In Europe: A Growing Case for Banning Hezbollah.

Author:Abrahamson, James

By Benjamin Weinthal, Berlin-based Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

From Benjamin Weinthal's base in Berlin, he perceives that the European Union's decades-long opposition to banning Hezbollah appears to be softening. Despite the appeals by three American presidents, that shift may result from other events: First, the conviction in France of an Israeli Arab linked to Hezbollah; the terrorist group's July bombing of a busload of Israeli tourists in Burgas (Bulgaria); and the arrest of a dual Swedish-Lebanese member of Hezbollah plotting to murder Israeli tourists in Cyprus--the Cypriot trial prompting a three-judge panel to issue an 80-page decision in March describing "the reach of Hezbollah's activities across Europe" from "London to Amsterdam to Lyon."

Events beyond the EU may be a second influence prompting France and Germany, Europe's most "recalcitrant members" to reconsider their positions on Hezbollah. Bahrain, for instance, recently became the first Arab government to outlaw the...

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