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Urging European Union to Designate Hizballah as a Terrorist Organization

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DEUTCH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of House Resolution 834, which urges the European Union to take steps to swiftly designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Despite its history of violent civilian attacks, our European partners in fighting terrorism as a whole have yet to formally recognize Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization. Mr. Speaker, the failure of the EU to gain consensus on this matter serves as a grave injustice to those who have been the victims of terror attacks masterminded and carried out by Hezbollah throughout the world.

From the suicide truck bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in April 1983 that killed 63, the U.S. Marine barracks bombing in October 1983 that killed 241 American military personnel, a separate attack on the French military compound that killed 58, as well as the hijacking of TWA 847 in 1995 and Hezbollah's role in the 1994 bombing of the Israel-Argentine Mutual Aid Association in Buenos Aires that killed 85, right up to the terrorist attack this summer at a Bulgarian airport that killed six, Hezbollah has shown its propensity to attack civilians and to attack them anywhere in the world. It's also shown its propensity to attack even within Lebanon, where the group is responsible for the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Hariri.

Hezbollah and its state sponsor Iran continually spread anti-U.S. and anti-Israel rhetoric and excitement, with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah recently threatening to rain down rockets on Israel ``from the Lebanese border to Jordan to the Red Sea, from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat,'' prompting harsh rebukes from several prominent members of Lebanon's Parliament.

By failing to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization, Hezbollah is free to continue its operations, including recruiting and fundraising in Europe.

Mr. Speaker, we deeply value our relationship with our European allies, including our joint commitment to combatting terror around the globe. We appreciate their partnership in enacting crushing sanctions designed to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, but we do not understand the failure of our friends to join together in stopping this organization's reign of terror. That's why we are here this morning speaking about House Resolution 834.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I'd like to thank my friend, Congressman Kelly, as well as Chairman Ros-Lehtinen and Ranking Member Berman for their leadership on this issue.

My friend, Mr. Engel, the incoming ranking member, I look forward to working with you, continuing to work on these vitally important issues.

I urge my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, to support this resolution.

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