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

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.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Euronews

More about: European Union, Hizballah, Terrorism

 

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf