The chief Nazi-hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday urged the European Union and German commissioners to combat antisemitism to demand a full ban of the most lethal antisemitic terrorist organization in the world, the Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah.
“The EU commissioner should recommend a ban on Hezbollah, as should Felix Klein, “ Dr. Efraim Zuroff, one of the world’s leading experts on contemporary antisemitism, told The Jerusalem Post. Dr. Felix Klein is the commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism in Germany.
When the Post asked Katharina von Schnurbein , the European Commission Coordinator on combatting Antisemitism, if Hezbollah’s entire organization should be outlawed within the EU , she forwarded the Post’s query to the Press officer for EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / European External Action Service (EEAS)Middle East and North Africa.
An EU spokesperson wrote the Post that “The European Union has designated the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.”
The EU stands firmly against all forms of Antisemitism. This phenomenon is incompatible with the values and principles on which the EU is founded.”
The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the US, Israel, the Arab League and Canada all classify Hezbollah’s entire organization a terrorist entity. Hezbollah's so-called political wing operates within the EU.
Hezbollah calls for the destruction of Israel’s over six million Jews. According to its 1985 manifesto, Hezbollah demands Israel’s “obliteration from existence.” Hezbollah's top leadership rejects the EU's split of its organization into military and political wings.
Von Schnurbein told the Post” As you may be aware, my responsibilities concern EU-internal policies in the fight against antisemitism.
The questions you raise are not an issue of my personal opinion, but of EU policy agreed between all EU member states. I will thus transmit your request to the EU services responsible for external affairs for their response.”
When pressed how Hezbollah does not affect internal affairs of the EU, von Schnurbein said: “Thank you. I have nothing to add to yesterday’s email.”
Hezbollah operatives blew up an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria in 2012, murdering 5 Israelis and their Muslim Bulgarian bus driver. A total of 32 Israelis were injured in connection with the bombing.
When asked if von Schnurbein agrees with the EU answers, she declined to respond to a follow-up Post query.
Dr. Charles Small, the founder and director of the New York City-based Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, told the Post that “This is not simply a foreign affairs matter - but is an urgent domestic issue of concern. Hezbollah incitement threatens the security and lives of EU citizens, and therefore is the responsibility of all sectors of government. It is too urgent to be swept into the bureaucratic cracks of the EU, in which appointed leaders can claim to wash their hands.”
Small, who is currently a visiting fellow at Oxford University, added “Europe must demonstrate that it has truly advanced from the darkness of its bloodstained, hate filled, past and protect the rights and dignity of all of its citizens with moral and ethical leadership, and condemn, outlaw and enforce legislation against antisemitic incitement. How many more incidents and attacks will it take for the leadership to respond? “
Dr. Felix Klein, the Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, refused to respond to numerous Post queries asking if his government should outlaw all of Hezbollah.
It is unclear how Klein reconciles his silence with the urgent plea from the head of Germany’s nearly 100,000 member Jewish community. The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster, said in May that “a full ban of Hezbollah’s organization has already happened in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom,” adding that “Hezbollah is heavily financed by Iran, and poses, in its entirety, a threat to the entire world.”
Small said “Hezbollah, throughout the European Union, is a primary source of antisemitism, that incites to violence against citizens of the EU. Hezbollah, a proxy of the Iranian Revolutionary Regime, uses antisemitic notions and images of Jewish people that are derived directly from Nazi propaganda. “
In sharp contrast to von Schnurbein and Klein, the German state of Hesse's commissioner to combat antisemitism, Uwe Becker, has called for a full ban of Hezbollah.
The US Embassy in Germany said: “Germany’s federal courts decided years ago that Hezbollah is a unified organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Symbols of Hezbollah are banned, why not the entire organization?”
The Post has learned that US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell urges a full ban of Hezbollah’s entire organization in every meeting with German officials.
Amid rising Jew-hatred in Germany, both the US and Israeli governments have urged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration to proscribe Hezbollah a terrorist entity.
When the Post asked German interior minister Horst Seehofer, if Germany will outlaw Hezbollah, a spokesman issued the Post same boilerplate response the paper has received for nearly decade that ministry “does not comment on concrete prohibition considerations in general; this applies regardless of whether there is reason to do so in individual cases.”
According to German intelligence reports, 1,050 Hezbollah members and supporters operate in Germany. The Hezbollah operatives spread antisemtiic ideology, recruit new members and raise funds for Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut. In Berlin, where Klein is based, there are 250 active Hezbollah members. The Post exclusively reported in Augustthat a Lebanese member of Hezbollah-controlled center and mosque in Münster, Germany said: “We Have Pledged Allegiance to [Ali] Khamenei; We Are Accused of Terrorism and Are Proud of It.”