Inclusion of Hezbollah on the EU Terrorist List

Talking Points
  1. Hezbollah is the quintessential international terrorist organization. It was the first to introduce suicide bombing into the Middle East, and has repeatedly carried out such bombings against military and civilian targets; it has abducted foreigners and held them hostage for years; it has a global reach and ties with other terror organizations; it perpetrated the 1983 bombing against the U.S. embassy in Beirut, which killed 63 people; also in 1983, it carried out the gruesome bombing of the U.S. and French barracks of the Multinational Force in Lebanon, killing 241 American servicemen and 58 French soldiers; and it was responsible for the bombing of both the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and the AMIA building in 1994, which together killed 114 civilians and injured scores more.

  2. Hezbollah is the main reason for instability in South Lebanon – indeed, in the country as a whole. It was implicated in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (the UN tribunal investigating the case issued arrest warrants for four Hezbollah members); in 2006 it fired thousands of rockets and missiles at towns and villages in Northern Israel; and in 2008 it seized Western Beirut in a bloody coup that took more than 100 lives. In blatant violation of Security Council resolutions 1559 and 1701, which mandated the disbanding of all militias in Lebanon, Hezbollah has maintained and expanded its military presence.

  3. For many years, Iran and Syria have been the prime sponsors of Hezbollah, harboring, financing, training, and arming that terror organization. Iran has equipped Hezbollah with thousands of missiles that can reach deep into Israel. The Syrian regime has allowed these and other weapons to be shipped across its territory to Lebanon and has supplied Hezbollah with weapons of its own. For its part, Hezbollah has obliged the Syrian regime by providing it with active support in its current murderous campaign against the Syrian people. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has referred to the Syrian regime as a “real military partner,” adding that it is “more than a bridge” for Iranian weapons shipments to Hezbollah.

  4. The recent terror attack in the resort town of Burgas, Bulgaria, in which six civilians – five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver – died and scores were injured, bears the fingerprints of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah. The method of the attack, its intended victims, and the type of explosive used closely resemble previous attacks in various parts of the world in which Iran and Hezbollah have been implicated.

  5. Beyond the effect of further delegitimizing Hezbollah, the inclusion of that organization on the EU list will also have some important practical implications. It will lead to the issuance of arrest warrants against members and active supporters of Hezbollah, the freezing of its assets in Europe (sometimes these assets are listed as “charities”) and a prohibition of fund-raising activities on its behalf. It would also facilitate better cross-border cooperation between EU members in combating Hezbollah.

  6. Some argue that Hezbollah is not only an armed militia but also a political party and a network to provide social services – but the former negates the latter. An organization that engages in acts of terrorism cannot claim to be a legitimate political party or a legitimate provider of social services, all the more so when such services are provided in order to advance the organization’s terrorist agenda.

  7. The United States, Canada, and Australia, as well as the Netherlands and the UK – two EU members – regard Hezbollah as a terror organization and have placed it on their national terrorist lists. It is high time for the EU to do the same.
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