(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Israel should not continue to let the European Union get involved in diplomatic
affairs, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman
said Monday after sending a sharply worded letter to EU foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton urging her to include Hezbollah in the EU list of terrorist
Speaking at a committee meeting, Liberman called the EU decision
not to add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist organizations “hypocrisy
incarnate,” which would “make the EU irrelevant, as far as we’re concerned, when
it comes to dealing with the region.”
“We need to stop our dialogue with
the EU,” Liberman declared at a press briefing later Monday. “We have a
continued dialogue with Europe about Lebanon, Sinai, Egypt; it’s
According to Liberman, the EU makes demands of Israel in
relation to peace talks, but does nothing in return.
“How does Europe
contribute to Israeli security? I keep saying we need to cut them off. There are
problems in Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea. Why focus on the
Palestinians? They need to broaden their diplomatic horizons,” he
In his letter to Ashton, Liberman listed several terrorist
attacks and incidents involving Hezbollah, including assisting Syrian President
Bashar Assad massacre his people, the bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria last summer,
planning an attack on Cyprus and the assassination of former Lebanese prime
minister Rafik Hariri.
These facts necessitate the inclusion of Hezbollah
in the list of terrorist organizations to send a message of zero tolerance and
prevent the group from raising funds in Europe, Liberman wrote.
current exclusion of an organization, which incites to and is actively involved
in murder and hatred, on the list of terrorist organizations is hypocrisy which
cries out to the heavens. It begs the question as to what other requirements,
beyond the facts that are well known, are necessary for Hezbollah’s inclusion,”
the letter reads.
Liberman added that Hezbollah has a growing presence in
Europe, with $13 million raised in Germany in 2008 alone by selling
The Yisrael Beytenu leader also took issue with countries
separating Hezbollah’s military and political wings, calling it “pathetic and
serving no basis in reality.”
“Both the decisions on the execution of
terrorist acts and political decisions, like for example who will be on the list
of candidates for the Lebanese parliament, arrive from the same source, the mass
murderer, Hassan Nasrallah,” Liberman wrote.
“The decision made by the EU
on the fourth of this month raises many questions,” he added. “The most
important of which is about the readiness of the EU to combat terrorism and how
Israel can rely on European promises to guarantee its security.”
to his statements in the press briefing, Liberman ended his letter thanking
Ashton for the “frank and ongoing dialogue” between them.
Liberman in his letter said the EU had taken a decision on June 4 not to include
Hezbollah on its terrorist list, an EU official said no final decision was
taken, and that a meeting last week on the matter in Brussels was only a
The official said that another meeting on the
matter will be held later this month.
The official also pointed out that
a decision to place Hezbollah on the EU’s terrorist list will need to be agreed
upon by all 27 EU countries. The decision, therefore, is not in Ashton’s
Last week Israeli government officials blamed Ireland, supported
by Finland and Sweden, for leading opposition to the move.
in the past held contacts with what it calls Hezbollah’s “political wing,”
launched efforts last month to get the EU to blacklist the group’s “military
wing.” These efforts picked up momentum in recent weeks because of Hezbollah’s
increased involvement in the Syrian civil war.
The June 4 meeting held at
the “working level” was the first formal meeting on the British
Israel has unsuccessfully been urging the EU to blacklist
Hezbollah since the mid- 1990s.