ADL Calls on E.U. To Designate Hezbollah as Terrorist Group Following Guilty Verdict in Cyprus

New York, NY, March 22, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the conviction of Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a Swedish and Lebanese citizen and self-professed member of the terrorist group Hezbollah, on five charges in a conspiracy to attack Israeli tourists in Cyprus.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

The conviction of a Hezbollah member in Cyprus for preparing an attack on Israeli tourists should put an end to the EU’s hesitation to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. 

The Bulgarian government blamed Hezbollah for the murders in Burgas last July, and now a Cypriot court has rendered an unambiguous and unanimous decision that Hezbollah tried to do the same in Cyprus. Two E.U. member states have decisively shown that Hezbollah engages in terrorism on European soil, demonstrating why the Netherlands and the U.K. have already designated Hezbollah. The E.U. as a whole needs to act now and not wait until the next attack.

Designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization is a meaningful counter-terrorism measure. European law enforcement agencies would have a basis to disrupt Hezbollah’s fundraising and financial arrangements in Europe, which provide significant support for their murderous acts of terrorism. 

Designating Hezbollah is morally right and strategically right. There’s no excuse for inaction.

ADL has for many years called on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, most recently in a February 2013 letter to all E.U. foreign ministers. The group’s history of terror attacks is available on the League’s web site.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.