Why did Germany recently classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization?
Aktham Suliman, Middle East expert and journalist: The German ambassador to Lebanon said: “We did not ban the party, but we banned its activities,” in a diplomatic way that is beautiful to recapitulate the case. Eventually, the party since its foundation in the early eighties of the last century until today, nothing has changed to it, but what changed is the German attitude. Now the German attitude changed in the last period specifically. In March 2019, the Undersecretary of the (German) Ministry of Foreign Affairs was in Beirut and once again talked about the distinction between the military and political wings of the party and about using diplomatic ways dealing with these complex issues, and about the importance of UNIFIL security in the south and about the representation of Hezbollah in a large popular category, as a part of Parliament, etc.
So it all happened between March 2019 and a year after that, I think that the American and the Israeli pressures were permanent. Whether through statements, or through direct communication, to rise pressures on Hezbollah, and through Hezbollah of course on Iran, regarding its regional role in terms of attitudes. The nuclear agreement itself has played a negative role, as Germany is trying to promote that pressure on Hezbollah is necessary in order to force Iran to stick with the nuclear agreement. On the other hand, Germany cannot oppose the United States all the way long, meaning they have tried to promote to that deal in more than one way, but in general, we can say there were an external pressure and no internal opposition to their attitudes.
Hezbollah is a regionally common party, and it has a big popularity in the region, but on the western side, unlike the Arab leftist parties in the 1970s and 1960s, they have no equivalent here. So where will he find this support? The party will not find it either in the Christian Democratic Union, or the Social Democratic Party or liberals , or in the Greens, not even in the Alternative for Germany or the Left.
And that is another important point, that Hezbollah does not have what is called a counterpart or an ideological partner here, which facilitates the process by inserting it into that Islamic or terrorist crucible, and introducing the issue of fighting Israel in it, you know fighting Israel here is something they do not like to talk about at all, because they consider the security of Israel, in the words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2008, one of the German state pillars , under the pretext of historical guilt, linking the suffering of the Jews at that time by an aggressor and occupation state at this time.
Has Germany isolated itself by calssifying Hezbollah as a terrorist organization?
Aktham Suliman, Middle East expert and journalist: This criticism can also be directed at European politics in general. They are, after 2004, after the Iraq war, once again gathered behind the American policy with its smaller and bigger mistakes.
Now with such decisions, such as banning the activities of Hezbollah, they are joining more in their camp that they are already part of it. They need to open up in this changing time to other camps. Instead, they become more attached to their camp, which is witnessing a global decline.
This is the first sin of this German move, regardless of Hezbollah as a party. You do not have much in this region (the Middle East), in the Syrian matter you have nothing because you are also attached to American policy and the American policy is stuttering. And you do not have much in North Africa issues because you are focusing on the economic and (human rights) aspects. And you have nothing in the Gulf except crumbs frankly. So you had the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Europeans and the Germans insisted on the (two-state solution) regardless of what we think of this solution or its consequences. It was a gate to the Middle East, and you remember that there was German diplomatic activity in the Middle East during the reign of Chancellor Schroeder and his Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on mediation, etc., and also on the issue of Hezbollah and the prisoner exchange that took place with the Zionist state.
This situation allowed Germany a limited space; let us say a mediating role in this region. Now why should anyone in this region speak to Germany and about what, you speak with Washington, Moscow or even Beijing, but with Germany and Europe behind it, why?! You do not even have identity marks in your policies that separate you from the other. Following the other was at the expense of your independence, at the expense of your personality too. You are European, you are close, you know that if there is any problem there … You mentioned the UNIFIL soldiers, and there is the issue of immigration, the (terrorism) issue, everything is directly related to you unlike the United States which is far behind the ocean. You left no room for anything, you lost completely and gained nothing.
I do not think that Washington needs from Berlin a certificate of fulfillment that they are committed to Western policies, Berlin is committed to these policies and this is well known, but it was giving itself a small margin of maneuvering. Now they have eliminated this margin, so everyone in this region will forget about them, simply it was an act against (German national interests) against European interests and more in the favor of the United States of America and Israel.
It can not be said in another way.Arabic subtitles: Hibatullah Rayes Ali