Just call it “friendlining”
Facebook friend lists are a weird collection of your classmates, coworkers, distant relatives, former roommates, and other people you may have known at one point in your life. A new patent granted to Facebook would let lenders check those same friends’ credit scores and take them into account when deciding to grant a loan. It’s totally not something straight out of a cyberpunk dystopia.
The Lebanon-based Islamic organization Hezbollah is one of the most dangerous groups in the world. Recently, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah incited violence against American and European interests over the movie The Innocence of Muslims. And yet, the European Union refuses to follow America’s example and classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization – a move that would enable the EU to freeze the group’s assets in Europe.
This does not come as a surprise, considering the EU’s earlier refusal to condemn Hezbollah for terrorism. Last July, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited the EU capital, Brussels, to persuade the EU to follow America’s example and classify Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Lieberman met with resistance – a lot. He was attempting to isolate Hezbollah after the July 18 suicide bombing at the airport of the Bulgarian coastal resort of Burgas – an attack, and clearly a terrorist one – in which five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed.
France is one of the countries that oppose the efforts to blacklist Hezbollah. France, the former colonial power in Lebanon, wants to preserve its diplomatic influence in that country. In 2011, Najib Mikati, a Hezbollah-backed politician, became Prime Minister of Lebanon after Hezbollah toppled the previous government. Even deadly attacks by Hezbollah on French nationals have not persuaded the French government to designate the group as terrorist. Last year, Alain Juppé, the then Foreign Minister of France, accused Hezbollah of attacking French U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon. However, with Hezbollah constituting part of the Lebanese establishment, the French are reluctant to act against it.
The German government, too, refuses to draw the obvious conclusion regarding Hezbollah, although the German domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesverfassungsschutz, has warned that Hezbollah has over 900 active members in Germany. In 2008, the German Interior Ministry restricted the reception of the programs of the Hezbollah television station Al-Manar in German hotels. Al-Manar is used by Hezbollah to recruit terrorists and communicate with sleeper cells around the globe.
Full article: Kick Me: European Union Backs Iran’s Hezbollah (Gatestone Institute)