Hizbullah's German Helpers

[Wall Street Journal, 17Apr07] Alexander Ritzmann and Mark Dubowitz - Despite Hizbullah's deadly track record and a 2005 European Parliament resolution recommending its banning, it is still legal on the Continent. France, Spain, Belgium and Sweden prevent the EU from jointly designating Hizbullah as a terrorist organization. German security services believe about 900 Hizbullah core activists are in the country and regularly meet in 30 cultural community centers and mosques, supporting Hizbullah in Lebanon through fund-raising organizations. In ignoring the threat from Hizbullah, the German government puts hope above experience. In the past, the German government has shown strong resolve when it saw a threat to German security. It banned the Hamas "charity" al-Aqsa as well as the radical Sunni Islamist Hizb-ut Tahrir group. And it joined the EU in designating the PKK, the radical Kurdish group, as a terrorist organization. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah told Arab media in March 2005 that European blacklisting would "destroy Hizbullah. The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed." Alexander Ritzmann, a former member of the Berlin State Parliament, is a senior fellow at the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy. Mark Dubowitz is chief operating officer of the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

2007-04-18 01:00:00

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