Why does NZ treat Hezbollah’s political and military wings separately?

In the UK their parliament recently passed a resolution calling for the removal of the distinction between the military and political wings of Hezbollah to be removed and for proscription of the entire organisation as a terror entity:

Members of Parliament yesterday supported a non-binding resolution in the House of Commons to proscribe Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation under UK terrorism legislation.

There was widespread support for the move to proscribe the political wing of Hezbollah.Currently, only the military wing is defined as a terrorist organisation in UK law.  The full text of the resolution said: “This House believes that Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation driven by an antisemitic ideology that seeks the destruction of Israel; notes that Hezbollah declares itself to be one organisation without distinguishable political or military wings; is concerned that the military wing of that organisation is proscribed, but its political wing is not; and calls on the Government to include Hezbollah in its entirety on the list of proscribed organisations.”   

Hezbollah themselves do not make any distinction, they claim they are one single organisation.

During the debate, Labour MP Joan Ryan, who proposed the motion, said: “Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation, driven by antisemitic ideology, which seeks the destruction of Israel. It has wreaked death and destruction throughout the middle east, aiding and abetting the Assad regime’s butchery in Syria and helping to drive Iran’s expansionism throughout the region. It makes no distinction between its political and military wings, and nor should the British Government.”

But his own party wants to protect Hezbollah.

Ahead of the debate, the Labour Party sent a briefing note to Labour MPs urging them to oppose the motion, claiming it would hinder peace talks in the Middle East. The briefing made no mention of Hezbollah’s  involvement in the ongoing conflict in Syria or its long history of carrying out terrorist attacks. The briefing said: “There is a balance between making absolutely clear our abhorrence of using violence to achieve political ends and at the same time encouraging organisations down an effective democratic path.”

It added that “full proscription could be a move against dialogue and meaningful peace negotiations in the Middle East” and “could prevent the UK or other governments from engaging with the Lebanese government and could lead to a breakdown of diplomatic relations”.

Other European countries such as the Netherlands, as well as the US, ban Hezbollah in its entirety whilst maintaining diplomatic relations with the Lebanese government.

During the debate, Labour MP Ian Austin, supporting the motion, said: “[Hezbollah] is not interested in the compromises that all sides will need to make to bring about a two-state solution. Its sole interest is the destruction of Israel… The idea Hezbollah is a partner for peace is misguided.”

Totally misguided.

I looked up how New Zealand treats Hezbollah under our laws. The NZ Police hold the register of terror organisations.

Under NZ law we also make the distinction between the political and military wings of Hezbollah.

Why do we make this distinction? Hezbollah does not make the distinction:

Structurally, Hezbollah does not distinguish between its political/social activities within Lebanon and its military/jihad activities against Israel. “Hezbollah has a single leadership,” according to Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s second in command. “All political, social and jihad work is tied to the decisions of this leadership … The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle against Israel.

They couldn’t be more clear.

Hezbollah has more than 150,000 rockets, mostly supplied by Iran, and almost all targeted at Israel. That is a significant threat to Israel and much larger than the threat of Hamas rockets from Gaza.

Given that the UK has now passed a resolution seeking to remove the distinction and proscribe the entire orgnaisation, isn’t this something that New Zealand should be looking at?

Hezbollah is a terror organisation from top top bottom. Yet we have people in New Zealand who are proud to wear the emblems of Hezbollah:

It is high time that the distinction between Hezbollah’s military and political wings was removed by the NZ Government and we should likewise proscribe the entire organisation.


-Bicom, Wikipedia, NZ Police

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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