European centrists: We must clamp down on all Hezbollah's operations

The Netherlands is the only European country that does not differentiate between purported political and military wings of Hezbollah.

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December 3, 2017 19:00
1 minute read.
SUPPORTERS OF Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

SUPPORTERS OF Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah display Hezbollah and Lebanese flags in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), which comprises dozens of centrist parties from across the continent that champion liberal democratic values, called for action to be taken against Hezbollah in a statement by the alliance’s president Sunday.

ALDE president Hans Van Baalen, who is a Dutch member of the European parliament, released the statement together with visiting Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who came to the weekend’s ALDE conference in Amsterdam, and foreign affairs spokesman for the Dutch VVD party Han Ten Broeke.

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“Hezbollah is today the largest and best equipped terror organization in the world with years of combat experience from its direct involvement in Syria’s brutal war which has left half a million Syrians dead and 12 million displaced,” the statement said. “Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly threatened the complete destruction of Israel and ordered the execution of acts of terrorism in Europe. Europe and Israel must work together to ensure that Hezbollah cannot recruit fighters and raise funds anywhere in the world but especially on European soil.”

The statement praised the Netherlands for leading the way in the European Union by proscribing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and said now was the time to take the next steps.

“We must clamp down on all Hezbollah activity in Europe, close its financial channels, put the proscribing of all of Hezbollah (not just the military wing) back on the agenda of the European Union, and send a clear message that in the fight against terrorism, Europe stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel,” the statement concluded.

Currently, the Netherlands is the only European country that does not differentiate between purported political and military wings of Hezbollah. Lapid is trying to get more European countries to follow Amsterdam’s lead.

“I am here to convince centrist parties in Europe to take the lead in ending the fake distinction between a military and political wing of Hezbollah, because that distinction just doesn’t exist,” Lapid told The Jerusalem Post from Amsterdam last week. “Hezbollah is one terrorist organization and it should be banned entirely. This is a European interest as well as an Israeli one because Hezbollah is raising funds and recruiting volunteers on European soil.”


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