AIJAC submission to the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security review into the relisting of Hizballah ESO
May 28, 2021 | AIJAC staff
AIJAC again calls on Australia to list Hezbollah as a terrorist group
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has again called on the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) to recommend the Australian Government designate in its entirety Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
As it stands, Australia is the only country in the world to list a body called Hezbollah External Security Organisation (ESO) as a terrorist group. All other jurisdictions that deem Hezbollah a threat consider the entire organisation dangerous, or at least its entire Military Wing.
Australia’s artificial distinction between Hezbollah proper and the ESO continues to allow the Lebanese-based group to recruit, fundraise and advocate for their cause in Australia.
“Over the past 18 years, AIJAC has consistently advocated for Hezbollah to be listed under Australia’s Criminal Code in its entirety, not just the Hezbollah ESO,” AIJAC executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein said.
“AIJAC continues to urge the Australian Government to list the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist group to better protect our national security and to enhance our support for our closest security and intelligence allies.
“The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have all designated all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.
“Australia’s decision not to do the same leaves Hezbollah relatively free to operate on our shores.
“We saw this recently in Sydney, when pro-Palestinian demonstrators proudly waved Hezbollah flags on city streets. This would not be allowed on the streets of Toronto, New York or London.”
Hezbollah is a proxy force of Iran and a tool used by the Iranian mullahs to spread their Islamic Revolution beyond Iran’s borders.
Hezbollah has perpetrated terrorism at home and abroad. As well as being responsible for the killing of scores of Lebanese and Israelis, Hezbollah is responsible for the murder of more than 300 Americans, plus dozens of other international citizens. An Australia-Lebanon dual citizen was sentenced to life in prison in 2020 for his role in a deadly Hezbollah attack in Bulgaria.
The PJCIS is currently reviewing a decision by Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews to renew the terrorist listing of Hezbollah ESO for another three years.