The Jerusalem Post revealed that Ireland heads the European opposition in sanctioning Hezbollah (“Israel officials: Ireland leads EU opposition to blacklisting Hezbollah” 6 June). Finland and Sweden, according to the report, support the Irish position.Not only does Ireland refrain from calling Hezbollah a terrorist organization, in parallel it is a leading hub of the Israel boycott, demonization, and delegitimization campaign. Troubling!
What a strange perverted world we live in. At a time when Bahrain calls Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and a Jordanian leader calls for jihad against them, it is cultured Europe that refuses to define Hezbollah as synonymous with terror. Even after Hezbollah has been caught red-handed conducting terror crimes within Europe, some European politicians come out in sympathy and support for the Lebanese Shiite terrorists. Laurent Louis, a member of the Belgian parliament, held a Hezbollah flag and stood on an Israeli flag to demonstrate to the media his position on the matter. Again, troubling!From an Israeli perspective, this dual political attitude is deeply troubling. Ireland, like other European countries, hits on Israel while giving Hezbollah a free pass, even as Hezbollah mount terror attacks on European soil and is currently murdering Syrians in their civil war.
So, in our topsy-turvy world, the Arabs recognize Hezbollah as murdering terrorists while Europe’s attitude is somewhere between benign and wholesome support.Some European diplomats tend to soften their approach by splitting terror groups into two sections. The naivety that divides Islamists into two camps, the political Islamists and the extremist violent Islamists, is wholly nonsensical. This is political schizophrenia.
Europe take note! There is no such thing as a good Hezbollah and a bad Hezbollah. They are both bad. Same goes for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, etc.The absurdity of the notion was plain for all to see in Afghanistan. The plan for Afghanistan was to divide the Taliban into moderates willing to engage in a democratic political process, and the extremists who would be defeated and isolated. America has lost over 3000 of its soldiers trying to divide the Taliban and destroy the ‘terrorist’ part of the Taliban body. Now that it is withdrawing from Afghanistan does anyone, any of the diplomatic experts, really believe that the Taliban will not, again, morph into one body sharing a united political/religious/military (read ‘terror’) agenda.
An essential ingredient of any terror regime is to win the hearts and minds of its people without which it cannot function in its militant form. It needs their moral and physical support. It needs them for logistics including weapons storage, intelligence, nourishment, and shelter. Many of the local population in which they operate are family and close friends. They often share a tribal, ethnic, and religious base. The local population supports their terror brethren. They share the same political and religious goals.We were witness to this with the bloody awful murder of two Israelis, Yossi Avahami and Vadim Nurzhitz, in the most gruesome mass lynching in Ramallah on 12 October, 2000. It was not a terror organization that killed these two trapped victims. It was the people, the mob, the ones nurtured by “the political and charity wings” of Palestinian society, incited by the PLO terror regime of Yasser Arafat, courted, fed, and funded by altruistic Western governments, especially those in Europe sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, that butchered these two Israelis.
Funding, therefore, that naively goes to improve the lives of the population via the ‘non-military’ wing of a terror organization plays into the hands of a leadership united in a violent cause that is practiced both politically, religiously, and militarily, by its people.This is not ‘the Arab Spring’ where a people rise up against their non-democratic and brutal dictator. This is a people and a cause using every means to achieve their goal, and that includes the use of terror, through a leadership that nourishes them, educates them, and inspires them, paid for by misguided Western governments.
The doctrine, used by America in Afghanistan with the Taliban and by the EU with Hezbollah in Lebanon, that appeases one part of a violent, non-democratic, body in the vain hope that it will result in a Scandinavian-type peaceful democratic society, has patently proven to be a false dawn.There are those who have advocated contacts with the non-military (read ‘non-terror’) wing of Hamas. There is no such division. All members of Hamas share the belief enshrined in their Charter which states that Muslims should kill Jews until they hide between the trees and the rocks who will cry out “Oh Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!”
This is the call of all Hamas members, whether military, political, or social, to kill or maim, provide the indoctrination, store the rockets, or provide shelter and sustenance to the terrorists. They do not differentiate. Why should the European Union?Hezbollah is no different. Their chief may not carry a weapon. He may pose as a religious leader, but he has said that it’s good for all the Jews to gather in Israel because he doesn’t then have to go hunting for them throughout the world – in Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Argentina, for example. Yet the European Union continues to debate and ponder if there are two parts to Hezbollah, one benign, the other lethal, even as that terror organization plots and spills blood on its soil. Were there two parts of Hezbollah when they assassinated the Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, with an enormous car bomb in Beirut that brought them to power? Yet European governments allow Hezbollah to fundraise in their countries.
When you have organizations and regimes whose soul is “Allah is our objective, the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations,” you cannot divide up the body in the expectation that you will end up with a splinter group to talk to. This type of entity has to be defeated in its entirety.Could anyone have made the case of finding the political wing of Hitler’s Nazi Party acceptable and condemning only the Nazi “military wing”? Didn’t this explode in the face of Neville Chamberlain? This is proven absurdity. So why should this logic apply to a terrorist organization?
The West has to wake up and smell the Middle East coffee. It is not the mild, fruity, taste of a Starbucks mix. It has a far more pungent aroma.With a rampant Islamist shift across the region, it is plain that the extremist and violent political/religious firebrands will carry the people with them. It doesn’t matter whether it is out of fear or out of fondness, they are all part of the whirlwind that endangers those who do not share their agenda. When they strike on your soil, or on your street, the position you take will decide your future fate. Subjugate yourself to them, and you will be killed by them, or taken prisoner to their cause. There is no moderation in the seriousness of their mission.
Europe! There is no such thing as a benign sect of Hezbollah, or Hamas, or Islamic Jihad, or the Salafists, or Al Qaida. Their mission and their aim are plain for all to see. It’s just a question of who really wants to face the truth, and who has cynical motives, or a naïve misreading of the Middle East terrorist map.Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative.’ www.israelnarrative.com
He is also the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.