Israel will maintain contact with Hezbollah, so why should Europe stop?

The Israelis will continue to maintain contact with the Hezballah ‘militant staff’ whenever they want a body swap

Related Topics

So now European diplomats cannot meet the “militant wing” of Hezbollah.

Well, blow me down.  I suppose that “political wing” – those who have been elected to the Lebanese parliament – can be found on the first floor of Hezbollah HQ in the southern suburbs of Beirut, while Our Man in Lebanon must not, under any circumstances, take the elevator to the seventh floor where the bearded chappies who fire rockets at Israel and who may (or may not) have murdered Israeli tourists in Bulgaria have their bureau. Zounds! The Israelis will be pleased about all this.

For it is the Israelis who are supposedly going to benefit. Hezbollah fighters will be downgraded to zero in the eyes of the EU. And let me forget for a moment that I’ve never met a Hezbollah gunman who has ever shown the slightest interest in meeting any of the stultifyingly boring Euro-diplomats who frolic their way through Beirut. And the EU will no longer allow all those bearded supporters in Europe to send cheques “Payable to: Hezbollah” in the mail. Well, that’s sure zapped the bad guys.

Of course, the Israelis will themselves continue to maintain contact with the Hezbollah “militant wing” whenever they want a body swap, usually on the exchange rate of two Israeli bodies equalling three or four hundred Hezbollah corpses. I have witnessed these macabre events and the “interlocuteur valable” is always the same:  the head of the German intelligence service.  He maintains excellent relations with the Israelis and with Hezbollah and often visits Lebanon. Are we supposed to believe that Germany will no longer offer its good services to the Israelis if it means chatting to Hezbollah’s “militant wing” – since Germany is a member of the EU? Forget it. The head of the German spooks – like the Brits and the Americans and anyone else – will go on talking to the bad guys if “national interests” are involved – and especially if Israel’s interests are involved.

I do, alas, recall how an equally spooky organisation used real British passports to engineer a political assassination in the United Arab Emirates not long ago, a nation whose “militant wing” will go on meeting EU diplomats: Israel. But it only needed the former British ambassador in Beirut to blog a benevolent line about the late Shia prelate Mohammad Fadlallah – not on the “militant wing”, I should add – to have Israel roaring and raging about her outrageous behaviour. Her Britannic Majesty’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, needless to say, grovelled its usual apologies.But cheer up, it’s more of a joke than a sanction. I can think of one political leader who signs off on casual  executions. He uses a wondrous  machine called a drone and his name is Obama and we’re surely not going to refuse to talk to his “militant wing” when our “militant staff” is fighting alongside his “militant wing” in Afghanistan.

We hate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad so much that we ran away from our embassy in Damascus and now operate the laughably-named “Damascus Team” from outside Syria in the vain hope that we can find out what’s happening there. Now we are going to cut our contacts with Hezbollah. Bravo. Time was when we used to go on breathing the halitosis of the bad guys even when they had proved themselves to be absolutely awful. There’s that corporal, isn’t there, who gobbled up Austria and then gobbled up Czechoslovakia and we only really got antsy when he started gobbling up Poland? But at least we knew what the wretched man was about. He sent his chaps into Prague with more fanfare than the Hezbollah sent their chaps into Qusayr. And we rubbed shoulders with his “political wing” in Berlin until 3 September 1939. I guess times change.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sheridan Maine: Finance Analyst

Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Sheridan Maine: Are you an experienced Accounts Assista...

Sheridan Maine: Financial Accountant

£150 - £190 Daily Rate: Sheridan Maine: One of London's leading water supplier...

Sheridan Maine: Portfolio Accountant

£30,000 - £35,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a Management Accountant with...

Day In a Page

Read Next

I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts

Björt Ólafsdóttir

Daily catch-up: opening round in the election contest of the YouTube videos

John Rentoul
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor