Daily Israel Report

Lieberman: EU went Halfway on Hizbullah

"As is their habit the Europeans contented themselves with going only half way, and reaching a partial and unsatisfactory decision”
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/22/2013, 3:25 PM

Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman
Israel News Photo

The Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Avigdor Lieberman (Likud – Yisrael Beytenu), reacted Monday to the European Union's decision to add Hizbullah's military wing on its list of terror organizations, but to exclude its political wing from the list.

"As is their habit,” he said, “the Europeans contented themselves with going only half way and reaching a partial and unsatisfactory decision.”

"The military and political arms of Hizbullah are two sides of the same coin,” he explained. Both arms are headed by the same person – Hassan Nasrallah. Portraying the organization as having a “moderate” wing and a “militant” wing is like saying that a cannibal can also be a vegetarian, he added.

Hizbullah needs to be defined as a terror group in its entirety, Lieberman said.

"The spirit of the decision," he continued, "can be gleaned from the fact that it followed Austria's removal of its objection to the move – not because it was convinced that Hizbullah is a terror group by the decision of the Special U.N. Tribunal on the Hariri assassination; not because of the Bulgarian security forces' conclusions regarding the murder of Israelis at Burgas, and not because a court in Cyprus determiend that Hizbullah was behind the attempt to carry out a terror attack against Israelis on the island, but because of Hizbullah's activity in Syria and the threats against the Austrian force in Syria, following which the Austrians withdrew their soldiers from the UNDOF force.”

The demands to have the EU declare Hizbullah a terror organization grew louder after the Burgas attack but the decision did not materialize until after Hizbullah became deeply involved in the Syria civil war.

The decision will make it possible to prevent fundraising for it in Europe, to withhold visas from certain individuals, to freeze its bank accounts and to take legal steps against it.