Today, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) sent a letter to the President and Ministers of the Commission of the European Union (EU) urging the Commission to add Hezbollah to the European Union's list of terrorist organizations. Rep. Kelly spearheaded this bipartisan effort along with Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Steve Israel (D-NY), and Albio Sires (D-NJ). The letter, which was signed by 268 members of the House (158 Republicans and 110 Democrats), discusses Hezbollah's long history of terrorism on European soil and around the globe, including attacks on Americans and Israelis, as well as Hezbollah's close alliance with the brutal regimes in Iran and Syria. The U.S. Department of State first designated Hezbollah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in the 1990s pursuant to the U.S. Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Under U.S. law, it is a criminal offense to support an FTO.
Rep. Kelly issued the following statement:
"Once called the "A-Team of terrorists' by a senior State Department official, Hezbollah has a well-documented and undeniable record of terrorist activity that demands recognition by the international community. For decades, Hezbollah has committed murderous acts on Americans and our allies in both Europe and the Middle East. Any designation for Hezbollah short of terrorist would be untruthful and dangerous. It's impossible to defeat an enemy if you can't define it, and I strongly urge the European Union to recognize Hezbollah for the terrorist organization that it is and the very real threat to peace that it represents."