WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — American Jewish Committee (AJC) welcomes the introduction today of a resolution in the U.S. Senate urging the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terror organization. The bipartisan resolution was introduced by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
AJC lauded the introduction in July of a similar resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 2013, the EU – encouraged especially by Bulgaria, which experienced a Hezbollah attack in 2012, and Cyprus, which foiled an attack being planned by Hezbollah operatives, also in 2012 – designated only the so-called “military wing” of the Iranian-sponsored terror group.
AJC has long advocated for governments to label the Lebanon-based Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and for applying sanctions against it. Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Lithuania, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States, as well as Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab League have all designated Hezbollah in its entirety as a terror organization.
“We encourage swift passage of this important bipartisan resolution in the House and Senate. It is past time for the EU to do the right thing and correct the fiction of a bifurcated Hezbollah it endorsed nearly a decade ago,” said AJC CEO David Harris.
“Mistakenly believing it can tame Hezbollah’s behavior, a proposition unsupported by evidence, the EU has created ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings within Hezbollah, when, in reality, it is a single, unified terrorist entity,” Harris added.
In addition to terrorist activities, Hezbollah continues to engage in illicit narco- and weapons-trafficking, money laundering, stockpiling of explosives, and surveillance in European cities. Full designation by the EU would further delegitimize Hezbollah and hamper its ability to fundraise, recruit, and mobilize.
Designating Hezbollah in its entirety would empower European governments to take stronger steps to prevent the group from organizing and fundraising within EU borders. It would lead to the issuance of arrest warrants against members and active supporters of Hezbollah, the freezing of its assets in Europe, and a prohibition of fundraising activities on its behalf.
The House resolution was introduced by Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), along with Representatives French Hill (R-AR), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Joe Wilson (R-SC).
This congressional effort follows similar resolutions over the course of the last decade, strongly supported by AJC, that urged full designation of Hezbollah as a terror organization.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee