Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Germany: Parliament resolution to ban Hezbollah is just a legal charade

Via Gatestone Institute:
- Germany, however, has refused to ban Hezbollah's "political wing," which continues to raise funds in the country. A German foreign ministry official, Niels Annen, has said that such a ban would be counterproductive because "we focus on dialogue." His comment has been understood to mean that the German government does not want to burn bridges with Hezbollah's sponsor, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

- "We don't have a military wing and a political one; we don't have Hezbollah on one hand and the resistance party on the other.... Every element of Hezbollah, from commanders to members as well as our various capabilities, is in the service of the resistance, and we have nothing but the resistance as a priority." — Hezbollah's deputy secretary general, Naim Qassem.

- Germany's Social Democratic Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, however, has refused to ban Hezbollah in its entirety. He recently repeated the German government's distinction between Hezbollah's legitimate and illegitimate activities in Germany.

- "It remains to be seen to what extent the German federal government will… actually 'exhaust all the resources of the rule of law' to stop Hezbollah's money laundering and terrorist financing in Germany."- Bild, December 19, 2019.
The German parliament has passed a non-binding resolution that calls on the German government to ban the activities of the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah - Arabic for "The Party of Allah" - in Germany.

The measure - supported by center-right Christian Democrats and the center-left Social Democrats, the two major parties that make up Germany's ruling coalition, and also by the classical liberal Free Democrats - has been hailed as "important," "significant," and a "crucial step."

The resolution, however, falls short of a complete ban on Hezbollah and appears aimed at providing the German government with political cover that would allow Germany to claim that it has banned the group even if it has not.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced increasing international pressure to ban Hezbollah, but she has refused to do so. Hezbollah has more than 1,000 operatives in Germany, according to German intelligence assessments.
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