(JTA) — Members of the European Jewish Parliament urged 27 foreign ministers to avoid the “error and half-measure” of calling only Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist entity.
“Let us insist on the fact that there is no distinction between Hezbollah’s ‘political wing’ and ‘military wing,’ ” members of the European Jewish Parliament from the European Union’s 27 member states wrote in letters sent Tuesday to their respective foreign ministers.
“There is a risk that the ministers who will meet on Feb. 18 in Brussels will decide on this half-measure,” European Jewish Parliament Co-Chair Joel Rubinfeld said in reaction to a report by Bulgarian security authorities last week that linked Hezbollah to a deadly July 18 terrorist attack on Israelis in Bulgaria.
The report found the attack was carried out by agents of Hezbollah’s military wing and was funded by the organization in general. Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the attack that killed six, including five Israelis.
In the European Union, only the United Kingdom makes a distinction between Hezbollah’s military and political wings, and regards the military wing as terrorist but has not outlawed Hezbollah in general. The European Jewish Parliament encouraged other EU states to follow the example of the Netherlands, the only member state that considers Hezbollah in its entirety a terrorist group.
The letters by the European Jewish Parliament contain a quote from 2009 attributed to Hezbollah No. 2 man Naim Qassem: “Hezbollah has a single leadership … All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions of this leadership.”