The EU and Hezbollah
Europe permits a dormant terrorist potential to thrive in its midst and it knows so.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorists marching with flags Photo: Jamal Saidi/Reuters
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has urged the European Union to at long
belated last “draw the necessary conclusions” and place Hezbollah on its
terrorist list. He voiced his appeal after exhaustive Bulgarian investigations
had firmly traced the bomb attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas last July to
Similar entreaties were sounded by new US Secretary of State
John Kerry, who exhorted the international community, and particularly European
states, to take immediate action against Hezbollah. “We need to send an
unequivocal message to this terrorist group that it can no longer engage in
despicable actions with impunity,” he said.
John Brennan, President
Barack Obama’s counterterrorism top adviser, likewise called on the EU to take
“proactive action to uncover Hezbollah’s infrastructure and disrupt the group’s
financing schemes and operational networks in order to prevent future attacks.”
Blacklisting Hezbollah would empower the EU to freeze the organization’s assets
But, hardly unexpectedly, the EU foreign policy chief,
Catherine Ashton, equivocated and spoke about “the need for reflection over the
outcome of the investigation.”
Europe remains impervious to Hezbollah’s
exceptionally bloody record and ongoing war crimes. The mounting and very
tangible evidence of critical Hezbollah complicity in the mass murder of Syrian
civilians has not dented the EU’s disinclination to include the group on its
list of terrorist organizations.
Israel has frequently asked the EU to
label Hezbollah as terrorist, yet these requests fall on deaf ears.
sure, there are nuances in the overall European evasiveness.
Netherlands designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization five years ago. But
the official EU stance remains intractable. It is not that the EU’s most
stubborn holdouts – Germany and France – do not know the facts about Hezbollah.
It is just that they will not let facts interfere with their opinions.
seems that absolutely nothing – not even the coldblooded murder of innocents on
the soil of an EU member – can bring about a policy shift in Europe. That also
goes for the no-longer contested realization that Hezbollah continuously
escalates its pro-Assad intervention in Syria’s civil war and has become no less
than a vital component of Bashar Assad’s “killing machine.”
There can be
no more smug obfuscation of the picture – Hezbollah is not just a major force in
Lebanon but a potent ideological/religious mercenary whose fighters, among other
assignments, play a key role in attempts to strengthen Assad’s grip on power,
rain terror on Syria’s populace and, if given a chance, grab control of the
weapons of mass destruction in Syrian stockpiles.
Yet back in EU
headquarters, Hezbollah is confoundingly still regarded as separate entity from
its “military wing.” It is categorized as a social movement, part of Lebanon’s
legitimate civic and political structure, rather than the Iranian backed
terrorism exporter that it is.
Europe appears insistent on seeing only
Hezbollah’s charitable front, though such fraudulent facades are part and parcel
of the modus operandi of most terrorist outfits, a fact which should not
surprise or have escaped the attention of Europe’s movers and
Rebutting such contentions, Netanyahu stressed that “there is
only one Hezbollah; it is one organization with one leadership.”
even stranger. While official Europe strains itself to hinder trade with Iran
and punish given upper-echelon Syrians, it allows Hezbollah to raise funds quite
boldly within the EU. Hezbollah boasts many adherents among Europe’s burgeoning
Muslim communities, most notably in Germany.
Hezbollah emissaries visit
their European adjuncts (often also sleeper cells) and openly solicit
The cover story – in keeping with the EU’s formal
perception of the organization – is that the money is earmarked for
social-welfare and educational projects in Lebanon. Intelligence organizations
worldwide agree, however, that money from Europe help to plug shortfalls and to
bankroll terrorist operations.
The paradox is that while Europe clamps
down on financial and commercial transactions with Iran and selected Assad
sidekicks, it allows Hezbollah to do business that circumvents EU
By no means is this an inconsistency that exclusively affects
Israel. Europe permits a dormant terrorist potential to thrive in its midst and
it knows so, its denials notwithstanding.