hizbullah flag 298.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Israel is using Monday's Hizbullah attack as a peg on which to hang a renewal of its campaign to get the European Union to declare Hizbullah a terrorist organization, a senior diplomatic official told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.
The official confirmed that the Europeans have asked for Israel to show restraint in its reaction to the Hizbullah attack in the north. In return, he said, Israel was asking the Europeans to delegitimize Hizbullah, stop meeting with its representative in the Lebanese government, and place the group on the EU's list of terrorist organizations.
Israeli attempts earlier this year to get the EU to blacklist Hizbullah crashed when France opposed the idea. The French argument was that there was a need to focus on the democratization of Lebanon, and that once this took place Hizbullah would cease to be a problem.
The catalyst behind Israel's diplomatic push at the time was Hizbullah's involvement in a number of terrorist attacks inside Israel and the concern that it was doing everything it could to undermine Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The issue, however, lost momentum after the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the ensuing withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and the Lebanese elections.
In light of Monday's attack, however, Israel is once again trying to place the issue high on the EU's agenda. Foreign Ministry Director-General Ron Prosor is scheduled to meet with the ambassadorial corps in Israel on Wednesday and press for all contact to be cut with Hizbullah.
The EU, meanwhile, was expected to issue a strong condemnation of the Hizbullah attack Tuesday evening. The UN Security Council, on the other hand, was unable to agree on the wording of such a condemnation.
An Israeli diplomatic official said that an Israeli attempt to get the Security Council to issue a statement condemning Hizbullah's attack failed Monday when Algeria, currently one of the members of the Security Council, refused to make any mention of Hizbullah. France and the US put forth the statement that Algeria blocked.
The official said that the failure of the Security Council to condemn Hizbullah for what was "clearly an act of provocation" was a "mark of discredit" on the body. The official said that Syria placed pressure on the Algerians to block any condemnation.
The failure to get this condemnation through the Security Council ended a brief "honeymoon" Israel had enjoyed with the UN over the last few weeks that included the passage of the first-ever Israeli-initiated resolution in the General Assembly and a Security Council condemnation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call last month to wipe Israel off the map.
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