“Last week the EU rejected Israel’s request to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organisation. The recent attack in Bulgaria, in which five Israeli tourists were killed and 30 others wounded, and the concern that Syria may provide Hezbollah with chemical weapons, added urgency to Israel’s request. Nonetheless, Europe, which is vulnerable to terrorism on its own soil, refused the request, in part on the grounds that Hezbollah is also a political party.
Hezbollah does indeed play on both fields: it is a terrorist organisation operated by Iran and a Lebanese political party. But the EU’s stance, whereby political activity is regarded as sound defence against being declared a terrorist organisation provides legitimacy to terrorism, encourages violence, and fatally harms moderates.
Europe, the cradle of democracy, should have stated unequivocally: one cannot be involved in terrorism and enjoy the legitimacy of a political party. On the contrary, repudiating violence is a precondition for participating in elections and for earning democratic legitimacy. Europe learnt in the 1930s (and the Jewish people in particular paid for this with their lives) that it is necessary to guard against those who use the democratic process to build up power while also pursuing violence and destruction.”