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Public Statements

Urging European Union to Designate Hizballah as a Terrorist Organization

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this legislation, and thank my good friend Mr. Kelly for authoring it.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution urges the governments of Europe and the European Union to designate Hezballah a terrorist organization, so that it will not be able to raise funds and recruit operatives in Europe.

Since Hezballah is one of the most active, dangerous, ruthless, and evil terrorist groups in the world, this should be the most obvious thing in the world for the European governments to do--the minimum action which they should be in a hurry to do on their own, without any urging from anybody.

One reason many European countries have not done so is the ongoing presence of anti-Semitism in Europe. It's a very sad story, but it's undeniably true that in many European countries large minorities or even majorities of the population hold attitudes that can only be described as anti-Semitic. Regarding this I'd like to recommend to my colleagues a March 2012 study of the Anti-Defamation League on ``Attitudes Toward Jews in Ten European Countries.'' It is shocking but necessary reading--I will be happy to share it with any of my colleagues.

Further, in Europe anti-Semitic opinion doesn't hide its head furtively. Rather people who are not anti-Semitic accept various forms of anti-Semitic statement and attitudes into seemingly ``mainstream'' discussion, where it's allowed to influence government policy--that is, anti-Semitic public opinion limits what some governments are willing to say and do in fighting anti-Semitism.

So with this resolution we are also urging the European governments, and the European Union, to deal more pro-actively, much more pro-actively, with anti-Semitism in Europe. Denounce anti-Semitic actions and statements whenever they occur--this is a fundamental responsibility of every elected official. As elected officials, we always have a special responsibility to anyone in danger--and this resolution documents very well that Hezbollah is an extraordinarily dangerous terrorist group.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I do want to recognize the many European parliamentarians who have worked hard in fighting anti-Semitism in Europe. I've worked with many of them over the years, particularly in the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE and in the Interparliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism.

This resolution, with its careful documentation of the extraordinary danger posed by Hezballah, will provide Europeans engaged in fighting anti-Semitism with a tool they can take to their governments and demand that they be much more pro-active against anti-Semitism. For it is anti-Semitism that creates the poisonous atmosphere in which Hezballah operates.

I strongly urge my colleagues to support this excellent resolution.

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