Top German politician calls for EU to ban Hezbollah

Exclusive: "Hezbollah threatens the security of our ally Israel," says foreign policy spokesman for Merkel's party.

By JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
August 23, 2012 18:37
2 minute read.
Hezbollah gunman in Beirut

Hezbollah gunman in Beirut_370. (photo credit: Reuters)

BERLIN – Hezbollah should be placed on the European Union’s terror list, Philipp Missfelder, Bundestag foreign policy spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, wrote The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Missfelder’s call to outlaw Hezbollah is the first statement from a prominent and senior European politician since the United States and Israeli intelligence agencies asserted that the Lebanese group Hezbollah – in a joint project with Iran – murdered five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver in July.

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The Christian Democratic Union deputy Missfelder wrote, “It is long overdue to place Hezbollah on the EU’s list of terror organizations.”

He stressed that Hezbollah “threatens the security of our alliance partner Israel and is involved in countless terror activities and receives protection from the Iranian regime.”

Missfelder added that “the EU should not allow any more time to elapse” regarding the ban of Hezbollah, because “an organization that agitates against our friends in Israel cannot be accepted in Europe.” He appealed to Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country holds the presidency of the 26-member EU, to take action against Hezbollah.

“I call on the Cypriot council presidency, in view of the tense situation in the Middle East, to immediately address this topic,” Missfelder said.

German and Israeli observers of the so-called German-Israeli special relationship consider Missfelder to be the German lawmaker most knowledgeable and supportive of Israel’s security interests. Merkel has described these interests as integral to those of the Federal Republic.



Despite Merkel’s pledges that Israel’s security is “nonnegotiable” for her country, the number of Hezbollah members in Germany has increased from 900 in 2010 to 950. Hezbollah remains a legal political organization in the Federal Republic. Pro- Israel groups called on the Merkel administration last week at an anti-Iranian regime protest to ban Hezbollah.

In February, Missfelder said the international community must retain the military option to stop Iran’s drive to develop nuclear arms. He told the Post at the time, “After the West has for years allowed the wool to be pulled over its eyes, Iran cannot take us seriously. The military option arises from the rising crisis situation. If Iran does not give in, a military attack will be more likely.”

In a February interview, Missfelder told the Berlin daily BZ, “We should not remove any option from the table, including the military option.”


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