Simon Wiesenthal Center calls on Germany to ban Hezbollah amid terror pledge

Grenell wrote in a firey commentary last week in 'Die Welt' that there is no excuse for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration not to outlaw Hezbollah’s entire movement in Germany.

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September 14, 2019 20:05
Simon Wiesenthal Center calls on Germany to ban Hezbollah amid terror pledge

Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah and Amal movement gesture as they ride in a car in Marjayoun . (photo credit: REUTERS)

The US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell wrote in a fiery commentary last week in Die Welt that there is no excuse for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration not to outlaw Hezbollah’s entire movement in Germany.

His call was echoed by the Los Angeles-based human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center which also urged in Berlin that the German government ban the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah in the federal republic.

“We live in a time when violent attacks against Jews have almost become routine, including the beating of an Israeli because he spoke Hebrew on a Berlin street [last] Tuesday night,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center’s associate dean.

“While we welcome the efforts of German authorities to oppose antisemitism and to deal with its consequences, it is vitally important they also take on the multiple sources of Jew-hatred. Not only neo-Nazis, but also from Iran, Hezbollah, and from Palestinians, whose educational system indoctrinates children from a young age to hate Jews,” he said.

The Jerusalem Post first reported in late August on a pro-Hezbollah Islamist who declared at the Imam Mahdi Center in Münster, Germany: “We are proud of our terrorism.” The Post learned about terrorism activities on the Facebook page of the Islamic center and mosque, and informed the Jerusalem-based Middle East Media Research Institute. MEMRI located a video of the Hezbollah Islamist endorsing terrorism.

In a Wednesday article in the Münstersche Zeitung, Münster local authorities said there is no legal justification to take action against the Islamic center. Martin Schulze-Werner, head of the city’s regulatory agency and a Christian Democratic Union party politician, told the paper that closure of the radical Islamic center would be disproportionate based on a one-time incident.

The Wiesenthal Center held a joint press conference on Wednesday with the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin (MFFB), in which they also announced that the forum, along with Grennell, would submit a list of Iranian dissidents who fled oppression in Iran to meet with Berlin Mayor Michael Müller.

Müller sparked outrage over his recent meeting with Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi. who is a former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which participated in the antisemitic Al Quds March in Tehran in May that called for the destruction of Israel.

“The reception of the Tehran mayor was clearly a mistake. The very fact that it took place is considered to be a victory by the Mullahocracy that continues to threaten Israel and to support terrorist groups worldwide,” Cooper said, adding: “I urged Mr. Mueller to meet with Iranian dissidents living in Berlin as an act of solidarity. The mayor agreed. The Wiesenthal Center is working closely with Berlin’s Middle East Peace Forum and US Ambassador Grenell to provide the mayor with an appropriate list of participants.”

Ulrike Becker, director of the Iran Department of the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin, said that: “We are pleased about the willingness of Michael Müller to meet Iranian opposition groups. In contrast, organizations controlled by Iran cannot be partners with democratic institutions. Among these organizations is the IGS: the Islamic Community of Shi’ite Communities, which is closely linked to the Iranian regime. If we do not want the Islamist and antisemitic ideology of the Iranian regime in Berlin to spread further, such cooperation must be stopped.”

Becker added that, “The Humboldt University in Berlin plans to open a new ‘Institute of Islamic Theology’ in October, where imams are to be trained. The IGS is part of the advisory board of this new institute, despite the fact that the chairman of the IGS, Mahmoud Khalilzadeh, belongs to the political-religious establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to the Federal Government.”

She said that, “Among groups included under the IGS umbrella are associations that are close to terrorist Hezbollah. One of those is the Imam Mahdi Center in Münster, where a recent video of the community there included statements by members who stated they were proud to be terrorists.”

Becker added that “Hezbollah is not only a threat to Israel, but also a danger to Jews in Berlin. We are hopeful that the federal government will finally [put] the entire Hezbollah organization on the terrorist list. And groups close to Hezbollah should not be partners of the city of Berlin.”

Merkel’s administration and her interior minister Horst Seehofer vehemently refuse to outlaw the 1,050 active Hezbollah operatives in Germany, who recruit new members and raise funds.


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