Hezbollah denied entry to
Mousawi of Hezbollah was granted a visa to visit
September 2007, Ibrahim Mousawi sought a visa to revisit
Sunday Independent mounted a campaign to have Ibrahim Mousawi denied entry into
“The fact that Fianna Fail’s partners in government are participating in
the event could lead to diplomatic problems with the
“Hezbollah and its TV station are included in the list of organisations
banned from the
appears that the
Cusack’s report also contained an outpouring of anti-Hezbollah vitriol from Jewish Fine Gael TD, Alan Shatter, which stated amongst other things that Al-Manar “openly supports Hezbollah violence not just against Israelis but its fellow Lebanese citizens”. That is simply a lie.
article contained a number of other serious misrepresentations. For example, he wrote that Hezbollah was “the
group responsible for last year’s rocket attacks on
Cusack also wrote that “Hezbollah … is believed to have participated in the attacks on Lebanese political leaders, including the murder of former President Rafiq Harriri”. There is no evidence for that assertion. Rafik Hariri was assassinated in February 2005. The UN established a Commission to investigate his assassination and the Commission was later given the responsibility for investigating other political assassinations. The Commission has yet to complete its work and it hasn’t charged anybody in connection with the assassinations. However, the Commission has produced several reports for the Security Council and in none of these will you find any suggestion that Hezbollah was responsible for any of the assassinations.
(Rafik Hariri was not a former President of Lebanon, as Cusack wrote. He was a Sunni Muslim and only Maronite Christians can be President. He was a former Prime Minister – and only Sunni Muslims can be Prime Minister. Shiite Muslims are banned from both posts, even though they are largest of the three groups.)
The following letter by me in response to Cusack’s article was published in the Sunday Independent on 30 September 2007:
Jim Cusack ('US calls on Irish to ban terror group', September 23) follows the
Hezbollah is a Shiite political organisation which currently has 14 MPs in the Lebanese Parliament (and would have considerably more if the Shiite community were represented fairly within the Lebanese political system). Until last November it had two Ministers in the Lebanese Government under Prime Minister Siniora, the programme of which recognised the contribution of Hezbollah's military wing in combating Israeli aggression.
In a report published on 25 July, the
“... we asked a range of Lebanese politicians whether the British Government should engage directly with the group. No one, including bitter opponents of Hezbollah, told us that the current [British] Government approach was the correct one.”
When Hezbollah's Lebanese opponents are arguing for engagement with it, should we in Ireland be adopting a policy of boycott? I think not.
Irish Political Review
1 November 2007