European Union foreign ministers are to meet today to discuss calls to list the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.
The Henry Jackson Society’s Timeline of Terror: A concise history of Hezbollah atrocities presents a compelling case that Hezbolllah is a terrorist organisation and must be banned in Europe.
Hezbollah’s activity as a terrorist group is often thought to be limited to its war against Israel. This is a great mistake. From its killing of 58 French peace-keepers in 1983 to the current day, Hezbollah has repeatedly sought out, killed and been implicated in the killing of numerous European targets.
Yet despite this fact the European Union (EU) refuses to put Hezbollah on its official list of designated terrorist groups. This list includes Hamas but, inexplicably, not Hezbollah.
The official reason given by the EU is that there is a separation between the political and military wings of Hezbollah. In reality no such separation exists. Hezbollah does not see it. Lebanon – which Hezbollah has done so much to destroy – does not see it. America does not see it. Only the EU sees it. It is time that this disgraceful anomaly was rectified. Not only because it is wrong, but because the current situation allows and encourages Hezbollah to recruit and fundraise in Europe.
For their part, Hezbollah’s leaders are deeply concerned about what would happen if the EU did finally designate their organisation. The Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has himself said that were the EU to outlaw Hezbollah it would ‘destroy’ the group because ‘the sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed.’
This publication aims to serve as a reminder of what Hezbollah has done. But it is also intended to serve as a resource for European citizens. The case for designating Hezbollah is overwhelming. We need political leadership on the issue. But that will only come about if European citizens who abhor terrorism – and who have suffered so many times from it – make their voices heard. It is in our power to make Nasrallah’s nightmare come true, and in the process make a practical step toward assisting peace in the Middle East and Europe.