EU’s Mogherini: Hamas must remain on our terror list

At Hanukkah reception, union’s foreign policy chief speaks out against anti-Semitism, says world must learn from Maccabees

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels, December 17, 2014 (photo credit: Johan Dehon)
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels, December 17, 2014 (photo credit: Johan Dehon)

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday she is committed to keeping Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.

Speaking at a Hanukkah reception at the European Commission in Brussels, Mogherini delivered a speech about the need to fight anti-Semitism, saying that the world needs to learn from the Maccabees. In her remarks, she did not mention the EU Court of Justice’s ruling to reverse, “on procedural grounds,” the inclusion of Hamas on its list of terrorist organizations.

After her remarks, she spoke to the director-general of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, and told him that she was worried about the court’s decision because she knew that it could hurt the Jewish community, according to Margolin.

“I asked her if she actually saw the statement her spokesperson sent out in her name, and she said that not only did she see it, she initiated it,” Margolin told The Times of Israel. “She said that we couldn’t do anything about it in advance, but that she knew it was a very sensitive decision than can hurt the Jews. She said it’s not a political decision and thus not in her hands.”

Mogherini promised that the EU would appeal the court’s decision and make sure that Hamas will again be blacklisted, Margolin said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mogherini’s spokesperson Iina Lietzen sent out a press release stating that the court’s ruling is “clearly based on procedural grounds and it does not imply any assessment by the Court of the substantive reasons for the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.” The EU institutions will “take appropriate remedial action, including any eventual appeal to the ruling,” Lietzen stated.

Jerusalem reacted angrily to the court’s decision, calling on the EU to swiftly place Hamas on its blacklist again. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening accused the union of naivete and hypocrisy, even suggesting that Europeans hadn’t learned the lessons of the Holocaust.

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