organization must be included in the list
of terrorism organizations.”
Ruprecht Polenz of the CDU, who chairs the
foreign affairs committee in the Bundestag, stated that “should the accusations
against Hezbollah harden that the group was responsible for the attack in
Bulgaria, I would be for a common EU move to list Hezbollah as a terrorist