Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman said on Monday, June 10, that Israel should stop allowing the European Union to meddle in its diplomatic affairs. He called an EU decision not to add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist organizations “hypocrisy incarnate,” which would “make the EU irrelevant, as far as we’re concerned, when it comes to dealing with the region,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
Liberman was irate at what seemed to be indications that the EU planned, yet again, to refrain from placing the Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah on the EU’s official list of terrorist organizations.
In a letter Liberman sent to Lady Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Liberman recounted many terrorist acts committed by Hezbollah, including the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and its support for the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The current exclusion of an organization, which incites to and is actively involved in murder and hatred, on the list of terrorist organizations is hypocrisy which cries out to the heavens. It begs the question as to what other requirements, beyond the facts that are well known, are necessary for Hezbollah’s inclusion,” Liberman’s letter reads.
Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. Last week Casey reiterated his call to the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Casey pointed out that Hezbollah is closely allied with Iran and urged the EU to join the U.S. in cutting Hezbollah off from international financial and support networks.
In February, Thomas E. Donilon, who was at the time President Obama’s director of the National Security Administration, penned an op-ed in the New York Times making clear this U.S. administration is not taken in by Hezbollah’s charade of being merely a political entity.
Over the last decade, Hezbollah has worked assiduously to obscure its terrorist pedigree and convince the world that it is interested only in politics, providing social welfare services, and defending Lebanon. But it is an illusion to speak of Hezbollah as a responsible political actor. Hezbollah remains a terrorist organization and a destabilizing force across the Middle East.
In a press conference after the Knesset committee meeting on Monday, Liberman asked questions many Israel supporters frequently ask, but few politicians do: “How does Europe contribute to Israeli security? I keep saying we need to cut them off. There are problems in Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea. Why focus on the Palestinians? They need to broaden their diplomatic horizons,” Liberman said.
Liberman stated that the EU made the decision not to place Hezbollah on the terrorism list at a meeting on June 4. According to the Jerusalem Post report, however, EU representatives said that the June 4 meeting was only a preliminary one, and that the matter would be discussed again at another meeting next month.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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