Where Would Hezbollah Be Without the EU?
The EU has been here before. During the same period they came up with their false wall-of-separation within Hezbollah, they they did the same thing with Hamas. The fiction disappeared in Europe because it was no longer possible to allow a group to operate which blew up buses full of civilians.
However bad many Americans think that the Obama administration is on security matters, at least one thing can be said in their favor: they are not Europeans.
An advisor to President Obama last week condemned the European Union's weakness on security issues, and one, in particular, namely its disgraceful and pusillanimous behaviour on what should be an open-and-shut case.
Speaking in Dublin last Saturday, the chief counter-terrorism adviser to President Obama, John Brennan, criticized the European Union for its complete failure to stand up to the terrorist group Hezbollah.
It will be amazing to many Americans – and indeed to many Europeans – that the group remains able to operate, recruit and raise funds within the EU. In America, which like France, felt the full brunt of Hezbollah activities in Beirut in 1983, the organization has long been banned in any and all of its guises. This last August Washington, which already sanctions and classifies Hezbollah as a foreign "terrorist organization," additionally put the group on a list of organizations under sanctions for involvement in the slaughter being carried out in Syria by Bashar al-Assad's regime. As Brennan added, in addition to its involvement with terrorist activities carried out by Iran, Hezbollah "is training militants in Yemen and Syria." Even that does not do justice to the scope, range and history of Hezbollah's ambitions.
In the EU however, the group is able to fundraise unhindered. This appalling fact has come about because of an entirely false distinction which the EU continues to observe. It is a distinction entirely of its own invention.
For the EU claims that there is a difference between the "political"' and the "military" wings of Hezbollah. Therefore as long as the "political" side of their activities is being pursued the EU considers it legitimate activity. Of course there is a striking fact here: nobody outside the EU believes there is any such internal distinction within Hezbollah. The American government does not see it; the Canadian government does not see it. The governments of Iran and Syria do not see it. The people of Lebanon do not see it. And of course Hezbollah itself certainly does not see it.
For the leadership of Hezbollah the issue of its legitimacy within the EU is a source of considerable satisfaction. Where would Hezbollah be without the EU? The Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has already made it very clear where they would be. A few years back Nasrallah said that if the EU designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group in its entirety it would "destroy" the organization; as Nasrallah put it, "[t]he sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed."
Any other political entity in the West would recognize that as an invitation. But for the EU it is a terrible warning. For one of the reasons why the EU continues to argue for a political-military divide is that proscribing the fictitious "political wing" of Hezbollah would risk destabilizing Lebanon. Anybody who knows anything at all about Lebanon might observe that Hezbollah is doing perfectly nicely at destabilizing Lebanon already. Hezbollah's parallel state within Lebanon, its private army and road-blocks, its blackmailing of its opponents and its bribery of those it wishes to keep it in power is destabilizing enough. And that is not even to mention the deeply "stabilizing" (if you are the EU) effects that the group must have as they carry out assassinations of opponents, bombings in civilian areas and so on.
The EU has been here before. During the same period they came up with their false wall-of-separation within Hezbollah they did the same thing with Hamas. That terror group too, they decided, had a military and a political wing. After the atrocities of the Second Intifada, however, that fiction disappeared. It did not disappear because the EU was made aware of something it had previously been unaware of. It disappeared in Europe because it was no longer possible – in terms of public opinion or political expediency – to allow a group to operate which blew up buses full of civilians.
Of course in July this year an Iranian proxy of some kind – believed by many to be Hezbollah – did exactly that on European soil. The bombing of a bus of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria showed that Iranian proxies like Hezbollah are not only willing but able to use within the EU the tactics they have used for years in the Middle East and, in the case of Hezbollah, as far away as Buenos Aires in the 1990s.
That the same EU which has seen a member country attacked by such terror should continue to permit such terrorists to recruit and fundraise on EU soil is an utterly unsustainable position. The distinction will break down, but it will have to be pushed. Recently in Dublin John Brennan did some of that pushing. He described the European stance on Hezbollah as something that "makes it harder to defend our countries and protect our citizens."
He is right, and should be applauded for stating the case. The EU will have to listen. The only question is how long they remain willing to help Hezbollah in its last European hurrah.
Reader comments on this item
|Let the EU care for their own defense [38 words]||PKorman||Nov 10, 2012 14:17|
|The world in which we live [72 words]||Heather||Nov 8, 2012 23:58|
Comment on this item
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its "misinterpretation" by Islamic extremists.
Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.
Leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."
Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.