German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany December 12, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After the United Kingdom outlawed all of the terrorist entity Hezbollah last week, Germany’s government refused to ban the political wing of the Lebanese Shi’ite organization.
A spokesman for Germany’s interior ministry (BMI) wrote The Jerusalem Post: “The BMI does not comment on concrete prohibition considerations in general; this applies regardless of whether there is reason to do so in individual cases.”
The BMI has provided the same answer to Post queries since 2008 about whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration plans to outlaw all of Hezbollah, while the EU has banned its military arm since 2013.
According to 2018 German intelligence reports analyzed by the Post, there are 950 Hezbollah operatives in the federal republic who raise funds, recruit new members and spread Hezbollah’s lethal antisemitic ideology.
“According to the case law of the Federal Administrative Court the entire Hezbollah is against the idea of international understanding in the sense of the Basic Law, because it fights the right of existence of the State of Israel with terrorist means,” the BMI’s spokesman said. “Such an objective is antisemitic in nature.”
The UK government announced on Friday: “An order laid in Parliament on Monday (February 25) to proscribe the terrorist organizations Hezbollah, Ansaroul Islam and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin (JNIM) has now come into effect, following debates in the Houses of Parliament.”
“Under the Terrorism Act 2000, being a member – or inviting support for – these groups will be a criminal offense, carrying a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment,” the statement continued. “All three groups have been assessed as being concerned in terrorism.”
Germany, like the UK, is within its rights to unilaterally outlaw Hezbollah’s political wing. It is merely a matter of political will from Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer, from the Christian Social Union Party, and Merkel, who has described Israel’s security as “non-negotiable” for her government.
The German government has banned radical Islamic associations over the years without waiting for a consensus among the EU member states. Take the example of the The True Religion (Die Wahre Religion), which was banned in 2016. Germany also banned the radical group Tauhid Germany in 2015.
The Merkel administration has also banned the website linksunten.indymedia.org
of an extremist left-wing group and right-wing extremists entities over the years.
A US State Department representative told the Post last year when asked about Germany’s refusal to ban all of Hezbollah, “They should designate Hezbollah – in its entirety – as a terrorist organization.”
According to US sources familiar with Germany’s position toward Iran and Hezbollah, Germany rejected the US demand to outlaw all of Hezbollah, because the Lebanese militia “is linked to Israel-Palestinian peace talks.” The sources also told the Post last year that Germany considers the Trump administration as too pro-Israel.
Germany has long been a hot-bed of Hezbollah activity. The Al-Mustafa Community Center, in the northern German city-state of Bremen, is a major hub for raising funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to a German intelligence report reviewed by the Post in 2018.
The Bremen intelligence agency’s report from last June stated, “The Al-Mustafa-Community Center supports Hezbollah in Lebanon, especially by collecting donations.” Berlin’s mayor, Michael Müller, permits the Hezbollah and Iranian-regime sponsored al-Quds Day rally to take place each year in the heart of Berlin’s shopping district. Al-Quds Day calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. Iranian regime institutions in Germany send Hezbollah members to the anti-Israel event.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan wrote on Twitter: “All who truly wish to combat terror must reject the fake distinction between ‘military’ & ‘political’ wings. Now is the time for the EU to follow suit!”
The EU merely banned Hezbollah’s so-called military wing in 2013 after Hezbollah blew up an Israeli tour bus in 2012 in Bulgaria. The terrorist attack murdered five Israelis, their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver, and injured 32 Israelis.
The Netherlands prescribed the entire Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 2004. The United States, Canada, the Arab League and Israel all classify Hezbollah’s entire organization a terrorist entity.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, praised the Conservative government’s move to sanction all of Hezbollah because, “the separation between the political and armed wings is a false and artificial separation, because both are controlled and supported by Iran and enable the organization to continue to raise funds on European soil.”
“We will continue to lead the struggle for the Security Council to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and mobilize the international community against it, as it serves as an arm of Iran to spread Tehran’s aggression,” Danon said.
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