A panoply of German parties in the Bundestag – including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union – voted Thursday to reject a bill to outlaw the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.
The law, authored by the far-right Alternative for Germany party, was also voted down by the Christian Social Union, Social Democratic Party, the Greens, the Left and Free Democrats.
“Hezbollah must be banned in Germany,” said AfD deputy Beatrix von Storch, who helped to draft the bill and who called the group a “terrorist organization” whose goal is the “destruction of Israel.”
Short of an outright ban, the AfD bill suggested restrictions on Hezbollah’s legal rights in Germany, such as the removal of its status as a charity, RT reported.
The Bundestag’s protection of Hezbollah came against the backdrop of rising anti-Semitism in the country and in the wake of an urgent appeal to the government by the Central Council of Jews in Germany to ban the terrorist group.
The council’s weekly German Jewish paper Jüdische Allgemeine reported Monday “the Central Council of Jews in Germany calls for a ban of the Shi’ite militia Hezbollah.”
Council head Dr. Josef Schuster pointed out: “A full ban of Hezbollah’s organization has already happened in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Hezbollah is heavily financed by Iran, and Hezbollah poses, in its entirety, a threat to the entire world.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added his voice to the appeals, speaking last Friday with Chancellor Merkel in support of a move to outlaw Hezbollah as a terrorist entity.