Belgian MP proposes Hezbollah ban

Brussels, like many other countries in Europe, follows the EU’s policy of banning Hezbollah’s military arm and not its political branch.

Belgium must act to ban Hezbollah in its entirety, lawmaker Michael Freilich said, submitting a bill to that effect this week.

Brussels, like many other countries in Europe, follows the European Union policy of banning Hezbollah’s military arm and not its political branch, though the Shia terrorist group does not divide itself in that way.

Citing fundraising for Hezbollah in Belgian mosques, Freilich said “it is absurd to believe that if you transfer $100,000… to Lebanon, that Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah will look at the statement and say, ‘Hey guys, be aware, this is only for political purposes.’ Of course, this is absurd, and we all know these funds will be used for military, terrorist purposes such as Katyusha rockets.”

The MP called on Belgium to follow Germany and the UK, which have recently banned Hezbollah, and the Netherlands, which outlawed the terrorist group in 2004. Estonia and Lithuania also banned Hezbollah this year.

Freilich appealed to the political Left “who can’t stop talking about human rights,” saying that the right to live is fundamental.

“The fight against terror must be fought by all of us together,” he added.
Freilich, a member of the Flemish nationalist, conservative NVA Party in the opposition, is the first Orthodox Jewish member of the Belgian parliament.

This bill comes at a “critical moment,” Freilich said on Wednesday, because the Belgian government has said it would replace the soldiers that protect Jewish institutions throughout the country with police officers. In Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern part of Belgium, the police said they are not adequately prepared for the task.

“I’m a lawmaker also part of the Jewish community,” Freilich said. “The Jewish community is asking for protection. It’s a bad sign to remove soldiers and also not support this bill.”

No date has been set for the vote on the Hezbollah bill, which is not thought to have a good chance of passing, as Belgium tends to follow France on major foreign policy matters. Paris continues to be engaged in Lebanon’s attempts to rebuild after its economic collapse and Beirut Port explosion, including with Hezbollah-affiliated politicians.

Freilich said that though he is in the opposition, the government should overcome politics to support his proposal.

“When a terrorist blows himself up, he doesn’t ask people what party they voted for,” he stated.

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