The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
EU Still Playing Hard to Get with Hezbollah

Hezbollah_Flag

What’s a Hezbollah operative got to do to get some attention around here?

Britain tried this week to get the European Union to label the “Party of God” a terrorist organization, but Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, and others demurred. Previously reluctant countries like France and Germany finally hopped on board, but because the vote needs to be unanimous, Hezbollah remains a political group and not a terrorist actor in the eyes of Europe. Reuters reports:

Britain’s request was discussed for a second time by a special European Union group following an inconclusive meeting on June 4, but British diplomats failed to win over a number of skeptical governments. […]

Britain has argued that the militant Shi’ite Muslim group should face European sanctions because of evidence that it was behind a bus bombing in Bulgaria last July that killed five Israelis and their driver. Hezbollah denies any involvement. […]

Blacklisting the group would mark a major policy shift for the European Union, which has resisted pressure from Israel and Washington to do so for years.

Hezbollah has tried its level best to convince the world that it’s a bona fide terrorist organization, bombing the US embassy in Beirut (1983), killing 241 US Marines (1983), hijacking an international flight (1985), bombing the Buenos Aires Jewish community Center (1994), assassinating the Lebanese Prime Minister (2005), attempting attacks on Egyptian and Israeli targets (2009), blowing up an Israeli tourist bust on European soil (2012), and seeking worldwide surveillance of Jews (2013), all while operating an international drug cartel.

But the masters of subtle distinction in some European capitals know a proper terrorist group when they see one, and Hezbollah doesn’t make the cut.

Some EU countries seem dead set against rocking the boat, but the larger Hezbollah’s international presence becomes, the harder it is to keep the barque steady. If Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah is right that the European blacklist would “destroy Hezbollah. The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral political and material support will be destroyed,” then Europe will have a lot to answer for when all is said and done.

[Hezbollah flag image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

Published on June 21, 2013 11:30 am
  • Matthew Brotchie

    It sure would be great if WRM and his two contributors would apply the same level of scrutiny towards a certain other ally of ours and our fellow country men who are all to happy to accommodate them (I’m not referring to Israel)

    http://www.asecondlookatthesaudis.com/

    • Corlyss

      Agreed. My mother’s solution back in the 70s oil crisis was to nuke the sandbox and contaminate the oil to such a degree that it would be unusable. The bonus was obliterating the people who refer to Americans as their private “blue-eyed slaves” even as they cringe behind our military might when their neighbors get stroppy.

      “I summon my blue-eyed slaves anytime it pleases me. I command the Americans to send me their bravest soldiers to die for me. Anytime I clap my hands a stupid genie called the American ambassador appears to do my bidding. When the Americans die in my service their bodies are frozen in metal boxes by the US Embassy and American airplanes carry them away, as if they never existed. Truly, America is my favorite slave.” Saudi King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz, Jeddeh 1993

      • Matthew Brotchie

        Is that an actual quote?

        • Corlyss

          Yes.

  • Corlyss

    All becomes clear. As long as Hez. doesn’t bomb an EU country, as long as they kill only Israelis and Americans, they have an excellent shot at maintaining the fiction that they are a social welfare organization.

    “but … the vote needs to be unanimous”
    What a great system for ensuring that nothing gets done! The EU will never be the force its founders imagined while unanimity in foreign policy is required. How did those fantasists ever think such a system would amount to anything but a perpetual disappointment?