Gabi Kobrin: Dr. Matthew Levitt’s Visit To The UK

JLC Public Affairs manager Gabi Kobrin reports on Dr. Matthew Levitt’s recent visit to the UK.

In July 2013, the European Union took a significant step towards combatting international terrorism by proscribing Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organisation. Led by the UK, supported by a strong, vocal British Jewish activism, and following a joint JLC and CST delegation to the Deputy Secretary General for the EU’s External Service Helga Schmid, this development significantly curtails the Lebanese terrorist organisation’s operations across Europe, and is a victory in the ongoing battle against terror worldwide.

Building on this success, and in an effort to raise further awareness to the danger Hezbollah poses, the JLC, the CST and Conservative Friends of Israel, brought foremost Hezbollah expert Dr. Matthew Levitt to the UK to discuss the implications of the proscription, and to promote his new book, Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God.

Dr. Levitt, who is the Director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former US Treasury Department official and FBI counterterrorism analyst, held a series of public speaking engagements on Hezbollah. He conducted high-level meetings with various government officials, MPs and journalists, and debated Jack Straw on the BBC Daily Politics Show. Dr. Levitt underscored Hezbollah’s continuous involvement in terrorism against Jews, Israel, European and American targets, its involvement in the ongoing Syrian civil war, its criminal involvement in illicit narcotics, its strong ties to the Iranian regime and its reaction to the EU proscription by claiming itself that there was no differentiation between its political and military wings.

He argued that, building on our recent success, the UK and EU should follow the United States, the Netherlands, Canada and Israel in proscribing Hezbollah in its entirety, to adequately reflect it’s active and unashamed terror activity.

We are confident that this trip raised awareness of the need to clamp down on the so-called ‘political’ wing of Hezbollah in the near future.