When the European Union (EU) designated Hizballah’s military wing as a terrorist group earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a half measure.
All of Hizballah – its political and military wings – should be blacklisted. “As far as the State of Israel is concerned, Hezbollah is one organization, the arms of which are indistinguishable,” Netanyahu said.
While they aren’t happy with the designation, Hizballah officials agree about their structure, as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows in a new report.
“In our resistance, we do not distinguish between one position and another position, because we never divided our movement in such a way that we would have different projects,” Hizballah deputy secretary-general Na’im Qassem said in May. “Therefore, all our martyrs in every position are martyrs [who perished] by force of the obligation [to wage] jihad… We do not maintain one status for a resistance fighter and another [for someone] who is not a resistance fighter. We do not have a military arm and another [arm] that is political.”
MEMRI cited a Hizballah communique issued after the EU action. It called the designation a “submission to American extortion… drafted by American hands in Zionist ink” that won’t change anything. Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah also mocked the EU decision in a speech Monday, promising, “A government without Hizballah will never be formed. Just as a joke, I propose that our ministers in the next government be from the military wing of Hizballah.”
Hizballah’s political arm is every bit as involved with its decisions to engage in terrorist activities as is its military arm. This is underscored by the fact that the sons of Hizballah government ministers and members of Lebanon’s parliament are fighting under Hizballah’s banner inside of Syria, the MEMRI report notes.