Arab Knesset members criticize Gulf states for Hezbollah terror designation

The Hezbollah flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Two leading factions of the Israeli Knesset’s Joint Arab List, an alliance of Arab political parties, have criticized the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations for their recent designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Hadash, the party headed by Joint Arab List leader Ayman Odeh, singled out Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the GCC designation.

“After Saudi Arabia failed in its attempt to harness Lebanese society and political forces against Hezbollah by halting its military aid to Lebanon and after the Syrian people have succeeded in keeping Syria united, comes the decision to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization that proves that Gulf states are totally loyal to neo-colonialist and Zionist forces, the enemies of Arabs,” Hadash said, the Jerusalem Post reported. 

The Balad party also condemned the decision, adding that “no criticism of Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria justifies this dangerous decision, which serves Israel and her allies who do not hide their colonialist aspirations in Palestine, Lebanon, and the rest of the Arabic homeland.”

Last week, the predominately Sunni Muslim GCC countries—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar—blacklisted the Iranian-funded Shi’a Muslim terror group. Hezbollah has been heavily involved in fighting inside of Syria, in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Gulf-backed rebel groups and Islamist terror organizations. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Israeli-Arab parties. 

“Countries from the Arab world decided to recognize Hezbollah as a terror group. This is an important development. Even amazing. But what’s no less amazing is that two parties here in the Knesset condemned the decision,” Netanyahu said. “Will you continue to condemn them when Hezbollah shoots missiles at your villages? Have you gone mad?”

In addition to the GCC, Israel, the United States, and Canada all designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The European Union, meanwhile, has labeled only Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terror group.

Posted on March 7, 2016 .