Surely Now the EU Will Finally Proscribe Hezbollah?

February 7, 2013 2:07 pm 0 comments

Bus explosion outside of Burgas Airport. Photo: http://www.dnevnik.bg/.

Now that Bulgaria has officially confirmed Hezbollah was responsible for last July’s Burgas terror attack, that claimed the lives of five Israeli tourists and a local Bulgarian man, the onus is squarely on the European Union to list the group as a terrorist organization – without further delay.

Hezbollah is already designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Netherlands and Israel, while even the United Kingdom and Australia have designated Hezbollah’s artificially separate ‘military wing’ as well.

In 2005, the European Parliament passed a resolution stating that “clear evidence exists of terrorist activities on the part of Hezbollah”, calling on the EU to take all necessary steps to curtail them.

Regrettably though, the EU has continued to drag its feet, refusing to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization. This is not due to a lack of evidence, of which there is an overabundance, but rather a lack of political will and consensus among EU member states.

The Bulgarian report was released earlier yesterday, after a meticulous investigation lasting seven months. Yet in a disturbing indication of what the future may hold, last week, Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s top counter-terrorism official said that even if Hezbollah did carry out the bombing and was legally culpable, that did not necessarily mean it would be blacklisted. According to Kerchove, ultimately, the decision would be based on “a political assessment of the context and the timing.”

Kerchove’s remarks were swiftly condemned by Phillip Missfelder, a deputy in the Bundestag and the foreign policy spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Missfelder said that “terrorism is an integral part of Hezbollah’s overall strategy that undermines the political stability of Lebanon and threatens the existence of the Jewish state of Israel.” He added “by no means can the EU tolerate that this group operates from European soil. Therefore it is absolutely urgent to put this group on the EU terror list.”

Perhaps the EU requires a brief refresher on Hezbollah’s dossier of work, including its trail of terror on European soil.

Hezbollah is funded, armed, and receives its orders straight from Tehran. For all intents and purposes, it is the strategic arm of the Iranian regime’s proxy war against Israel and Western interests in Europe.

The group has been directly responsible for some of the most heinous terror attacks in the world (not just against Israeli interests) including the 1983 barracks bombing in Beirut that killed 241 US marines and 58 French paratroopers; a wave of bombings in France between 1985 and 1986 which killed 13 and left hundreds injured;  the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847 in Greece; and a 1984 bombing in Spain that killed 18 and left 83 injured. While in July last year, a Hezbollah operative was arrested in Cyprus on charges of planning an attack on Israeli tourists.

Since the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, it is estimated that Hezbollah’s stockpile of rockets has tripled to at least 60,000. These rockets, made in the factories of Iran, are longer in range and more devastating in impact.

With an extensive web of fundraising and infrastructural support throughout the continent, Hezbollah has also taken to radicalizing and recruiting young Muslims for jihad in Europe. It is estimated that Hezbollah has almost 1,000 agents roaming in Germany alone, with even more spread through Europe.

Some EU states, such as France, are concerned that by blacklisting Hezbollah, they will lose their political leverage in Lebanon. But one must ask what exactly has their ‘leverage’ brought so far?

Today, for example, we see Hezbollah directly intervening in Syria on behalf of Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime, while a 2011 United Nations investigation found Hezbollah agents responsible for the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Importantly, the United States has, for some time, been strongly urging the EU to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. Last year, over 250 members of Congress wrote to the President and each of the 27 Ministers of the EU, saying “the time is long past for the European Union to recognize that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization” and asking for their partnership in “the vital effort to fight terrorism.”

In a recent Times (UK) op-ed, titled ‘Don’t Mince words. Hezabollah are terrorists”, former Spanish PM José María Aznar and Northern Ireland’s Nobel Peace Prize Winner David Trimble warn that Hezbollah is already present and active on European soil [and] it has shown that it is willing to strike in Europe. That is why European governments must move now to stigmatize Hezbollah and its activities, vision and goals.”

Placing Hezbollah on its terror blacklist will help the EU make significant headway in combating radical Islam and terror on European soil, as well as striking a dagger at the heart of Iran’s empire of terror.

Such a move will also allow authorities to freeze Hezbollah assets as well as its ability to recruit new members, thereby cutting the very lifeblood of its terror activities, while providing law enforcement agencies greater investigative powers and improving cross-border cooperation between states.

The question the EU must ask itself now is: does it really want Iran to continue operating in the heart of Europe? If the answer is no, then they must list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization without delay.

This article was originally published by The Commentator. Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights lawyer and freelance journalist.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.