In response to the European Union’s banning of Hizballah’s military wing on 22nd July 2013, the Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust stated the following;
Both organisations have been centrally involved in lobbying UK and European leaders on this issue. Evidence over the last year has made it impossible to doubt that Hizballah is a terror organisation which targets innocent civilians and in particular Jewish people. The most recent example was the fatal attack last year on tourists in Bulgaria, which Bulgarian officials have confirmed was carried out by Hizballah.
This move is a positive step. By failing to proscribe Hizballah, the EU would have been allowing those who pursue violence and destruction the opportunity to gain strength and power, causing further instability in the region and beyond.
For those who oppose Iranian-backed terrorism, this is an important step in the right direction.
It is noteworthy that the UK Government played a central role in promoting this move within the EU and took the lead at various key stages in the process.
JLC Chief Executive Jeremy Newmark commented:
The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary must be congratulated for taking an active stance against Hizballah and leading the EU in pressing ahead to deliver this long-overdue designation as part of the fight against terror. The next step is to ensure that attention turns to clamping down on the so-called ‘political’ wing of Hizballah. No serious experts accept that there is any real differentiation between the two parts of Hizballah. In the meantime this designation will strike a serious blow at Hizballah’s capacity to fund its terrorist activities.
CST Spokesperson Mark Gardner commented:
CST thanks the British Government for taking the lead at the EU on this vital issue. Hizballah is a terrorist group that targets Jews and other European citizens. The banning follows intensive campaigning by the JLC, CST and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, backed by solid evidence documenting the terrorism of Hizballah and Iran. CST reiterates that Hizballah is a single, indivisible entity and that EU proscription should be extended to cover all of its activities, but this banning is a crucial first step in the right direction.
Our briefing document on Hizballah can be found here.