AJC Praises Germany's Lead on EU Action against Hezbollah

February 7, 2013 – New York – AJC applauds German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call for Europe to take action against Hezbollah, following Bulgaria’s investigation of the terror attack in Burgas last July.

Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov announced Tuesday that Hezbollah was responsible for the bombing that left five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver dead, and scores more injured.

“Chancellor Merkel’s principled stance against terrorism should help spur the in-depth discussions that lead the EU to finally designate Hezbollah as the terrorist organization it so clearly is -- and has long been,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Other EU countries, we hope, will join not only in welcoming the Bulgarian government’s courageous, forthright and well-documented report on the terror attack, but, still more importantly, in taking appropriate action against Hezbollah.”

Philipp Missfelder, the foreign policy spokesperson for Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, has been among the leading European politicians urging that significant steps be taken against Hezbollah’s operations in Europe.

In Germany alone, nearly 1,000 Hezbollah members and supporters are active, according to a 2011 report issued by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

AJC leaders have just completed a diplomatic mission to the Middle East and Europe, including meetings with five EU foreign ministers. One of the major points of discussion has been Hezbollah. The U.S, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands already list Hezbollah as a terrorist group, and Britain has done the same for Hezbollah’s “military wing.” But, so far, the EU has not taken any collective decision on Hezbollah, though it did designate Hamas a terrorist group a decade ago.