The European Union’s Absurd Insistence That Hizballah Is Not a Terrorist Group

July 20, 2020 | Lukas Mandl and Daniel Schwammenthal
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Seven years ago, the EU took the much-belated step of recognizing that Hizballah routinely engages in terrorism. But, relying on a fictive distinction, Brussels designated the Lebanon-based Iranian proxy’s “military wing” a terrorist group, while refusing to apply the same designation to its “political wing.” Lukas Mandl and Daniel Schwammenthal write:

This fiction has allowed the Shiite terror group to continue operating in Europe in support of its so-called “political” arm. But an EU that [claims] to stand for democracy, human rights. and the [so-called] “rules-based international order” ought not at the same time be a safe haven for terrorists or their supporters. What’s more, the EU’s commitments to Israel’s security and to combating anti-Semitism are incompatible with a policy that allows a deeply anti-Semitic organization dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state to use Europe as an operational hub.

Unfortunately, a flawed analysis rejecting the total listing of Hezbollah has become conventional wisdom in some European foreign-policy circles. The standard arguments raised by these skeptics usually come dressed as hard-nosed Realpolitik, but increasingly reflect a fantasy world. One such argument is that banning Hizballah would supposedly “destabilize” Lebanon, suggesting that Iran’s main proxy somehow contributes to Lebanon’s stability. The Lebanese people protesting governmental corruption, who call out Hizballah as being at the center of this graft that has brought the country to the brink of financial ruin, beg to differ.

Among Hizballah’s various malicious behaviors, some should be especially troubling to the EU, which likes to fancy itself the great upholder of international law:

[I]n violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, Hizballah has rearmed since its 2006 war with Israel and remains a state within a state with its own militia. . . . It commits the dual war crime of using its own civilian population as human shields to hide some 150,000 missiles, while also threatening Israeli civilians. To argue, therefore, that weakening such a destructive force could be “destabilizing” is to ignore all empirical evidence.

The only chance for economic recovery and political stability in Lebanon is the removal of the Hizballah stranglehold on the country. Rather than destabilizing Lebanon, a total EU ban of Hizballah would help strengthen the democratic forces in the country.

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