Churchill and Hezballah

Winston Churchill“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.” These were the words of Churchill to the House of Commons, in 1936, following Germany’s occupation of the Rhineland. Churchill was trying to get a British pledge of support to the French, in case those would decide to retaliate against the German military move. The British expression of solidarity was to convince the Germans to retreat, but it was not adopted and the conflict developed into a nightmare.
In the last days, after numerous international pressures, the EU decided to define the military branch of the radical Shi’i organization Hezballah, not its other sections, as a terrorist group; this shy approach raises three worrying remarks.
First, by ignoring the single leadership of Hezballah, Brussels’ naivety is tragi-comical; the EU Foreign Policy experts manage a yearly budget of 5-10 billion euros. With these resources, they should be acquainted with the Hezballah leaders’ public statements, and able to identify the non-separation between the military and the socio-political branches of the movement, openly published by Hezballah on Internet. What a financial waste of resources!
The second concern is even more crucial. By refusing to condemn the whole structure of the group, including its political and poisonous political section, Europe demonstrates a frightened capitulation towards Hezballah, a policy as the Appeasement of the 1930’s. By failing to consider the organization as a single entity, the EU offers a concession to Hezballah, thus opens the path to a troubled future in relation to the demographic stability of Lebanon and Syria, especially in connection with the safety of their Christian populations. A victory of Hezballah, a jihadist movement, in Syria or Lebanon, will send millions of Christians abroad, unless they choose to become “dhimmis”.
Last, the reasons for this European connivance with Hezballah are suspicious. Who in Brussels could be interested in pulling the strings of chaos in a region strategically crucial to the old Continent, by reinforcing Islamic fundamentalism? Obviously, by supporting Hezballah, once creates a strategic instability, plants the seeds for a potential civil war in Lebanon, installs a security crisis at the Northern Israeli border, and sets up a general mess in the whole area. Is someone trying to arrange and legitimate the creation of a European military integration, leading to the formation of a European army? Is someone preparing a modern crusade in Lebanon, with or without NATO? Or are economic and financial incentives motivating the Hezballah advocates, may they be individuals or companies?
The EU decision to partially recognize Hezballah as a terror organization is giving a false feeling that the job is done by ignoring the unique command structure of the organization. It is like condemning the Sturmabteilung, while allowing the Nazi party to function. This half-work is cheating the European tax payers by pretending conducting a professional Foreign Policy in the interests of Europe, and prompts suspicions of non-transparent analysis; dramatically, it is sacrificing the Christian populations in the Middle-east; it is sadly reminding Churchill’s warnings of 1936.

About the Author
Dan (Jerome) Vitenberg is an international political analyst. He has taught Political Science and International relations for the LSE via the University of London's International Programs at DEI College, Greece. He holds a BA in Political science and International relations from the Hebrew University and a MA in Political science (International political communication) from Tel-Aviv University. Through years of experience in International Business, he developed a multicultural expertise in Asia, Africa, Europe and Middle-East.