Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler
Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Wednesday, November 14.
1) Will Hezbollah pay the price?
News stories about Hamas frequently include the disclaimer, "Hamas is
considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel."
It's as if Hamas by its own behavior - targeting civilians - isn't the
definition of a terrorist organization. However soon, Hezbollah may no
longer get a similar benefit of the doubt.
Last week Douglas Murray asked Where would Hezbollah be without the EU?
It will be amazing to many Americans – and indeed to many Europeans –
that the group remains able to operate, recruit and raise funds within
the EU. In America, which like France, felt the full brunt of Hezbollah
activities in Beirut in 1983, the organization has long been banned in
any and all of its guises. This last August Washington, which already
sanctions and classifies Hezbollah as a foreign "terrorist
organization," additionally put the group on a list of organizations
under sanctions for involvement in the slaughter being carried out in
Syria by Bashar al-Assad's regime. As Brennan added, in addition to its
involvement with terrorist activities carried out by Iran, Hezbollah "is
training militants in Yemen and Syria." Even that does not do justice
to the scope, range and history of Hezbollah's ambitions.
(This would be a significant turnaround for Brennan.)
However it appears that the EU may be considering a change. Benjamin Weinthal reports:
In the EU however, the group is able to fundraise unhindered. This
appalling fact has come about because of an entirely false distinction
which the EU continues to observe. It is a distinction entirely of its
For the EU claims that there is a difference between the "political"'
and the "military" wings of Hezbollah. Therefore as long as the
"political" side of their activities is being pursued the EU considers
it legitimate activity. Of course there is a striking fact here: nobody
outside the EU believes there is any such internal distinction within
Hezbollah. The American government does not see it; the Canadian
government does not see it. The governments of Iran and Syria do not see
it. The people of Lebanon do not see it. And of course Hezbollah itself
certainly does not see it.
In deciding whether to list Hezbollah as a terrorist group, the EU
will consider as a key factor the outcome of the Bulgarian inquiry into
the July suicide bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a
Bulgarian bus driver, French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot told
The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Why isn't this bigger news?
“Our British friends would like to put Hezbollah’s military wing on the
terror list,” said Bigot, adding that the “main element is what is the
outcome of the inquiry in Bulgaria,” he said in a telephone interview
with the Post.
He added that Bulgaria has not yet reported the results of the investigation and the EU has had to wait for the process to end.
2) Ridge on Israel
Former Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor of Pennsylvania was recently in Israel for a conference. He made the following observations about Israel:
As far as Ridge is concerned, the best ally for the US to work with
on security matters is Israel. Ridge, in Israel to attend the
conference, was heading a 15-company mission organized by the US Chamber
of Commerce. Ridge is the chairman of the organization’s National
Security Task Force, and he sees increasing cooperation with Israel as a
good idea for both countries.
More of his remarks are here.
“Both politically and economically, Israel is one of our most
significant allies globally and our most important ally in the Middle
East,” Ridge said in a statement before the event. “Ensuring an
environment of shared information and integrated technologies that have
defense and security capabilities is crucial to the economic cohesion
between the United States and Israel and between companies that operate
in both countries.”
Ridge reiterated his thoughts during the event. “I met with Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year and he suggested increasing
cooperation between the US and Israel in the area of homeland security,”
which turned out to be an excellent idea, he said, because of the many
innovative technologies Israel has developed for homeland security —
many of which were on display at the conference.
Labels: Department of Homeland Security, designated terror organization, European Union, Hezbullah, Middle East Media Sampler, Soccer Dad