The European Union has begun implementing its unanimous decision, made earlier this week, to blacklist Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terror organization. The E.U.’s Official Journal – a record of the bloc’s decisions and how they are implemented – added the “Hezbollah Military Wing” to its list of individuals and groups affiliated with terrorist activity. Hezbollah officials are not reacting to the news graciously, and are threatening to lash out against European interests.
Meanwhile analysis turned to the usefulness and sustainability of the distinction that the E.U. had made between Hezbollah’s “military” and “political” wings. Hezbollah officials have consistently declared that no distinction exists, and the point was reiterated Thursday by Hezbollah international relations official Ammar Moussawi:
Hezbollah international relations official Ammar Moussawi admitted on Thursday that Hezbollah’s political and military wings are one and the same and slammed the European Union’s decision to blacklist his party, describing it as an insult to Lebanon, its people and the resistance. Following his talks with EU Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst he said: “Everyone knows that Hezbollah’s political and military wings are one and the same”.
Washington Institute scholars Matthew Levitt and Jonathan Prohov yesterday echoed Hezbollah’s analysis of Hezbollah:
But by listing only Hezbollah’s military wing, E.U. member states made a political distinction of convenience. Speaking in October 2012, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem was crystal clear on the subject: “We don’t have a military wing and a political one; we don’t have Hezbollah on one hand and the resistance party on the other…Every element of Hezbollah, from commanders to members as well as our various capabilities, are in the service of the resistance, and we have nothing but the resistance as a priority.”
Meanwhile new details emerged late this week regarding Hezbollah’s terror activities in Europe. A Canadian outlet reported that Hezbollah wired almost $100,000 to the two men that Bulgaria yesterday identified as suspects in the July 2012 Burgas, Bulgaria bus bombing that killed six.
[Photo: Anton Nossik / Flickr]