EU refuses to outlaw the entire Hezbollah terrorist entity

Europe stays mum on terming the Islamic Republic an antisemitic regime

 Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah carry a coffin of a person who was killed in violence in Beirut on Thursday, during their funeral in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon (photo credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS)
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah carry a coffin of a person who was killed in violence in Beirut on Thursday, during their funeral in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon

Amid complaints by European Jewish leaders that the European Union does not have a serious plan to fight rising antisemitism on the continent, a spokesman for the EU told The Jerusalem Post that the EU will not ban the  entire terrorist movement Hezbollah and declines to say if the Islamic Republic is an antisemitic regime.

When the Post asked about a full ban of Hezbollah,  Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission Coordinator on combating Antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, punted the question to her EU superiors.

Peter Stano, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Policy, told the Post that “The military wing of Hezbollah is already on EU terror list. Any changes in the nature and scope of the existing listing are for EU Member States to discuss and decide by unanimity.”

After Hezbollah operatives blew up an Israeli tourist bus in 2012 in Burgas, Bulgaria, murdering five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver, the EU merely proscribed Hezbollah’s military wing.

Hezbollah considers it organization to be a unified movement that cannot be divided into military and political parts. The partial ban sparked Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Mousawi, in 2013, to reiterate what other top officials of the organization have stated over the years: “Hezbollah is a single, large organization. We have no wings that are separate from one another.”

When asked if the Islamic Republic of Iran—the chief sponsor and strategic ally of Hezbollah—is an antisemitic regime, Stano said that the “EU has been very clear in its condemnation of antisemitism in general and of the calls for destruction of Israel by anyone who comes up with such unacceptable calls.”

Anti-Defamation League National Director Jonathan Greenblatt CourtesyAnti-Defamation League National Director Jonathan Greenblatt Courtesy

The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO ,Jonathan Greenblatt, testified before the House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism in 2020 and said at the hearing that Iran’s regime is the top state-sponsor of Holocaust denial and antisemitism.

Greenblatt wrote in Newsweek in late June that " Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, played a hands-on role in promoting The Protocols as part of a sustained campaign to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish people." The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was  "a 19th century forgery by Russian intelligence services...designed to scapegoat Jews for the empire's hardships."

Several reasons why the EU commission won’t declare the Islamic Republic an antisemitic regime might be explained by attempts not to upset  the clerical leaders in Tehran in order to reach an agreement on the nation’s nuclear program.

European Union member nations are also animated by Iranian markets and trade deals, including Iran’s vast oil and gas production process.

When questioned if the EU  will condemn the Iranian's regime lethal antisemitism and Holocaust denial, the spokesperson said “We do it everytime we are confronted with such remarks, not only in case of Iran.”

Christian Wigand, EU Commission Spokesperson for Justice, told the Post that “The European Commission reaffirms its firm and unequivocal commitment to the global fight against antisemitism. Any form of antisemitism, incitement to hatred and violence is unacceptable and incompatible with the values and aims of the European Union and its Member States. It must be addressed through form action, both at European and national level. These principles are non-negotiable for the European.”

Hezbollah is widely considered a deeply antisemitic terrorist organization because of its terrorism targeting Jews and calls for the elimination of the Jewish state. Germany, Britain, the US, the Netherlands, the Arab League, Japan, Canada and many additional European and Latin American countries have proscribed Hezbollah's entire organizaiton a terrorist entity.

It is an unusual situation when the commissioner to combat antisemitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, declines to deliver her view on whether the EU should outlaw the world’s most deadly antisemitic organization.

She told the Post: “Thank you for your reply. May I refer you to the reply which you received yesterday from the Spokespeoples’ Service of the European Commission (attached). Please send your requests in the future to the colleagues in charge of press queries.”

On October 13, the JTA’s Cnaan Liphshiz reported  that “European Union plan to fight antisemitism ‘not serious,” Jewish community leaders say.” The article dealt mainly with the lack of religious freedom for Jews outlined in the EU plan. 

The plan is titled “EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030).” The 26-page document does not cite Hezbollah or the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran’s regime has conducted surveillance on Jewish and Israeli people and organizastions, planned an assasination and  stokes lethal antisemitism across Europe during its annual Al-Quds rallies in European capital. The al-Quds rally promotes the obliteration of the Jewish state.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was designated by the US as a terrorist organization, paid the Pakistani man, Haider Syed Mustafa, carry out an assassination of a European Jew and monitor Jewish and Israeli organizations and individuals in Germany and France.

In 2017, a German court convicted Mustafa for securing intelligence on the former director of the German-Israel Friendship Society and on a French-Israeli professor from an economic university in Paris. Mustafa was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

Mustafa spied on French-Israeli business Prof. David Rouach, who teaches at the elite Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris and served as head of the French-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, and, according to German authorities, his actions were “a clear indication of an assassination attempt.”

The US government, under both democratic and republican presidents, has classified Iran’s regime as the world’s worst state-sponsor of terrorism.