The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has taken up a full-page ad in Tuesday’s New York Times and 30-second spots on major cable news channels, in which it is calling on the 28-member European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
The ads are part of a broad-based, stepped-up effort, including a new website by the global advocacy organization. The aim is to raise awareness about the reality of Hezbollah, and to press the international community to label the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
In 2013, the European Union blacklisted Hezbollah's “military wing” as a terrorist organization, while failing to blacklist the group’s political arm.
However, EU members the Netherlands and United Kingdom consider all of Hezbollah a terrorist entity, as do the United States, Canada, Israel and even the Arab League.
“Hezbollah is a global terrorist organization, armed and supported by Iran. Its deadly reach extends to Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia, and across the Middle East,” states the AJC ad in The New York Times. “Yet, defying all logic, the European Union insists there are actually two Hezbollahs – one ‘political,’ the other ‘military.’”
The AJC 30-second TV ad is appearing on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, i24, and BBC America. The ad emphasizes that Hezbollah has committed hundreds of terrorist attacks around the world, including in Europe.
The AJC campaign was launched in connection with the opening this week of the UN General Assembly. AJC will be meeting privately with the leaders of more than 70 countries.
“Designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and without qualifications, is at the top of our agenda with many world leaders,” said AJC CEO David Harris.
The British government formally announced in February that it intends to ban the political wing of the Hezbollah terror organization, after previously having banned its military wing.
Germany later stated that it will not follow Britain’s lead, with its Minister of State Niels Annen arguing that the Shiite Muslim organization remained a relevant factor in Lebanese society.
German Jewish leaders recently called on Merkel to fully outlaw Hezbollah. Similarly, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Germany to follow in Britain’s footsteps during a meeting in Berlin with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
In June, four members of the US House of Representatives — two Democrats and two Republicans — joined the call for Germany to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.