Jewish leaders welcomed the recent designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization by the French government.
“We welcome the French government’s decision to support the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization by the European Union. This follows the declaration by the Bulgarian government of Hezbollah’s responsibility for the attack in Burgas in July, 2012 and the conviction of a Hezbollah operative in Cyprus,” Richard Stone, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said in a statement.
Last week, at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the French government supports adding the armed wing of Hezbollah to the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations.
The designation by the French government could play a pivotal role in persuading the rest of the European Union to blacklist Hezbollah.
Dr. Magnus Norell, adjunct scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Senior Policy Advisor at the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) in Brussels, recently told JNS.org that the EU looks to France for guidance on Lebanese affairs.
“The French are well aware of the role Hezbollah plays in Lebanon… [French designation] would have wide repercussions in the EU as a whole,” Norell said. “On matters concerning the Levant, the EU tends to defer to France.”