Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, said on Tuesday that the European Union’s decision to blacklist Hizbullah’s “military wing” as a terrorist organization was a step in the right direction, but was not enough because the EU had failed to also blacklist its political faction.
Addressing the UN Security Council, Prosor likened the separation between Hizbullah’s “military” and “political” arms to trying to distinguish between one’s left arm and right arm.
"This is indeed a necessary step to block Hizbullah’s financing channels but it is not sufficient. Distinguishing between Hizbullah’s military wing and its political arm is an illusion, a fiction, that will not stand the test of time," he stated.
"One cannot separate one’s right arm from one’s left arm because they are both part of the same body. Hizbullah is a terrorist entity from head to toe and should be treated as such,” said Prosor.
On Monday, in a compromise to avoid labeling Hizbullah a terror organization, the EU voted to place only its military wing on the list of terrorist entities.
The council of 28 EU foreign ministers could not reach a unanimous vote on the issue, although a majority was reached.
Hizbullah was proven to be behind the terrorist attack on an Israeli tour bus at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport that left six people dead and 35 wounded at the Black Sea resort town last year.
Lebanon, however, demanded last week that the EU keep Hizbullah off its list of terrorist organizations. The group has a sizeable contingent in the Lebanese parliament as well as in its Cabinet, and in a letter to the EU, the government wrote “is an essential component of Lebanese society.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the European Union's decision to place Hizbullah's “military wing” on a blacklist, saying that Hizbullah was an agent of Iran that sought Israel's destruction.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also lauded the EU decision, saying that the union was “sending a strong message to Hizbullah that it cannot operate with impunity, and that there are consequences for its actions, including last year’s deadly attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, and for plotting a similar attack in Cyprus.”
The Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu), however, said that the EU had only gone “half way” by failing to blacklist Hizbullah’s political arm as well.