NEW YORK –World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer expressed deep concern Wednesday over the decision of United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ján Kubiš to hold a meeting with Naim Qassem, Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah.
In a letter to Kubiš, Singer reiterated that the WJC has repeatedly stressed in meetings with senior UN officials the importance of the UN designating Hezbollah a terrorist organization, noting that thus far, the Arab League, Bahrain, Canada, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, the Netherlands, the UK, the UAE and the United States have all taken it upon themselves to designate the entirety of Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
Singer also underscored that “Hezbollah is not only a threat to Jewish communities; it undermines the important work of the UN in the region,” pointing out that UNIFIL has confirmed the discovery of tunnels infiltrating Israel, in clear contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
The WJC CEO pointed out that “rules of engagement” pertaining to elected bodies in Lebanon “should not apply Hezbollah”, as it is the only political party with an active military wing dedicated to perpetrating acts of terror. “By meeting with Qassem as with any other political stakeholder, your office is tacitly endorsing all of Qassem’s political affiliations, including his leadership of Hezbollah’s military wing,” Singer wrote.
Moreover, Singer added, Qassem has publicly condoned terrorism and violence, which contradicts the founding principles of the UN, including his December 2015 declaration that “eliminating Israel will remain the goal to which we aspire”, and his 2018 remarks that “there is not a place in the Zionist entity that is not within Hezbollah’s range.”
Qassem has even gone so far as to justify violence against Israel as necessary resistance to protect Lebanon, Singer added. Qassem has emphasized that “Lebanon is indebted to its resistance for deterring Israel, and Lebanon has no value without resistance” since Lebanon “would not exist without resistance,” and on another occasion, stressed that “the resistance today is a need and a necessity more than ever before” as “the resistance of Hezbollah will reinforce [our] strengths in defending our land and the future of our generations.”
“In light of these worrying revelations, on behalf of the WJC, I ask that you reconsider the UN’s approach to Qassem and Hezbollah and trust that you will give our concerns due consideration. Should you or your office require more information about Hezbollah’s terrorist activities, the WJC will readily oblige,” Singer wrote.