It’s Past Time for Europe to Take Action against Hizballah

Oct. 26 2021

Clinging to an artificial distinction rejected by the U.S., the UK, and several of its own member states, the European Union considers Hizballah’s “military wing” a terrorist group, but not its “political wing.” Not only is the Iran-backed organization responsible for countless acts of terror, it also has slaughtered civilians in Syria, helped to bring about Lebanon’s current political and financial meltdown, and has tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israel. Hans-Jakob Schindler argues that Brussels should be taking a different approach:

Beyond the instability and chaos Hizballah brings to the Middle East, it also has the potential to cause untold damage much closer to home. Should Hizballah be allowed to continue to consolidate its power, Lebanon could eventually become something long coveted by Iran: a forward base on the Mediterranean from which it can even more directly threaten Europe and its allies.

The organization is already present in a number of European countries. It uses the continent as a base for operations and recruitment, with more than 1,000 active members reportedly in Germany alone. Hizballah’s bases in Europe are also a central part of its global illicit-financing network. This includes the transportation and distribution of illegal drugs, the arms trade, and a professional money-laundering operation that [also serves] other criminal organizations.

Finally, as convictions in Cyprus in 2015 demonstrated, Hizballah uses European soil to store some of its terrorist supplies. The case in Cyprus involved the illegal storage of nearly nine tons of ammonium nitrate that were to be used by Hizballah operatives for bomb attacks in the country.

Hizballah has also not given up on its deadly operations in Europe. The group has been responsible for a number of major terrorist acts in the EU since the 1980s. As recently as 2012, a Hizballah bomb in Burgas, Bulgaria killed six civilians within EU borders, [in an attack on Israeli tourists]. This tragic event was what forced Europe to recognize Hezbollah’s military wing—if not the rest of the outfit—as a terrorist organization.

Read more at Euronews

More about: European Union, Hizballah, Terrorism

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada