06 October 2012

Why won't the EU declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation?

Why do the bulk of the European Union countries (including my own, the UK) insist on an artificial distinction between Hezbollah the armed wing and Hezbollah the political party, when Hezbollah itself makes no such distinction?

I don't know the answer and nor does the writer of this article, although he has some interesting speculation as to why this is the case. My own take is that it's probably some mistaken sense of 'fair play' (terribly British, don't you know), however stupid that might be. However, on the day that the UK finally managed to send Abu Hamza and four of his undesirable comrades on their to the US for trial, I do feel that at last some justice has been done, and that is a blow for human rights: those of everyone who disagrees with Abu Hamza and his ilk.

Interesting guy, the writer of this article on the Henry Jackson Society website. He is Raheem Kassam, and his brief biography, includes the following follows: "A counter-extremism campaigner and expert in British and American politics, Kassam is also the director of Student Rights, which monitors extremism on UK campuses...", as well as much more good stuff.

"It comes as a surprise to many when I mention that, while Canada, America and the Netherlands have all proscribed Hizbollah as a terrorist organisation in its entirety, the UK and European Union still acknowledge a distinction between Hizbollah’s “political” and “military” wings. This is not a delineation that Hizbollah itself makes, but one that the EU and UK give it of their own accord."

"Banning Hizbollah proper across Europe is no symbolic gesture, either. Hasan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of the group, has himself acknowledged that it would be an effective death knell if the EU were to adopt a stricter outlook." So why doesn't it? I wish I knew.

Read the article in question here. And very good it is too.

By Brian Goldfarb.