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.”