Counterpoint: Middle East News Round-Up
On the anniversary eve of Hezbollah's bomb attacks in Argentina in 1994 and Bulgaria in 2012, the leadership of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) presented to EU leaders a historic call for an EU ban of Hezbollah signed by over 240 lawmakers from 27 European countries, the U.S., Canada, and Israel. The declaration launch received wide coverage in the international media, including in POLITICO Europe, as well as in newspapers in the US, Germany, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, the Baltics and of course Israel:
On the twin anniversary eve of Hezbollah's bomb attacks in Argentina (1994) and Bulgaria (2012), the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) called on the EU to finally ban the terror group. The declaration was covered by global media outlets including POLITICO Europe, The Hill, Die Welt, Gazeta Wyborcza and The Jerusalem Post. At the virtual launch event, TFI Chair MEP Lukas Mandl, TFI Vice Chair MEP Dietmar Köster, AJC Transatlantic Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal, and the Washington Institute’s Hezbollah expert Matthew Levitt discussed the initiative’s impact. AJC CEO David Harris delivered concluding remarks.
On 17 July, the eve of the anniversaries of Hezbollah's deadly bomb attacks in Argentina (1994) and in Bulgaria (2012), TFI Secretary General Daniel Schwammenthal and TFI Chair MEP Lukas Mandl co-authored an op-ed in Newsweek entitled "It's Time for the E.U. to List Hezbollah as a Terror Organization."
There is new momentum in Europe on tackling Hezbollah. After Germany banned the terror group in April, the Austrian parliament unanimously urged the EU to end the artificial distinction between the organization’s ‘military’ and ‘political’ wing. Writing in Poland’s major news outlet ONET, the Acting Director of AJC’s Warsaw-based office, Sebastian Rejak, argues that Central European countries could collectively tip the balance in the EU Council in favor of a total Hezbollah ban.
After Germany’s decision last week to ban Hezbollah, the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) caucus held its first webinar entitled “Europe and Hezbollah: A New EU Approach to Iran's Proxy.“ Moderator Daniel Schwammenthal discussed with TFI Chair and Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl, EU Parliament Vice President from Germany Nicola Beer, and Michael Doran from the Washington-based think tank Hudson Institute the significance of Berlin’s momentous decision, the prospects for the EU to follow suit, and a common transatlantic approach to Iran and its terror proxies.
Iran was one of the early countries hit hard by the coronavirus. In this month’s episode of Counterpoint, host Daniel Schwammenthal is joined by Kasra Aarabi, Analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, to discuss the Shi’ite Islamist ideology driving the regime's inadequate response to the pandemic, Tehran’s dissemination of antisemitic and anti-American blood libels, as well as the terrorist threat stemming from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
During last December’s crackdown of protests in Iran, the regime killed up to 1,500 people and imprisoned over 7,000. To discuss Europe’s reaction to the dramatic events and the Iranian people’s quest for change, Counterpoint host Daniel Schwammenthal is joined by Polish Member of the European Parliament Anna Fotyga and Middle East Analyst Mohsen Behzad Karimi.
Speaking at a conference in the European Parliament, AJC Transatlantic Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal called for a “European preemptive strike, not a preemptive military strike, but a preemptive diplomatic strike.” Hosted by Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl und organized by the Brussels International Center, the event also included remarks by Ambassador Marc Otte, BIC President and Belgium Special Envoy for Syria, and Paula Yacoubian, Member of the Lebanese Parliament.
Strasbourg, 19 December 2019 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute praised the European Parliament for condemning Iran’s brutal repression of peaceful demonstrators. Spearheaded by Polish MEP Anna Fotyga on behalf of the conservative ECR Group and backed by six of the seven political groups, the...
Strasbourg, 16 December 2019 – The AJC Transatlantic Institute salutes the European Parliament’s decision to accept a proposal by the conservative ECR group to vote on a resolution on the “violent crackdown of the recent protests by Iran.” Human rights organizations estimate that the regime...