Austrian MP starts initiative to label Hezbollah as terrorist entity
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The Austrian MP, Helmut Brandstätter, on Thursday jump started a parliamentary initiative to consider a government ban of the entire Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah in the central European country.
“The Federal Government, in particular the Foreign Minister, is asked to examine whether it is appropriate and productive to classify the whole of Hezbollah in Austria a terrorist organization and implement the same on the EU level,” wrote Brandstätter, who is a member of the NEOS Party, along with other Austrian MPs in the parliament.
NEOS is an abbreviation for The New Austria and Liberal Forum, which was founded in 2012.
The MPs wrote that Western states such as Great Britain, the Netherlands, the US and Canada have proscribed Hezbollah’s entire movement as being a terrorist organization.
The EU merely banned Hezbollah’s so-called military wing in 2013 after members of the Lebanese Shi’ite organization blew up an Israeli tourist bus in 2012, murdering five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver.
The Austrian initiative noted that Hezbollah is financed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US State Department under both the Obama and Trump administrations defined Iran’s regime as the worst state-sponsor of terrorism.
According to the Austrian MP initiative, “Hezbollah represents a radical current of Islamism and propagates violence against dissenters at home and abroad, the establishment of a state of God, the persecution of Jews and homosexuals, the annihilation of Israel and, last but not least, the systematic discrimination against women.”
The document added that Hezbollah’s “ supporters have done everything in the past few weeks to stir up the initially peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Lebanon and to provoke violent clashes. As trustworthy media reports confirm, they attack and denounce demonstrators in public.”
The Austrian lawmakers noted that even Hezbollah rejects the EU’s artificial division of its organization into political and military wings. The MPs noted that Hezbollah’s manifesto states: “Our military apparatus is not separated from our social structure. Each of us is a fighting soldier.”
The Jerusalem Post reported on Saturday that four German political parties in the Bundestag want Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration to ban all of Hezbollah’s activities in the federal republic.