Britain, and the EU, Must End the Appeasement of Hizballah

Jan. 25 2018

Today the British parliament debates a motion to do away with the fictitious distinction, also embraced by the EU, between Hizballah’s “military wing” and its “political wing” and a concomitant law that, while sanctioning the former, allows the latter to operate freely. Although he is not hopeful, Richard Kemp urges both London and Brussels to change course and outlaw Hizballah outright:

Hizballah, a creation of Iran, emerged onto the world stage in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers in the most devastating terrorist attack before 9/11. Since then it has attacked in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East and planned strikes from Cyprus to Singapore. Last summer, U.S. authorities charged two Hizballah terrorists with planning attacks in New York and Panama. Hizballah is fighting to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria and maintains an arsenal of 100,000 rockets in Lebanon, pointed at Israel.

During the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hizballah was involved in Iranian-directed bombings that killed well over 1,000 British and U.S. servicemen. Despite this, in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, Hizballah can freely raise funds for terrorism. Its supporters flaunt their assault-rifle emblazoned flags on [British] streets. They maintain sleeper cells in [the UK]: planning, preparing, and lying in wait for orders to attack.

When I worked for [Britain’s] Joint Intelligence Committee I monitored Hizballah’s activities. I knew there was no division into peaceful and warlike elements. . . . In 2009, its deputy secretary-general confirmed that it was one unified organization. British intelligence knows this, and so do the prime minister and home secretary. So why maintain this dangerous fiction? The Foreign Office deludes itself that by appeasing Hizballah it can influence the organization and that it will do its killing elsewhere. Instead this gives legitimacy to Hizballah. . . .

What would EU-wide proscription do to Hizballah? We know the answer from the words of its secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah: “The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political, and material support will be destroyed.”

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Read more at Colonel Richard Kemp

More about: European Union, Hizballah, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, United Kingdom

Yasir Arafat’s Decades-Long Alliance with Iran and Its Consequences for Both Palestinians and Iranians

Jan. 18 2019

In 2002—at the height of the second intifada—the Israeli navy intercepted the Karina A, a Lebanese vessel carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But Yasir Arafat’s relationship with the Islamic Republic goes much farther back, to before its founding in 1979. The terrorist leader had forged ties with followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that grew especially strong in the years when Lebanon became a base of operations both for Iranian opponents of the shah and for the PLO itself. Tony Badran writes:

The relationship between the Iranian revolutionary factions and the Palestinians began in the late 1960s, in parallel with Arafat’s own rise in preeminence within the PLO. . . . [D]uring the 1970s, Lebanon became the site where the major part of the Iranian revolutionaries’ encounter with the Palestinians played out. . . .

The number of guerrillas that trained in Lebanon with the Palestinians was not particularly large. But the Iranian cadres in Lebanon learned useful skills and procured weapons and equipment, which they smuggled back into Iran. . . . The PLO established close working ties with the Khomeinist faction. . . . [W]orking [especially] closely with the PLO [was] Mohammad Montazeri, son of the senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and a militant who had a leading role in developing the idea of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) once the revolution was won.

The Lebanese terrorist and PLO operative Anis Naccache, who coordinated with [the] Iranian revolutionaries, . . . takes personal credit for the idea. Naccache claims that Jalaleddin Farsi, [a leading Iranian revolutionary]. approached him specifically and asked him directly to draft the plan to form the main pillar of the Khomeinist regime. The formation of the IRGC may well be the greatest single contribution that the PLO made to the Iranian revolution. . . .

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas. By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned [two] Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.

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More about: Hamas, History & Ideas, Iran, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat