It has now become a new talking-point that the Lebanese party-cum-militia Hezbollah, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, is operating in Latin America.
Hezbollah has had a bloody past in Latin America where it played a role in the Iranian bombing of a Jewish community center in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, which killed hundreds of civilians and served prior to September 11th as the most deadly terrorist attack in the Western hemisphere.
But Hezbollah has not been believed to be operational – as a tool of Iran or independently – in Latin America for quite some time. The group is almost singularly focused on its political clout and standing in Lebanon and has moderated itself in recent years to become more of a political party and community actor rather than an international network which engages in terrorist acts.
Most likely, Hezbollah has no presence in Latin America. At least not one of any significance. But without any evidence, it is being alleged that the group is operational south of the border. These talking points serves two purposes: it aids the xenophobic calls to “seal the border” as anti-immigrant foes wants and it serves to present Hezbollah as not just an Israeli problem but also as a ostensible threat to America since it has always been a hallmark of Israeli propaganda to convince the American government, media and people that Israel’s enemies are also America’s and that is why the U.S. should first and always support Israel unconditionally. This is empty rhetoric.
But it is why you see this:
A car bomb that exploded July 15 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, may indicate that Mexican drug cartels are being assisted by Hizbullah terrorists. This possibility means that the U.S. may be faced with a Muslim terror threat south of its border that is not completely unlike the terror presence Israel deals with on its southern and northern borders.
The propaganda is not subtle. Of course, the people responsible are most likely the drug cartels which have terrorized Mexican towns for years. But people have political motives to cast another actor for their own political gains.
And in this case political motives overlap – and with meaning – since the anti-immigrant Right is also staunchly pro-Israel.