August 1, 2006
His Excellency Erkki Tuomioja
President of the European Council
Foreign Ministry of Finland
Dear Mr. Tuomioja:
We are writing to express our profound disagreement with your statement, in response to a letter from 213 members of the United States Congress, that the European Union has, once again, declined to place Hezbollah on its list of proscribed terrorist organizations.
You are reported to have said that the EU's decision not to include Hezbollah on the list is a consequence of the current "sensitive situation". We submit that Hezbollah's inclusion on the list is an entirely appropriate response to a situation which is not only highly sensitive, but which has such significant consequences for the stability of the region. Now is the moment for the EU to send a message to Hezbollah that its terrorist activities will no longer be tolerated and that it will no longer be able to exploit its absence from the list by fund-raising, traveling and recruiting support from within the EU.
The international community is committed to bringing peace to Lebanon through the implementation of UNSCR 1559. As you know, an essential element of this resolution is the demand that terrorist militias like Hezbollah disarm and disband. The need to implement Resolution 1559, especially its disarmament provisions, has never been more urgent. No matter how successful Israel is in degrading Hezbollah's arsenal, so long as it has the means to rearm, the entire region will remain vulnerable.
That is why, if the international community is truly serious about bringing peace to Lebanon through UNSCR 1559, the EU must finally designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
We note that the list of terrorist organizations proscribed by the EU comprises, among others, Palestinian and Islamist groups, Basque and Irish extremists, Greek far leftists and even a marginal Jewish group known as "Kahane Chai". What is puzzling, therefore, is Hezbollah's absence from the list.
Rectifying this anomaly would bring the EU's policy into line with the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, all of whom have correctly recognized Hezbollah's terrorist nature and acting accordingly. This measure would enhance the security of both Israel and, we would stress, Lebanon, whose sovereignty has been compromised by Hezbollah's control of southern Lebanon and whose well-being has been tragically undermined by Hezbollah's vicious assaults on Israeli civilians which have necessitated Israel's response.
Finally, we respectfully draw your attention to the fact that Hezbollah's leader, Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, is on record as saying that a terrorism designation from the EU would mean that "the sources of funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed." This is exactly what must be achieved. We therefore urge the EU to reconsider its position and include Hezbollah on the terrorism list forthwith.
Abraham H. Foxman