President Shimon Peres and the Israeli lawfare group Shurat HaDin have launched two separate but simultaneous campaigns to pressure the European Union to agree Hizbullah equals terror.
President Peres is to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week and will urge it to place the Iranian-backed Hizbullah Shi’ite Muslim group on the list of terror organizations, as the United States has done.
A major obstacle to the classification is the failure of all 27 EU countries to agree.
“The President will tell the EU leaders that every country needs to treat Hezbollah as a terror organization,” a spokesperson to the President told the European Jewish Press (EJP).
“The President’s EU meetings “will take place in the context of the inquiry into the terror attack in Bulgaria which found that Hizbullah was responsible for the bombing and the subsequent discussions within Europe on the consequences.”
His speech to the European Parliament will be the first by an Israeli leader in the legislature’s current format, which includes 754 members from the 27 EU member states.
Shurat HaDin, known in English as the Israel Law Center, is headed by attorney Nitsana Darshn-Leitner. She has staged a quiet revolution in fighting terrorism by winning lawsuits against Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as well as banks that handle money of terrorist groups. Shurat HaDin has won judgments running into the billions.
It also was instrumental in convincing companies they could be subject to criminal charges if they did not stop equipping Iranian oil tankers and terrorists’ Gaza-bound ships with communications equipment.
Darshn-Leitner now has written to the un to demand that it designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization.
“In our letter to the EU officials, we accused the EU of cowardice and hiding its head in the sand in the face of overwhelming proof of the Islamic extremist groups’ long term involvement in global terrorism,” she said.
“We accused the EU of ignoring Hizbullah’s assassination of Lebanese President Rafiq Hariri, for which several of its officials were indicted by The Hague, and Hizbullah’s on-going role in perpetrating crimes against humanity in the Syrian civil war.”
Despite pressure from the United States and Israel, the EU has claimed that it will not outlaw the group until there is “tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism,” she said.
Shurat HaDin this week issued a partial list of dozens of attacks that have killed more than 400 people, not including targeted civilians in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Bulgaria recently announced that Hizbullah was behind the July 2012 terrorist attack that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver.
Following is the partial list that is more than enough of the “tangible evidence” the EU is looking for.
- The 1982 and 1983 suicide bombings against the IDF headquarters building in Tyre, Lebanon, which killed 103 Israelis and 46–59 Lebanese, wounding 95 people.
- The April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing Lebanon, that killed 241 US marines, 58 French paratroopers and 6 civilians at the US and French barracks in Beirut.
- The Hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985.
- The kidnapping and murder of numerous individuals during the Lebanon Hostage Crisis from 1982 to 1992, including the kidnapping and torture-murder of CIA Beirut station Chief William Buckley.
- The 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires, killing 29, in Argentina.
- The 1994 AMIA bombing of a Jewish cultural centre, killing 85, in Argentina.
- The 1996 KhobarTowers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 20.
- The 2000 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldiers Adi Avitan, Benyamin Avraham, and Omar Sawaidwere.
- In 2002, Singapore accused Hezbollah of recruiting Singaporeans in a failed 1990s plot to attack US and Israeli ships in the Singapore Straits.
- The 2006 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, which precipitated the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War.
- Intentionally targeting Israeli civilians and cities with rocket fire during the Second Lebanon War.
- The January 15, 2008 bombing of a U.S. Embassy vehicle in Beirut.
- In 2009, a Hezbollah plot in Egypt was uncovered, where Egyptian authorities arrested 49 men for planning attacks against Israeli and Egyptian targets in the Sinai Peninsula.
- A failed 2011 bombing in Istanbul targeting the Israeli consul, which left eight dead.
- Bombings targeting Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia, and Thailand in 2012.
- The Bulgaria attack last July.
Darshn-Leitner noted that Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah has stated that blacklisting his organization as a terrorist group “would dry up the sources of finance, end moral, political and material support, stifle voices, whether they are the voices of the resistance or the voices which support the resistance, pressure states which protect the resistance in one way and another, and pressure the Lebanese state, Iran and Iraq, but especially the Lebanese state, in order to classify it as a state which supports terrorism.”
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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