So Berlin banned Hezbollah: terrorists


In Moabit, in the north-western district of Berlin, there are Lebanese mouth-watering pastry shops. In one of these, perhaps the largest in the neighborhood, the eye is lost among honey cakes of a thousand shapes: with dates, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or cheese. Arriving at the checkout, the customer looks up and sees a picture of a gentleman hanging on the wall: the black turban on his head, the round face with glasses framed by a short but well-groomed beard. The Lebanese flag affixed everywhere is clearly visible and the naive customer asks: “Who is that gentleman, the President of the Republic?” Answer: “No, that gentleman is a benefactor, his name is Nasrallah.” Thank you, auf wiedershen. Hassan Nasrallah is the leader of Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite political movement and armed militia, the undisputed protagonist of the Lebanese political scene and, at the same time, champion of international Islamic terrorism.

Since the beginning of May, Hezbollah has been outlawed in Germany. This was announced by the Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, after some police searches conducted between apartments, headquarters of private associations and mosques in Berlin, Dortmund, Münster and Bremen. The decision puts an end to many years of political ambiguity in the Federal Republic. Because nobody has doubts about the terrorist responsibilities of the “party of God”. So much so that the military wing of Hezbollah has been included in the list of terrorist organizations by the EU since 2013 following the terrorist attack carried out the year before by the Lebanese militia at the airport of Burgas, a Bulgarian city on the Black Sea frequented by many Israelis. In the suicide explosion on a bus, six people (five citizens of the Jewish state) died. Burgas is just one of the acts of terror attributed to Hezbollah, which not surprisingly is also blacklisted by the USA, Canada, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel and Argentina in the South American country on July 18, 1994, a loaded van of TNT exploded in the parking lot of a building of Jewish associations (Amia). Budget: 85 dead and 200 injured. Numbers that do not interest the EU, which on the contrary invented the distinction between the political arm and the military wing of Hezbollah in order not to upset neither the government of Lebanon, of which Hezbollah is part, nor the Iranian Ayatollahs, the supporters of Hezbollah who have always been revered in Brussels, Rome, Paris and surroundings. Over the years, Hezbollah has transformed itself into Tehran’s most valuable ally, who armed it by making it fight through third parties against Israel in 2006 and in more recent years against ISIS in Syria.

For Remko Leemhuis, director of the America Jewish Committee in Berlin, the German decision was long overdue not only because Hezbollah “is an openly anti-Semitic organization” but also because the thousands of supporters of the group present in Germany “are largely dedicated illegal activities such as money laundering and drug trafficking. ” Traffics capable of abundantly financing the organization: just remember the four Lebanese citizens arrested in Germany in 2008 with 8.5 million euros ready to go to the Nasrallah coffers or the arrest in 2016 of two other Lebanese with half a million euros each collected for Hezbollah.

Hans-Jakob Schindler explains the possible effects of the new ban imposed by Berlin on the newspaper. Formerly a consultant to the UN and Interpol and responsible for monitoring projects of the Islamic State and the Taliban, Schindler recalls that, formally, Hezbollah is not an organization established in Germany and that the ban on financing it and displaying its symbols concerns therefore only individuals. If until yesterday the members of the militia were wanted only for criminal activities such as extortion or money laundering, “from today they are also considered terrorists”. Which means “that the authorities have more scope for investigation and monitoring to crack down on their crimes.” Hezbollah had been under investigation for years now. Both for its links with the massacre of the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin in 1992, when four Kurdish opponents of the Ayatollah regime were killed in an ambush for which Tehran emissaries and some Lebanese citizens were later sentenced. “According to the German government, Hezbollah has always maintained a network of active cells in Germany” capable of carrying out attacks both inside and outside the Federal Republic, “Schindler continues.

The move by the German government, which also boasts excellent relations with both Lebanon and Israel and which has often acted as a mediator between the two governments, comes from afar: in 2008 the Al Manar TV satellite channel of the Shiite group was shut down, in 2014 it was the turn of Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon, who with the excuse of helping orphaned children in the land of the Cedars “contributes to the violence between Lebanon and Israel,” reads a report from the German services. The following year the German Constitutional Court defines Hezbollah as an organization that harms the peaceful coexistence of peoples. In 2019, the Bundestag asked the government to proceed against Hezbollah: the parties of the grand coalition and the Liberals, and most, but not all, of the Green and social-communist deputies were in favor, while AfD proceeded on principle against all the government’s proposals. Asked what the consequences of the German decision might be in Europe, Leemhuis answers. «Paris has always been hiding behind Berlin’s ban on Hezbollah: today the French alibi has fallen. I hope that other European countries will soon follow the German example ».

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