Netanyahu: EU momentum growing to place Hezbollah on terror list

PM says that if European Union fails to label Hezbollah as terrorists, it will be a sign of acquiescence to terror organizations.

Netanyahu walking tough 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Netanyahu walking tough 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
While it is clearly possible the EU foreign ministers gathering in Brussels for their monthly meeting on Monday may finally put the armed wing of Hezbollah on Europe’s terrorist blacklist, it is not a foregone conclusion, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an interview to a German paper published Sunday.
“I think there is a growing momentum in this direction [blacklisting Hezbollah], but I cannot tell you what’s going to be the outcome,” Netanyahu told the Welt am Sonntag.
Calling the EU way of needing a consensus of all 28 countries to make this kind of decision a “peculiar way to run an institution,” Netanyahu said that “you cannot fight terrorism by exonerating the terrorists.”
He repeated what he has said on numerous occasions in the past, “if Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, I don’t know what a terror organization is.”
Last week Netanyahu called the leaders of Austria and Malta, considered the two EU countries who are the final holdouts on this issue, to convince them of the need to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
“Hezbollah is killing civilians all over the place,” Netanyahu said in the Welt am Sonntag interview. “This is in addition to what they are doing in Europe and around the world where they are conducting terror left and right. But now they are slaughtering civilians inside the cities of Syria.”
Netanyahu said the power of terrorism is its ability to “intimidate while hiding behind a cover.”
The ability to “strip off the mask” and force Hezbollah to pay a political and economic price for its crimes increases the likelihood of forcing the organization to “reconsider many of the terrorist actions that they’re involved in,” he said.
Failing to do so, he warned, “also has consequences.”
“It means that you’re basically in acquiescence, that you’re participating in this game of charades and you don’t have the strength and clarity that is required to fight terrorism,” he said.
“Weakness and vacillation never defeated terrorism. Strength and clarity can and will.”