Wiesenthal Centre to EU: "Ban Hezbollah Now - Further Vacillation will not Grant Europe Immunity".

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Paris, 6 February 2013

In a letter to European Union High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton of Upholland, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, claimed that "despite continuous requests, for the last year, from the United States administration and entreaties from the Middle East that the European Union place Hezbollah on its terrorism list, on a par with Hamas - both its political and military wings - the EU has vacillated, at one point arguing that Hezbollah does not act on EU soil."

The letter noted that "the UN enquiry into the murder of the late Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri in 2005, indicated conclusive evidence of Hezbollah complicity, though the official report is still pending,." continuing, "now the Interior Minister of Bulgaria, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, has announced the official findings linking to Hezbollah, the financing and authorship of the attack on an Israeli tourist bus on July 18, 2012 killing 6, including 1 Bulgarian citizen and wounding 32."

Samuels stressed, "This atrocity happened in an EU member state. Every EU government is fully aware that Hezbollah is present across Europe, fund raising, recruiting, and preparing further attacks."

The letter argued, "This was the situation in Latin America that, in 1994, led to the Hezbollah bombing of the AMIA Jewish Centre in Buenos Aires, leaving 85 dead and over 300 maimed - a situation of infiltration that is worsening across that continent as the presence there grows of Hezbollah's patron, Iran."

Samuels pointed to the irony that, "The EU employs a regime of sanctions against Tehran, and morally supports the victims of the Syrian genocide, perpetrated by the Assad regime which is maintained by Iran." Also emphasising, "While the EU supports the French campaign against Salafist terrorism in Mali, while - until now - shielding the greatest threat to Europe - Hezbollah."

The Centre recalled, "The late Simon Wiesenthal would say, 'What begins with the Jews never ends with them'!", declaring that 'All Europeans are at risk, Christians, Jews and Muslims'."

"We urge you to ban Hezbollah now.  Further vacillation will not grant immunity, indeed it will damage the efforts of all those who fight terrorism worldwide.  We know from history, that appeasement has always led to the abyss," concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels (00)33 609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter,  or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).