The European Union Should State the Obvious and Designate Hezbollah a Terrorist Organization, Ros-Lehtinen Says
This Designation Would Deny Hezbollah Access to Millions of Dollars in European Banks and Financial Institutions
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke today on the House floor in favor of H. Res. 834, urging the governments of Europe and the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and impose sanctions, and urging the President to provide information about Hezbollah to the European allies of the United States and to support the Government of Bulgaria in investigating the July 18, 2012, terrorist attack in Burgas. Remarks by Ros-Lehtinen:
“I rise in strong support of House Resolution 834 introduced by my good and friend and colleague from Pennsylvania, Mr. Kelly. The resolution before the House condemns the ongoing violence perpetrated by Hezbollah and urges the European Union to classify Hezbollah as a designated terrorist organization. Now, in March 2005, the House voted on a similar resolution urging the European Union to add Hezbollah as a designated foreign terrorist organization. Yet, we are here again, nearly eight years later, again calling for the EU to take this long-overdue action.
“As the purveyor of one of the most expansive extremist networks in the world, Hezbollah has engaged in nearly three decades of attacks against Americans, Europeans, and Israeli civilians—in addition to plots and attacks on nearly every continent. Among the most egregious examples of Hezbollah attacks against innocent civilians abroad were its bombings of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in March 1992 and the Jewish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires in 1994. Hezbollah has never missed an opportunity to target civilians, especially innocent Israelis—as the 2006 conflict in southern Lebanon illustrated—while using innocent Lebanese as human shields.
“Hezbollah has even turned its weapons on Syrians and against other Lebanese, as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has uncovered. And most recently, Hezbollah attacked innocent Israeli and Bulgarian civilians in Burgas, Bulgaria. Given Hezbollah’s long and grizzly record it is no surprise that many of our allies—from Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand—that have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In this respect, it defies comprehension that our allies in the European Union continue to purposely omit Hezbollah from its list of designated terrorist organizations because that is what it is.
“The logic of the European Union's decision-making on this matter is at best baffling—particularly against the backdrop of our mutual efforts to address the threats of Hezbollah’s patrons Iran and Syria. By simply designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and stating the obvious, the Europeans could deprive Hezbollah of access to millions of dollars in European banks and other financial institutions, while making an enormous contribution to regional stability, saving hundreds of lives that will otherwise be Hezbollah's future victims. Again, I strongly support this Kelly resolution and urge all of my colleagues to do so.”