Is appeasement of Hezbollah now EU policy?
In rejecting Israel's request to blacklist Hezbollah as a terror group, the EU has missed a golden opportunity to strike at the heart of Iran's empire of terror
In the wake of last week’s terror attack against Israeli civilians in Bulgaria, the European Union has refused Israel’s request to blacklist Hezbollah as a terror group, citing a lack of “tangible evidence” it was engaged in terrorism.
The attack, which claimed the lives of five Israelis and a local Bulgarian man, has been widely attributed to Hezbollah and the Iranian regime, under whose orders it was carried out.
In an interview on Fox News this past Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, Israel knows "with absolute certainty, without a shred of doubt, that this was a Hezbollah operation," citing it had “rock solid evidence” the terror group was responsible.
To rub further salt in the wound of the dead Israelis and hundreds of other innocent people who have died at the hands of Hezabollah since the 1980s, Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, added that Hezbollah is “an organization that comprises a political party and a social services network as well as an armed wing.”
Perhaps the EU thinks that Hezbollah is running a soup kitchen out of Beirut?
Given the EU has said it would require more “tangible evidence” that Hezbollah was engaging in terrorism, how about this (for a start):
- Hezbollah is funded, armed, trained and receives its orders straight from Tehran, even regarding Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini as its ultimate spiritual head. For all intents and purposes, along with its fellow cohorts of terror, Hamas, it is the strategic arm of the Iranian regime’s proxy war against the Jewish state.
- Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has previously stated that his organization is destined to prevail over Israel because: "The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death."
- They have been directly responsible for some of the most heinous terror attacks in the world (not just against Israeli / Jewish 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; and the 1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires which killed 29 as well as the 1994 AMIA bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina, killing 85.
- Since the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, which was precipitated by Hezbollah’s unprovoked cross border attack on Israel and gruesome kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, their stockpile of rockets has tripled to at least 60,000. These rockets, made in the factories of Tehran, are longer in range, more devastating in impact and are capable of striking central and southern Israel.
- With Iran’s support, global reach has seemingly not been a hurdle for Hezbollah, which has also been responsible for a spate of terror attacks in the past 12 months against Israeli diplomats in Cyprus, India, Thailand, Singapore, Kenya, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Hezbollah’s path of terror and destruction is plainly visible for all to see, as is the fact that they are answerable to one, and only one, power above – Iran. Now imagine for a moment the unspeakable carnage they could wreak under the cloak and shield of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Apparently though, this is of little concern to the EU, who are still seeking “tangible evidence” that Hezbollah is engaging in terrorism.
The EU is also seemingly blind to the fact that Hezbollah poses a real and direct security threat to its own interests in Europe, having already murdered not just Israelis and Americans, but scores of European citizens as well.
With an extensive web of fundraising and infrastructural support throughout the continent, Hezbollah has also taken to radicalizing and recruiting young Muslims in Europe. Its al-Manar TV station – which is a key driver of its propaganda against the West, is widely available and watched in Europe.
In 2006, in an interview broadcast on al-Manar, Nasrallah called for a violent jihad against Denmark, following the publication of cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed.
By attempting to distinguish between Hezbollah as a “political party”, a “social services network” and an “armed wing”, the EU is being at best naïve, but ultimately, is risking the lives of its own citizens and broader peace in the Middle East by fuelling and enabling terrorism.
Such a policy of distinction is also allowing Hezbollah to continue fundraising and recruiting right in the heart of Europe – a policy that can only be described as suicidal.
In essence, there is no difference between any of these arms. Hezbollah views each as an indispensable tool in their violent jihad against Israel and the West, including Europe. In 2002, Muhammad Fanish, a Hezbollah leader and Parliamentarian, himself clearly stated (on al-Manar TV) “there is no separating between Hezbollah’s military and political arms.”
In his request to the EU to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said: "It would send the right signal to the international community and the Israeli people."
But in their rejection, the only sign the EU has sent is that Jewish blood is cheap, while appeasement of terrorism is now official EU policy. Moreover, the EU has missed a golden opportunity to strike at the heart of Iran’s empire of terror.
Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights lawyer and freelance journalist and previously a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute and an Associate Editor at EYEontheUN.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ArsenOstrovsky
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