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Urging European Union to Designate Hizballah as a Terrorist Organization

Floor Speech

Location: Unknown


Mr. KELLY. I thank the gentlelady for your guidance and your leadership the last couple of years. It was a joy serving with you in Foreign Affairs.

I rise today in support of House Resolution 834 and urge the EU and member states to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is called ``the A Team'' of international terrorist organizations by terrorism experts. Hezbollah was created by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force in 1982, and is a primary terrorist proxy of Iran. Hezbollah receives weapons, training, monies, and support from Iran and Syria.

Hezbollah has left its bloody fingerprints around the world in the last 30 years. Hezbollah has been implicated in numerous deadly terrorist attacks against Europeans, Americans, and Israelis:

In 1983, the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, which killed 63 people; the 1983 bombing of the U.S. and French barracks of the Multinational Force in Lebanon, killing 241 American servicemen and 58 French soldiers; the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people; the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center building in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people; the suicide bombing on July 18, 2012, that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver in the town of Burgas, Bulgaria, that had all the hallmarks of a Hezbollah attack.

Hezbollah has created violence and instability in Lebanon. In addition to terrorist attacks and political assassinations, it has launched thousands of rockets and missiles at Israel from within Lebanon. Hezbollah supports Bashar al-Assad's brutal, ongoing violence against the Syrian people.

It's long past time for the EU and its members to join the U.S. and other allies and list Hezbollah as a terrorism organization. I would ask the EU as a recipient of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to please wake up. The U.S. designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in the late 1990s. Canada and Australia, as well as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, both EU members, also list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Failure to recognize and designate Hezbollah allows it to continue evading law enforcement, intelligence, and security services, and it endangers the people of Europe. Hezbollah cannot claim to be a legitimate political party or provider of social services when it refuses to abandon its terrorist agenda. Both the United States and the EU must be united in our fight against Hezbollah.

This resolution, H. Res. 834, urges the EU and member states to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and to prevent Hezbollah from using EU territories for fundraising, for recruitment, for training, for propaganda, and any other activities. It urges the EU and its members to impose sanctions on Hezbollah for supporting the Assad regime's brutal violence against the Syrian people. It affirms our support for the Bulgarian government in its investigation of the July 18, 2012, terrorist attack, and urges our President to support that investigation. It urges the President to provide information to our European allies regarding Hezbollah's terrorist activities, subversion of democracy in Lebanon, and support of Assad's violence in Syria. This Congress has and will do all it can to urge the EU to do the right thing and list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

In September, my good friend Gus Bilirakis from Florida, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Israel, Mr. Sires and I led a bipartisan group of 268 House Members to send a letter to the President and the 27 ministers of the European Commission urging the Commission to include Hezbollah on the EU terrorist list. I might mention Mr. Deutch and I had talked one day walking into our offices about how well our staffs have worked together to forge this letter, to put it together. And we do things in a lot of bipartisan ways. I think sometimes it gets lost in the wash of other things that are going on. I especially want to thank all those members of the staffs and also one of my staff members, Mr. Isaac Fong, for the tireless work he put in.

Earlier this month, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 613, which also urges the EU to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. H. Res. 834 has over 80 bipartisan cosponsors. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on H. Res. 834. It's time to recognize Hezbollah for what it is. If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. This is a terrorist organization. It needs to be recognized and designated as one worldwide.


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