The heads of the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus today welcomed the European Union's decision to classify the military wing of Hezbollah as a terror organization:
"While it's impossible to separate Hezbollah's political wing from the military wing it endorses and sustains, the European Union's decision to designate one-half of the violent, hateful group as a terrorist organization is a significant, if incomplete, step in the right direction," Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) said. "The ultimate goal must be to fully designate the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization."
"It is good that the EU has now labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization," Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said. "While I take issue with meaningless distinction of singling out Hezbollah's military arm for sanction, while leaving its political wing unpunished, I hope today's decision puts real pressure on Hezbollah's ability to finance, plan, and conduct acts of terror."
"This is a critical step forward by our Europeans allies and we are grateful they finally made the move even though we wish it had been done without this artificial distinction," said Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO). "We hope that this measure will enable the Europeans to stop the flow of funding which enables this notorious terror organization which has killed more Americans than any other after Al Qaeda to thrive."
"I am pleased that the EU has designated Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organization. I commend our partners in Europe who have worked closely with the United States on counterterrorism," Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) said. "However, while I believe this effort is a step in the right direction, I am disappointed that some EU countries are opposed to designating all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. As long as only the military wing of Hezbollah is designated, Hezbollah can raise contributions and engage in business through its political wing."
This year, the heads of the Caucus have held numerous meetings with Ambassadors of European nations that have wavered over whether to support the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.