Brussels says “military wing” is already proscribed, balks at full ban on the terror organization.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
A European Union spokesman confirmed to the Jerusalem Post this week that Brussels has no plans to designate the entirety of Hezbollah as a terror organization.
“The military wing of Hezbollah is already on the EU terror list. Any changes in the nature and scope of the existing listing are for EU Member States to discuss and decide by unanimity,” Peter Stano, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Policy, told the Post.
Hezbollah maintains a political party that serves only to turn Lebanon into a proxy state of Iran. It boasts an army, battle-hardened in Syria. It operates cradle-to-grave social services for its Shiite constituents which include health clinics, schools and soup kitchens. Hezbollah runs its own TV and radio stations as well.
Making distinctions among “wings” is problematic.
Hezbollah defines itself as a single, unified organization whose goal is “resistance” to Israel and the West. It has never maintained a pretense that its various wings operate independently of each other.
Also, distinguishing between “wings” makes it harder for security agencies to act against Hezbollah’s terror threats.
The organization is responsible for some of the deadliest terror attacks ever seen before 9/11. In 1983, a pair of suicide bombings killed 241 US Marines and 58 French soldiers on a peacekeeping mission. Hezbollah struck twice in Buenos Aires, killing 29 in a 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy and then killing 85 in a 1994 attack on the Jewish community headquarters.
Today, Hezbollah is reported to have more than 120,000 missiles, prompting Israel’s former UN ambassador, Danny Danon, to observe that it has “more missiles below ground in Lebanon than the European NATO allies have above ground.”
When Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah boasted of having an army of 100,000 men, many of them no doubt were brainwashed in Hezbollah schools and trained in its Imam al-Mahdi Scouts Association for adolescents.
Those opposed to a total blacklist say it closes off any possibility of dialogue and strengthens hardliners.
But that begs the question: What kind of dialogue is being closed? How moderate are the “moderates” and what’s to be gained by engaging them?
Meanwhile, Hezbollah has been classified as a terrorist organization by a large portion of the global community, including, among others, the U.S., Slovenia, Latvia, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Argentina.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in Glasgow for the international climate summit, met on the sidelines with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday and asked him to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety, according to Bennett’s office. Australia to date has only recognized the terror group’s military wing as such.