Hezbollah’s Martyrs’ Day in south Beirut.
(photo credit: Sharif Karim/Reuters)
LONDON – A prominent British think tank has launched a campaign calling on the
EU to proscribe Hezbollah in an effort to sever its funding base in Europe and
thwart its influence in the Middle East.
The Henry Jackson Society wants
the EU and the UK to formally outlaw Hezbollah in its entirety – in line with
the US, Canada and the Netherlands – and recognize it as “a terrorist
organization that consistently uses violent terrorist tactics.”
time that this disgraceful anomaly was rectified. Not only because it is wrong,
but because the current situation allows and encourages Hezbollah to recruit and
fundraise in Europe,” the London- based think tank said.
Union refuses to put Hezbollah on its list – which includes Hamas – of
designated terrorist groups.
As Hezbollah participates in the political
process in Lebanon, the EU makes a distinction between the group’s political and
The UK blacklisted Hezbollah’s paramilitary External
Security Organization in 2001, but refuses to follow suit with its political
“It is spurious to make the distinction between the group’s
military and political wings. There is no distinction, it has been falsely
Hezbollah does not see it. Lebanon, which Hezbollah has done
so much to destroy, does not see it.
America does not see it. Only the EU
sees [that there are two separate wings to Hezbollah],” Douglas Murray, the
Henry Jackson Society’s associate director, told The Jerusalem Post on
As part of the campaign, the society has produced a briefing
paper titled “Timeline of Terror: A Concise History of Hezbollah Atrocities,” in
which it documents the terrorist attacks and atrocities perpetrated by the group
since its formation in 1982.
“The publication aims to serve as a reminder
of what Hezbollah has done. But it is also intended to serve as a resource for
European citizens,” the think tank said.
The 44-page publication also
gives an insight into the terrorist group’s ideology, command structure, funding
“It is becoming increasingly important to note Hezbollah’s
influence in the region and raise the question as to why the UK and EU have thus
far failed to proscribe the organization in its entirety,” the think tank states
in a letter it sent out with the publication.
“The case for designating
Hezbollah is overwhelming.
We need political leadership on the issue. But
that will only come about if European citizens who abhor terrorism – and who
have suffered so many times from it – make their voices heard,” it
Murray told the Post
that the campaign is set to expand in the
coming weeks and months.
“Our aim is to persuade leaders in the UK and EU
to ban Hezbollah. They must not continue to allow this terrorist movement to
“Either we are against genocidal terrorist groups or we are
not. It is no good hiding – as some European politicians do – behind the pretense that there is no evidence that Hezbollah is a terrorist
They are, they always have been, they remain so, and we
should stop them,” he said.
With Europe a key territory for the terrorist
organization, the think tank points out that the group’s leaders are deeply
concerned about the impact of any possible ban it might receive from the
The group’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has said that being
blacklisted would “destroy” the organization because “the sources of our funding
will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be
After the July terrorist attack that killed five Israelis
tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver was blamed on the organization, the issue
came under the spotlight at the EU again.
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri
Rosenthal raised the issue at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Cyprus last
“We have for quite some time now argued that effective European
measures should be taken against Hezbollah,” Rosenthal told The Wall Street
“The fact that the US has taken new sanctions due to
Hezbollah’s support for the Assad regime is a new reason and opportunity to
return to this issue, and I will do so...when I meet my European
partners today,” he added.
However the Journal said that French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius signaled that his country was not ready to ban the
“An organization can be placed on the terrorist list only when
there is a legal case against them, which is not currently the case,” Fabius
told the Journal