Review of the relisting of Hizballah’s External Security Organisation as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code

May 26th, 2021

To download the submission in PDF format, please click here.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) had made a formal submission in response to the Review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) of the relisting of Hizballah’s External Security Organisation as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code (Cth). Whilst supporting the decision of the Minister for Home Affairs to proscribe the so-called ‘External Security Organisation’ (ESO) of Hizballah as a terrorist organisation, the ECAJ has taken issue with the fact that the listing has once again been limited to the ESO, while the other elements of Hizballah have been excluded.

Extracts from the submission:

“Hizballah is prosecuting a long war of annihilation against the State of Israel and it sees Jewish communities everywhere as targets of opportunity in that war. It appears that no country is immune from possible future terrorist attacks by Hizballah and that preparatory activities are ongoing in many parts of the world…The threat posed by Hizballah is heightened by its role as a proxy for the governing regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“To accept simplistically that the internal functional divisions within Hizballah signify the existence of discrete organisations is to endorse a fiction. In reality, there is a seamless integration between all facets of the organisation in chain of command, finances and personnel. This reality has been confirmed in the listing practices of other States and by the public statements made in support of those practices. It has also been confirmed in statements made by senior Hizballah commanders themselves. By their own admission, responsibility for terrorist activities reaches to the highest levels of command within Hizballah. It follows that Hizballah in its entirety, and not merely the ESO, meets the Criminal Code requirements for proscription.”

“Altogether, 22 countries and 2 regional organisations currently list Hizballah as a whole as a terrorist organisation. Two countries and one regional organisation limit their listing to the ‘Military Wing’. Australia alone limits its listing to the ESO.”

“Except for Israel, the countries…which have proscribed Hizballah in its entirety have also managed to maintain friendly relations with Lebanon. It is clearly possible to do both.”

“Given its history around the world and in Australia, it is evident that the activities of Hizballah as a whole represent a security threat, a threat to social cohesion and a crime risk to all Australians, and to the Australian Jewish community in particular. We have therefore advocated for some time that Australia list Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organisation, as have the other like-minded countries referred to previously.”

“Because Hizballah operates with one heart and mind, the pretence that its internal divisions of labour represent discrete organisations potentially hamstrings Australia’s security and law enforcement agencies in protecting Australians from future terrorist activities by Hizballah of the kind they have carried on in other parts of the world.”

“[A]lthough for the reasons already provided we would consider it an inadequate measure, Australia’s listing of Hizballah should, at a minimum, be extended to the whole of the operation nominally controlled by the military council, namely the so-called ‘Military Wing’ of Hizballah, and should not be limited to the ESO.”

The entire submission can be accessed here.

Peter Wertheim | Co-CEO
ph: 02 8353 8505 | m: 0408 160 904 | fax 02 9361 588