Today, the European Union announced its decision to blacklist the military wing of Hezbollah, the terrorist organization responsible for countless attacks on Westerners, Jews, Syrians and Lebanese, among others. The action required unanimous consent among the EU’s 28 member states, something that had proved elusive for years, despite intensive campaigns waged by the United States and Israel. So what changed? Apparently, anti-terror advocates got some outside help.
Israel’s Maariv is reporting that former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote to the chancellor of his native country, Austria, to lobby its government to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. (While Maariv does not produce the contents of Schwarzenegger’s letter, one can safely presume it also contained threats in the event of non-compliance.) Whatever Schwarzenegger said, it worked, because Austria joined the rest of the EU’s members today in blacklisting the Lebanese militia, dropping its longstanding opposition to the move.
This is not the Governator’s first foray into pro-Israel activism. The Jewish state was the first country Schwarzenegger visited after being elected governor, and he has described his feelings towards it as “love at first sight.” As California governor, he signed a bill that divested state pension funds from companies linked to Iran. Oh, and here’s a video of him wishing happy birthday to the city of Tel Aviv from the governor’s podium:
Yair Rosenberg is a senior writer at Tablet. Subscribe to his newsletter, listen to his music, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.