Nicholas Kulish of the New York Times reported this morning in his article, “Despite Alarm by U.S., Europe Lets Hezbollah Operate Openly,” that European nations are allowing Hezbollah to operate freely inside the European Union. While this is not surprising given Europe’s overall lax attitude toward Islamic groups, they are setting themselves up for catastrophic consequences in the future if they refuse to adopt a realistic view of the organization and its goals.
Ideologically, Hezbollah is in line with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in listing the destruction of Israel as their primary objective. Largely funded through Iran which donates hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the group, they have an extended record of terrorism and suicide bombings going back to their founding in the early 1980’s. Most notably, the bombing of the IDF headquarters in Tyre and the bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Since then they have had continued involvement in the kidnapping of civilians and hijacking of commercial aircraft in the Middle East and around the world.
It should be clear from the evidence that Hezbollah is a dangerous terrorist organization that needs to be designated as such. But they are only listed as a terrorist organization in the US, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, Israel and Netherlands. The UK and Australia only assign the “military wing” of the organization a terrorist group. Here is the stark difference between the US and some of our European allies.
The EU naively believes there is a clear distinction between the “military wing” of Hezbollah and the political or social side of the group. Just like Hamas, Hezbollah gains credibility by sending western money back to Lebanon for schools and hospitals while also using it to obscure their terrorist activities. The tactic is as old as crime itself and should not be fooling anyone – especially governments concerned for the safety of their citizens. The 2005 London bus bombings were supposed to be a wakeup call for Europe that radical Islam is operating inside their borders, but it appears this is now ancient history.
Regrettably, it is going to take another terrorist attack in Europe for them to realize that Hezbollah and its radical Islamic shell organizations are already operating inside the EU. They need to act now to infiltrate and disband Hezbollah and other domestic groups in Europe that conduct and fund terrorism. Whatever political or social activities they are engaged in are only a front for their terrorist agenda. If Israel or the US are forced to take action against Iranian nuclear facilities it is almost guaranteed that bombings will occur in European cities as retaliation – and it will already be too late.