Dmitri Litvinovich: “Arab” does not mean “terrorist”

America calls for freezing terrorist bank accounts all over the world. But not all countries agree with the American interpretation of terrorism as a global phenomenon. Lebanon, for example, categorically opposes including the Hezbollah organization the in the list. Last week, Hezbollah (which enjoys support from Iran and Syria) and also 6 Palestinian combat groups were entered in the list of organizations whose accounts, in Washington’s view, should be freezed. Washington’s call has been slammed by Lebanon and Syria, where it was interpreted as an attempt to comfort the Israeli authorities and pressurize Arab groups which oppose peace talks with Israel. “Hezbollah” means “the party of God.” This organization consists of only Shiat Moslems. It is considered to be one of major rivals of the Hamas organization. Hezbollah was set up in 1982 with the aim to create and Islamic state (the type of Iran) in Lebanon. Then, it also declared jihad against Israel and the West. Its main political aim was a withdrawal of the Israeli troops from Lebanon. Yet, after Lebanon was freed in 2000, it continued terrorist attacks on Israel. In 1983, Hezbollah blew up US mariners’ barrack in Beirut, as a result of which, 241 people died, and carried out a series of less pronounced attacks on Americans and West-Europeans. Hezbollah organized the bombing of the Israeli embassy (1982) and the Israeli Cultural Centre (1984) in Buenos Aires, resulting in dozens of people being killed. The organization has supporters in various countries, including the US and Western Europe, and also about 600 militants. The organization is involved in political activities. 8 Hezbollah deputies are members of the Lebanese parliament. The organization receives financial and other aide from Iran and Syria. Vincent Battle, the US ambassador to Beirut said after negotiations with Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri that Lebanon insisted on distinguishing between “terrorists” and “resistance fighters.” Mr. Battle also said that the USA had lodged a request with Lebanon on Friday. Meeting the request is not obligatory for Lebanon until the list of persons suspected of being connected with Osama bin Laden is not presented to the UN. Nevertheless, Lebanon is worried over possible economic sanctions on the part of Washington. Under new rules, introduced after the September 11th events, the USA is entitled to block the assets of foreign banks which disagree to freeze the accounts belonging to the blacklisted.

Dmitri Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

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