April 30, 2020 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC), the global advocacy organization, praised Germany’s decision today to ban Hezbollah’s activities on the country’s soil, determining that the organization in its entirety is engaged in terrorist activity. The government’s action will ban all activity, prohibit public display of all symbols, and confiscate all assets of Hezbollah in Germany.
In 2013, following a deadly Hezbollah attack in Bulgaria and another incident in Cyprus, the EU listed the so-called “military” wing of Hezbollah as a terror group, but not its “political” wing.
“This is a welcome, much-anticipated, and significant German decision,” said AJC CEO David Harris, who has been directly involved in this issue for decades. “We would like to thank the Government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and express particular appreciation for the leadership role of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer as well as the important support of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, in advancing the landmark decision.
Two other European countries — first, Netherlands, then United Kingdom — have designated Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, as have, among others, the United States, Canada, Argentina, Israel, Honduras, and Paraguay, as well as the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council.
“We now hope other European nations will take a close look at Germany’s decision and reach the same conclusion about the true nature of Hezbollah,” said Harris. “The 2013 EU decision was an important step forward, but inadequate. To think otherwise is self-delusion. Permitting its ‘political’ wing to operate on European soil allows for active recruitment, fundraising, and the poisonous spread of antisemitism, not to mention sending a European message of hesitation and indecisiveness.”
Over the years, AJC, joined by its AJC Berlin staff team, has been a consistent voice on the Hezbollah issue in scores of high-level meetings, in numerous op-eds and interviews in the media, and in public debate.
AJC has maintained an office in Berlin since 1998. During the past 22 years, one of the office’s priorities has been to raise awareness of the threat posed by Hezbollah to Germany, to Europe, and to the world. The office today is led by Acting Director Remko Leemhuis.