Dutch FM urges EU to place Hezbollah on terror group list

The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand already do; United Kingdom views only the organization’s military wing as a terrorist group

JTA — The Netherlands urged other European Union members to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said.

“The Netherlands has made another appeal to European Union members to place Hezbollah on the EU list of terrorist organizations,” Rosenthal said Wednesday evening in Amsterdam at a political debate organized by the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI.

Commenting on recent violence in Syria, he added, “You see what happens when this organization is allowed to operate freely.”

At the debate Rosenthal, who is Jewish and married to an Israeli woman, represented the ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, or VVD. He said Hezbollah is a dangerous group and an Iranian proxy.

The Netherlands is the only EU member that views Hezbollah and all its branches as a terrorist entity. The United Kingdom views only the organization’s military wing as a terrorist group. The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand already define Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

In the debate organized by CIDI, the country’s main pro-Israel body, representatives of all political parties presented their positions on the Middle East ahead of elections on Sept. 12. Approximately 500 people attended the debate, and 250 participated in a CIDI election poll.

CIDI director Ronny Naftaniel said the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, a center-right movement, emerged as the winner with 25 percent of the votes. “The next coalition should strengthen friendly relations with Israel, further the two-state solution and opposes Israel bashing,” he said.

A Sept. 4 poll shows WD leading with 34 seats, followed by Labor and the Socialists with 27 seats each. Next with 18 seats is Geert Wilders’ right-wing Party for Freedom, which garnered 24 seats in the 2010 elections.

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