ADL Says E.U. Has a Responsibility to Designate Hezbollah as a Terrorist Organization

New York, NY, June 4, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization without drawing a distinction between the group’s terrorist arm and its political activities.

Encouraged by recent statements from the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom in support of the designation of the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, the League said the designation would be positive -- but largely ineffectual -- without taking meaningful steps to disrupt the group’s ability to use its political arm to raise financial support for terrorist activities.

“A partial designation, as is now being discussed among the E.U. members, is unlikely to have a significant impact on Hezbollah’s fundraising activities in Europe and will create additional challenges for law enforcement efforts against terrorist financing,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “With Hezbollah’s leadership now calling for full intervention in Syria and continuing to plot against and attack Jewish and Israeli targets in their ongoing quest to destroy Israel, it is high time for members of the European Union to take decisive action and finally meet their responsibility to designate Hezbollah’s entire structure as a terrorist organization.”

In a letter to Baroness Catherine Ashton, vice president of the European Commission, ADL noted that the delineation between Hezbollah’s terrorist and political activities was a distinction without a difference. “In fact, it is well known there is unity of command over both activities by Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah,” the letter stated.

In 2009, Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said: “Hezbollah has a single leadership,” and “All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions of this leadership. The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle against Israel.”

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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