A defining question for the world in the 21st century is how nations deal with non-State or former non-State actors (al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas for example) that use or have used asymmetric warfare and terror against civilians (both internally and externally) as a means to power, have gotten that power and still continue to use terror as a tool in their overseas operations. How nations deal with this issue is one of the defining issues of modern diplomacy.
The Czech Republic seemed even more skeptical of an impending move to blacklist the organization. “Hezbollah on one side is a military organization, which does quite a lot of mischief,” Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told The Times of Israel last month, adding that, “On the other hand, it is in a theoretically sovereign state recognized as a political party.”
The fact that Hezbollah officials are members of the Lebanese government further complicates matters, he explained. “What should my ambassador do when he is in Beirut and he comes to a reception? Say ‘No minister, you’re a terrorist, I don’t speak to you’? This labeling makes not a lot of sense. It belongs to the propaganda war.”
The European Jewish Congress though disagrees.
For the European Jewish Congress, the EU’s expected move was too little.
“Proscribing just part of the Hezbollah infrastructure will not prove effective enough and will allow this terrorist organization to carry on targeting innocent civilians in Europe and elsewhere,” EJC President Moshe Kantor said Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, some believe that Hezbollah is an organization that has different and separate parts and that it is merely a political organization which has an armed wing and this move will squelch its ambitions. On the contrary, Hezbollah was formed as a violent terrorist organization and merely entered politics to further its maximalist aims.”
In the case of Hezbollah the answer is a resounding yes. Hezbollah while acting in a State role still maintains a military wing that is separate from the country in which it effectively runs and holds positions in the government. There is the Lebanese Army, and then there is Hezbollah. SO, to answer the Czech Foreign Ministers question, the answer is “Yes, you tell that diplomat that you cannot deal with them because in fact, Hezbollah is a terror organization”. This is not just propaganda, this is a choice by that nation and it’s people (as Hezbollah was elected) to have this group represent them. Had Hezbollah folded its operations into the Lebanese Armed Forces then you have a much less clear answer BUT, as things stand now, one can call it Terrorist Organization which has other aspects as well.
This brings up an effort regarding Iran by The Zionist Federation of the U.K. (ZF). The Federation has started an online petition to get the Iranian Revolutionary Guard classified as a Terrorist Organization by the E.U. and Government of the U.K.
We are calling on the EU and the UK to proscribe the IRG as a terrorist organization due to it being a leader in state sponsored terrorism. The IRG has also been active in sponsoring and supporting terrorism including in Europe, as well as targeting the UK, through attacks on UK soldiers. It is also a major funder and trainer of international terrorist groups including Hezbollah and Hamas, making it a major protagonist in global terrorism.Paul Charney, Chairman of the ZF said, “The EU and the UK must take practical steps to deal with international terrorism. By proscribing the IRG, it would be showing its commitment to fighting terrorism and protecting the security of EU citizens”.
Of course when dealing with that, couldn’t one make the claim that any nation that causes civilian casualties is in effect a “Terrorist Organization”. For instance, one might claim that when the U.S. Armed Forces mistakenly bombs a wedding party in a drone attack, that they are acting as a Terror Organization, and if that is the case, couldn’t one call the U.S. a “Terrorist State”.