Thursday, August 8, 2013

The EU's Terror Listing of Hezbollah is Going Nowhere

The EU today finally put Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. They cite the attack in Bulgaria as the reason, but the Western alliance against Assad is a transparent motivation

Decades of attacks against the US and Israel could not motivate the EU to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

UPDATE: By preserving contact with, and funding of, Hezbollah's "political wing" without substantial measures against its "military wing," the EU not only legitimizes Hezbollah's "political" leadership, but also promotes the entire organization as an important actor in both Lebanese politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict. (Source)

July 24, 2013

Israelis Briefing EU on Hezbollah After Terror Decision

Now that the EU has decided to designate Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organization, Israel will begin providing EU law enforcement officials with intelligence material so they can enforce the decision, Israeli diplomatic officials said Tuesday. Law enforcement authorities, homeland security officials and intelligence agencies in the EU’s 28 countries will need a plethora of information (...) Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor commended the EU’s move, but noted it came after decades of allowing Hezbollah to operate freely on European soil.  (...) He said that Hezbollah was “as sophisticated as it is interconnected,” adding that “any attempt to distinguish between Hezbollah’s military wing and political wing, while politically convenient, is entirely impractical. “Not even Harry Houdini could pull off the illusion that there is a difference between these two groups,” he said. (Source)

July 22, 2013

EU Bans Hezbollah as Terrorists

The EU today has finally decided to put the military wing of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah, which is allied to Iran and the Assad regime in Syria,  on its list of terrorist organizations. Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said:

"We took this important step today, by dealing with the military wing of Hezbollah, freezing its assets, hindering its fundraising and thereby limiting its capacity to act"...
The EU cites the suicide bombing of a bus in Bulgaria in July last year, which was organized by Hezbollah, as the reason for the decision. The bombing targeting tourists from Israel left seven people dead. Thirteen people were injured.

The move by the EU was led by the UK and the Netherlands. Other member countries were more reluctant, fearing it may destabilize Lebanon.

The killing of 241 American servicemen in 1983 and numerous acts of war against Israel (top video) could not make the EU to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization. But the Western alliance against Hezbollah's ally, Assad is an obvious motivation.

The decision may complicate relations with Lebanon. Some Sunni forces in Lebanon support the predominantly Sunni Syrian opposition and have at times clashed with Shiites over the issue.