Transatlantic Declaration: The EU Must Ban Hezbollah

Transatlantic Declaration: The EU Must Ban Hezbollah

We, lawmakers from both sides of the Atlantic and united across party lines, call on the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

Following the 2012 suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed six people, the EU banned only Hezbollah’s so-called military wing, stopping short of confronting the terror group with the full force of its sanctions mechanism.

We thus urge the EU to end this false distinction between ‘military’ and ‘political’ arms – a distinction Hezbollah itself dismisses – and ban the entire organization. 

Hezbollah, the Iranian regime’s most deadly proxy, operates a global terror network that threatens not only its neighbors but also Western democracies. In Germany alone, Hezbollah has over 1,000 members who are free to raise funds. The group’s violent and antisemitic ideology is poisoning the fabric of our pluralistic societies. This is most visibly the case through Hezbollah's annual ‘Quds Day’ marches where calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state echo the darkest chapters of European history.

Founded and funded by Tehran and sustained through organized crime, Hezbollah holds Lebanon hostage to its Iranian revolutionary agenda. Moreover, it spreads violence and terror throughout the entire region. Hezbollah collaborates with the murderous Assad regime and is complicit in horrific war crimes that have killed, maimed and driven out millions of Syrians. The group trains and supplies weapons to Shiite militias in Yemen and Iraq. In violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701, Hezbollah has rearmed to the teeth and remains an independent militia in Lebanon. It abuses its own civilian population as human shields to hide some 150,000 missiles targeting Israeli civilians.

As the examples of the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, the UK, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Arab League show, proscribing Hezbollah doesn’t preclude continued political engagement with Beirut. 

Banning Hezbollah also won‘t "destabilize" the country, as some falsely claim. The opposite is true. The only chance for real economic and political stability in Lebanon lies in the removal of Hezbollah's stranglehold on the country. The courageous Lebanese protestors taking to the streets against corruption and political violence specifically denounce Hezbollah’s ‘state within a state.’ They deserve our full support. An EU ban against the Iranian proxy will help strengthen these democratic forces. 

The European Union, which stands for democracy, human rights, and the rules-based international order, ought to use its power to put Hezbollah on notice. With nothing less than our collective security and the integrity of our democratic values at stake, now is the time to act.

 

Co-Initiators

Lukas Mandl, Member of the European Parliament, Austria, EPP

Carmen Avram, Member of the European Parliament, Romania, S&D

Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou, Member of the European Parliament, Greece, EPP

Alexandr Vondra, Member of the European Parliament, Czechia, ECR

Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament, Lithuania, Renew Europe

Dietmar Köster, Member of the European Parliament, Germany, S&D

 

Signatories

Eliot Engel, Democrat, Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

Michael McCaul, Republican, Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

David McAllister, EPP, Germany, Chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee

Witold Waszczykowski, ECR, Poland, Vice Chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee

Zbigniew Rau, Chair of the Sejm's Foreign Affairs Committee, Law and Justice, Poland

Othmar Karas, Vice President of the European Parliament, EPP, Austria

Nicola Beer, Vice President of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Germany

Emanuelis Zingeris, Chair of the Seimas' Subcommittee on Transatlantic Relations and Democratic Development, TS-LKD, Lithuania

Žygimantas Pavilionis, Deputy Chair of the Seimas' Committee on European Affairs, TS-LKD, Lithuania

Dr. Ágnes Vadai, Vice-Chair of the National Assembly's Defense and Law Enforcement Committee, Democratic Coalition, Hungary

Gatis Eglītis, Deputy Chairman of the Saeima's European Affairs Committee, New Conservative Party, Latvia

Ted Deutch, Democrat, U.S. House of Representatives

Martin Engelberg, Member of the Nationalrat, ÖVP, Austria

Linda Frum, Senator, Conservative Party, Canada

Eerik-Niiles Kross, Member of the Riigikogu, Reform Party, Estonia

Chrisof Bernstiel, Member of the Bundestag, CDU, Germany

Christoph de Vries, Member of the Bundestag, CDU, Germany

Bijan Djir-Sarai, Member of the Bundestag, FDP, Germany

Marcus Faber, Member of the Bundestag, FDP, Germany

Fritz Felgentreu, Member of the Bundestag, SPD, Germany

Mark Hauptmann, Member of the Bundestag, CDU, Germany

Pascal Kober, Member of the Bundestag, FDP, Germany

Michael Link, Member of the Bundestag, FDP, Germany

Dietmar Nietan, Member of the Bundestag, SPD, Germany

Benjamin Strasser, Member of the Bundestag, FDP, Germany

Michael Thews, Member of the Bundestaf, SPD, Germany

Marian Wendt, Member of the Bundestag, CDU, Germany

Michael Freilich, Member of the Chamber of Representatives, NVA, Belgium

Koen Metsu, Member of the Chamber of Representatives, NVA, Belgium

Philippe Pivin, Member of the Chamber of Representatives, MR, Belgium

Kees van der Staaij, Member of the House of Representatives, SGP, the Netherlands

Pavel Popescu, Member of the Chamber of Deputies, PNL, Romania

Mojca Škrinjar, Member of the National Assembly, SDS, Slovenia

Miguel Ángel Castellón, Member of the Congress, Partido Popular, Spain

John Howell, Member of the House of Commons, Conservative, United Kingdom

Nicola Richards, Member of the House of Commons, Conservative, United Kingdom

Attila Ara-Kovacs, Member of the European Parliament, S&D, Hungary

Alexander Bernhuber, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Austria

Ilana Cicurel, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, France

Anna Fotyga, Member of the European Parliament, ECR, Poland

Svenja Hahn, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Germany

Monika Hohlmeier, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Germany

Niclas Herbst, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Germany

Daniel Caspary, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Germany

Marion Walsmann, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Germany

Dr. Andrey Kovatchev, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Bulgaria

Andrius Kubilius, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Lithuania

Søren Gade, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Denmark

Moritz Körner, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Germany

Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Bulgaria

Sergey Lagodinsky, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA, Germany

David Lega, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Sweden

Sara Skyttedal, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Sweden

Antonio López-Istúriz White, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Spain

Leopoldo López Gil, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Spain

Ljudmila Novak, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Slovenia

Pina Picierno, Member of the European Parliament, S&D, Italy

Frédérique Ries, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Belgium

Bert-Jan Ruissen, Member of the European Parliament, ECR, Netherlands

Christian Sagartz, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Austria

Simone Schmiedtbauer, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Austria

Radosław Sikorski, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Poland

Michaela Šojdrová, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Czech Republic

Ivan Štefanec, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Slovakia

Barbara Thaler, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Austria

Dragos Tudorache, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Romania

Veronika Vrecionova, Member of the European Parliament, ECR, Czech Republic

Angelika Winzig, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Austria

Jan Zahradil, Member of the European Parliament, ECR, Czech Republic

Tomáš Zdechovský, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Czech Republic

Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Spain

Milan Zver, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Slovenia

José Ramón Bauzà Díaz, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe, Spain

Miriam Lexmann, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Slovakia

Rasa Juknevičienė, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Lithuania

Javier Zarzalejos, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Spain

Željana Zovko, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Croatia

 

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