Rosen, Blackburn, Schneider, Bilirakis Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Urging European Union to Fully Designate Hezbollah A Terrorist Organization

Unlike The United States And A Growing Number Of European Allies, The EU Has Only Designated Hezbollah’s Military Wing – Not the Entire Group – As A Terrorist Organization

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) introduced bipartisan resolutions urging the European Union (EU) to fully designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah continues to use Europe as a launching pad for its criminal and terrorist activities, but the EU only includes Hezbollah’s military – not its political wing – on its list of sanctioned terrorist organizations. The resolution’s introduction comes on the eleventh anniversary of Hezbollah’s deadly attack in Bulgaria on a bus carrying Israeli youths, killing six people, including the Bulgarian bus driver, and injuring dozens of others.

“Eleven years ago today, Hezbollah an Iranian-backed terrorist organization launched a deadly bombing in Bulgaria. Since then, they have only expanded their web of terror across the globe,” said Senator Rosen. “It’s clear that there is no distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings when it comes to its terror activities, and it’s past time that the European Union fully designate it as a terrorist organization.”

“Hezbollah is a dangerous terrorist organization, and the European Union must designate it as such,” said Senator Blackburn. “The Iran-backed militant group has an estimated over 150,000 rockets that are pointed at our close ally, Israel. Using Lebanon as its base, Hezbollah poses an existential threat to Israeli civilians and regional stability. Hezbollah’s entire organization, not just its military wing, is connected to terrorism, and this designation will help strip Hezbollah of the funding it uses to conduct terrorist activities. Designating Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist group is a step toward countering Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East.”

“I’m pleased to join my colleagues in the House and Senate in leading this Resolution urging the European Union (EU) to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization,” said Representative Schneider. “The European Union cannot ignore Iran-backed Hezbollah’s menacing presence in the Middle East, its terrorist efforts outside the region, and its exploitation of global financial networks to fund its nefarious activities. The United States must take the lead in urging our global partners, including the EU, to acknowledge Hezbollah for what it truly is: a terrorist organization. By doing so, we can effectively curtail Hezbollah’s ability to channel foreign aid into the hands of its military wing and mitigate the threats it poses to the region and across the globe.”

“It is critical for members of the EU to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization,” said Representative Bilirakis. “This designation will make it more difficult for Hezbollah to raise money to fund its terrorist activities around the globe. Additionally, it will hopefully weaken the organization’s support and eventually render it obsolete. As we seek to secure a future free of terrorism, the EU and United States must stand strongly united against those who wish to threaten our way of life and foster chaos, particularly in the Middle East against our staunch ally, Israel. Taking this important action is a major step toward achieving that moral imperative.”

“The European Union’s labeling of Hezbollah’s ‘military wing’ as a terror group in 2013 was an important, but incomplete first step,” said Julie Fishman Rayman, AJC Senior Director, Policy and Political Affairs. “Hezbollah is a single, unified terrorist entity and recognizing that there are no distinct wings — as Hezbollah’s own leadership affirms — is crucial to address the terrorist infrastructure that Iran’s deadly proxy has established across Europe and beyond. American Jewish Committee (AJC) thanks Senators Jacky Rosen and Marsha Blackburn and Representatives Brad Schneider and Gus Bilirakis for leading this critical effort and urges the swift passage of these important bipartisan resolutions.”

Senator Rosen continues to fight to protect the United States and our allies against terrorist organizations. Senator Rosen sent a bipartisan letter to the former Bulgarian Ambassador urging the country to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist entity in its entirety. She also recently introduced the Maritime Architecture and Response to International Terrorism in the Middle East (MARITIME) Act to help the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East counter maritime threats posted by Iran, violent extremist organizations, and criminal networks.