I was very disappointed to see the Times of Israel’s headline concerning the EU decision to add Hezbollah’s military wing to its list of terrorist organizations.
TOI editors wrote:
This is false.
The EU has emphatically not chosen to put Hezbollah on its “terror list” and by claiming otherwise the TOI is giving people around the world a false impression on a subject of deep importance to the international Jewish community.
Gavriele Fiske, writing for the Times of Israel, reported the following:
The European Union declared Monday that the military wing of Lebanese political party Hezbollah was a terrorist organization, a year after it was implicated in the fatal bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.
Putting the military wing of an organization on the EU terrorist list is not the same thing as putting the organization, itself, on the terrorist list. The EU very specifically absolved Hezbollah, in general, by only putting its military wing on the list. In this way, Hezbollah’s political wing, which controls its military wing, is still recognized as legitimate and the editors of the Times of Israel blur and flatten what their reporter wrote.
Thus the EU opposes Jewish people who dare to build housing and lives for themselves on historically Jewish land in Judea and Samaria, but does not oppose a terrorist organization that seeks quite explicitly to murder those Jews.
Consider if during World War II the Allied Powers opposed not Nazi Germany, but merely its “military wing”? Would that have made the slightest bit of sense? Of course, not. Yet this is precisely what the EU has done. They wish to recognize Hezbollah, but not what Hezbollah does.
I consider this cowardice and the worst sort-of moral parsing.
What I do not understand, however, is how it is that the editorial staff of a well-respected Israeli newspaper, such as the Times of Israel, could possibly buy into it?
They are deceiving their readers because their headline is blatantly false.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni welcomed the EU decree. “Finally, after years of discussions and deliberations, [they] have failed, and rightly so, in their attempt to claim that they are a legitimate political party,” she said.
Livni is also mistaken… not surprisingly. Hezbollah has not failed in their attempt to claim that they are a legitimate political party. That is not what the European Union has declared. What it has declared is that the political wing of the party, which controls the military wing, is just fine. They have denounced the military wing, because it does things like blow up Jewish people in buses on European soil, but it has not denounced the political wing that tells the military wing to blow up Jewish people in buses on European soil.
European cowardice is rank in this case and we should not be pretending that it is anything other than a whitewash of Hezbollah.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews welcomed the decision, which it said would “disrupt operations of Hizballah’s military wing in the European Union,” and called on the EU to blacklist the group’s political wing as well.
“We now call on EU Member States to take the next logical step and proscribe the whole organisation of Hizballah, as the division between the military and political wings is clearly artificial,” said Alex Brummer, head of the Board’s International Division.
I would not hold my breath waiting for the EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. They have not done so and they are not likely to do so going forward.
Thus, the Times of Israel headline is a falsehood.
Mike Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.