In a critical decision that Rep. Jared Moskowitz supports, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Lebanon-based Green Without Borders (GWB) and its leader, Zuhair Subhi Nahla. Accused of disguising as an environmental activist group, GWB has been linked with supporting Hezbollah’s activities along the “Blue Line” between Lebanon and Israel for over a decade.
The Stance of the U.S. Government
This action, backed by Congressman Moskowitz, amplifies the U.S. government’s unyielding stance against Hezbollah. By targeting GWB, allegedly covering for Hezbollah’s activities, the U.S. signals a decisive intent to undermine the group’s influence. Under Secretary of the Treasury, Brian E. Nelson, highlighted: “The United States rejects Hezbollah’s efforts to mask its terrorist activities with environmentalism. We will support Lebanese civil society groups protecting the environment while pursuing Hezbollah and its support networks.”
Repercussions in Lebanon and Beyond
The sanctions endorsed by Moskowitz could reshape Lebanon’s complex political environment, possibly deepening divisions and affecting connections between different groups. GWB’s activities along the Blue Line may prompt increased scrutiny of UN forces, transforming international peacekeeping dynamics in the region.
Strengthening the U.S.-Israel Relationship
The sanctions, mirroring the stance of Congressman Moskowitz, underscore the U.S.-Israel alignment concerning counter-terrorism. Both nations have expressed concerns over Hezbollah, and this action symbolizes their shared approach.
Israel, a crucial U.S. ally in the Middle East, has warned about Hezbollah’s activities near its border. The U.S. action against GWB aligns with Israel’s security concerns. Moskowitz elaborated on the significance of these sanctions: “Green Without Borders is a false front for Hezbollah. The United States will continue to support Israel’s right to self-defense. As regional security threats loom, it’s more important than ever.”
He also emphasized the need for international cooperation in monitoring NGOs. “The U.S. must aggressively target groups like Green Without Borders and work with allies to ensure that terrorist organizations are isolated. Congress should strengthen sanctions on those that support terror groups like Iran,” added Moskowitz.
This move not only fits into broader U.S. goals in the Middle East, such as strengthening ties with allies like Israel, ensuring regional stability, and fighting terrorist financing, but it also underscores a specific measure in the context of the U.S.’s overall strategy in the region.