TEL AVIV — The foreign ministers of a group of Arab countries officially labeled the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah a terrorist organization at a meeting in Cairo on Sunday.
During the special meeting, the foreign ministers condemned Iran’s involvement in Middle Eastern affairs and the internal politics of Arab countries. Lebanon’s representative opposed the clauses labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization despite the group’s long history of terrorism.
Former Egyptian foreign minister and current Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said during deliberations that the Arab League won’t count out the possibility of turning to the UN Security Council to discuss Iran’s involvement in internal Arab issues.
Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expressed their displeasure with the decision.
The decision “is a service given to the Zionist enemy and a gift meant to develop relations between some of the Arab regimes with the Zionist entity as part of a fast procedure to make these relations transparent,” the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group said in a statement. “The Arab League, with decisions like these, is offering legitimization and an umbrella for the incitement of sectarian disputes and struggles in the region, struggles that only serve the enemies of the Arab people.”
Kayed al-Roul, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group, said that the decision to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization “is an embarrassment for official Arab policy. This is falling in line with the efforts of the American administration and the occupation to paint the resistance forces fighting to liberate their land and bring justice to their people as Satan.”
Al-Roul added, “This decision is a free service offered to the occupying Zionist entity and her allies. This is an embarrassment for the Arab regimes that should have helped the resistance forces and give them all the necessary tools to rise above the Zionist project that harms the Arab people and many Arab countries.”
“Hezbollah isn’t a terrorist organization and we’ll raise this issue as the first for discussion at the Palestinian reconciliation conference,” tweeted Hamas politburo member Mousa Abu Marzook in response to the decision. “If this (labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization) succeeds, that means that all of us will be labeled as such in the end. What’s needed is a position of consensus in order to realign the compass of the Arab states in the direction of Palestine and the direction of Jerusalem.”
النقطة الاولى على جدول اعمال مؤتمر الحوار الفلسطيني: بان حزب الله ليس بمنظمة ارهابية، وان مضى ذلك التصنيف فنحن جميعا الى نفس المصير، يجب ان يكون الموقف بالإجماع لتصويب بوصله العرب السياسية، فلسطين والقدس.
— د. موسى أبو مرزوق DR. Mousa Abumarzook (@mosa_abumarzook) November 20, 2017
Marzook did not seem to note the irony of a terrorist group warning that “all of us will be labeled as such in the end” – referring to the terrorist group label.
Marzook’s tweet, however, drew an angry response from many social media users.
“He tweeted this in the morning!!” wrote Saudi activist Munther Mubarak. “We noticed that the first thing the Muslim Brotherhood does every morning is to emphasize their subjugation to and their dependence on the Ayatollahs!!”
— منذر آل الشيخ مبارك (@monther72) November 20, 2017
Saudi religious figure Saad Bin Goonem wrote to Marzook, “You are leading the resistance without any sharia-based principles, so it isn’t surprising that you take such a regrettable position. Where is your loyalty to all the Syrians and others murdered by the satanic party (Hezbollah)?”
يتصدرون المشهد ويقودون المقاومة دون علم شرعي لابد أن يصدر عنهم مواقف مؤسفة كهذا ، أين الولاء لمن قتلهم حزب الشيطان من السوريين وغيرهم
— سعد عبدالله بن غنيم (@BINGOONEM) November 20, 2017
“Every day Hamas proves that it isn’t only a tool in Iran’s hands, but a gang of mercenaries bent on destroying the Arab countries and creating crises while taking advantage of the Palestinians for cheap, tin pot goals,” wrote Iraqi journalist Sufian al-Samarrai in response to Marzook. “Today, you are standing at the side of the Hezbollah gang who murdered and terrorized your brothers while claiming that they are the resistance.”
يوم بعد يوم تثبت #حماس أنها ليست فقط أدة من أدوات أيران أنما عصابة ومرتزقة هدفها فقط تدمير البلدان العربية وخلق الأزمات واستغلال الفلسطينين ككبش فداء من أجل مصالحهم الرخيصة الدنيئة اليوم يقفون مع عصابة حزب الله شقيقتهم بالقتل والأرهاب
قال مقاومة قال pic.twitter.com/LwYrmJuqf9
— سفيان السامرائي (@SufianSamarrai) November 20, 2017
But there were also those on social media who opposed the foreign ministers’ decision to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
“The announcement of the decision from the Arab foreign ministers labels Hezbollah as a terrorist organization,” wrote Egyptian media figure Wael Kandil. “They seem to have had this meeting in the Knesset!”
البيان الختامي لوزراء الخارجية العرب يعلن حزب الله منظمة إرهابية.
وكأنهم مجتمعون في الكنيست ذاته!
— wael kandil (@waiel65) November 19, 2017
Zeina Karam, a Christian Lebanese activist, wrote, “If loving Hezbollah is terrorism, then I was f**ked like a Maronite Ram and the dynasty of the holy Yossef Karam declares that I am the biggest terrorist.”
“You want to judge Hezbollah?” questioned Jordanian academic and media personality Musseir al-Omari. “Maybe start by judging yourselves? Aren’t you agents of foreign countries? Weren’t you elected by your people? Haven’t you stolen and robbed your peoples? After you’ve judged yourselves and after you’ve been acquitted, you can judge Hezbollah.”