Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prosor to EU: Name Hizbullah a Terror Organization

Prosor to EU: Name Hizbullah a Terror Organization

Israel’s ambassador to the UN: Bulgaria's report on the Burgas attack proves that Hizbullah's reach goes far beyond the Middle East.

Elad Benari

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, hit out at the European Union on Tuesday for its failure to add Hizbullah to its list of terror organizations.

Speaking at a discussion of the UN Security Council, Prosor sarcastically referred to the fact that Hizbullah is defined by the EU as a charity organization and said, “Defining Hizbullah as a charitable organization is like defining Al-Qaeda as a committee for the preservation of structures, because of its efforts to flatten skyscrapers.”

The Israeli ambassador mentioned in his remarks the report by the Bulgarian government which stated unequivocally that Hizbullah was directly responsible for the bus attack in Burgas in which five Israelis were killed.

“The terrorist attack demonstrated once again that the organization's activities are not limited to the Middle East and that its fingerprints can be found on five continents - from Kenya to Argentina, Thailand, India, Europe and the United States. The thesis that Hizbullah has a military arm and a political arm which operate independently of one another - has collapsed,” he said.

Prosor noted the help given by Hizbullah and Iran to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s attacks on Syrian civilians and said, “Assad is not alone. Among his advisers are [Hizbullah chief] Nasrallah and [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad, two experts who are notorious for their oppression and harming of innocent civilians.”

The ambassador also explained that “protection of civilians”, which was the subject of the Security Council discussion at which he spoke, is also about investing in the education and future of civilians.

"For Hizbullah, investment in the next generation is expressed by storing tens of thousands of rockets inside schools, playgrounds and community centers in Lebanon," said Prosor.

Bulgaria's announcement last week that Hizbullah was being the attack in Burgas last July led to renewed calls from Washington and Israel on the 27-nation European Union to designate the group a "terrorist" organization.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the EU to follow Washington's lead by designating Hizbullah as terrorists in a move that will notably lead to a crackdown on its fund-raising activities.

However, diplomats have indicated that it is unlikely that Europe will name Hizbullah a terrorist organization because of its political strength in Lebanon.

Israel fingered Hizbullah and Iran as being behind the attack shortly after it occurred. On Friday, Iran once again denied that it was involved in the Burgas terror attack.

Iran's ambassador to Bulgaria said that “the Burgas attack has nothing to do with Iran,” adding that his country "condemned terrorism in all its forms."