Bulgaria blames Hezbollah. Will the EU ban it?
Defying pressure from France and Germany to back down, Bulgaria last week implicated Hezbollah in a lethal bus bombing last summer. (See my earlier post.) Ben Weinthal, writing at Foreign Policy, describes the almost continent-wide refusal to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group, a fact that I think makes Bulgaria’s decision all the more courageous:
There was ample reason to believe Sofia would punt. While the U.S., Canadian, and Israeli governments for months have been urging the EU to clamp down on Hezbollah’s activities—including raising funds, recruiting, and procuring dual-use technologies—within its 27-member union, the Europeans have consistently pushed back, and the issue has failed to gain traction.
Has the tide turned? Weinthal goes on to weigh the implications (and the odds) of a broader, perhaps EU-wide terror listing of Hezbollah:
A ban on Hezbollah could cripple it. Hezbollah‘s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged this reality several years ago, noting that an EU terror listing “would dry up the sources of finance, end moral, political and material support, stifle voices, whether they are the voices of the resistance or the voices which support the resistance, pressure states which protect the resistance in one way and another, and pressure the Lebanese state, Iran and Iraq, but especially the Lebanese state, in order to classify it as a state which supports terrorism.”
Read the whole thing.