TIP Events

From Beirut to Burgas: Hezbollah’s Global Reach – A Happy Hour and Expert Panel

The Israel Project was pleased to partner with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) for an informal happy hour followed by a special discussion on the relationship between European Union moves to formally designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and potent effects throughout Europe and the Middle East. The announcement by Bulgarian authorities that they've discovered links between the July 2012 Burgas bombing that killed six people and Hezbollah, coupled with the confession of Hezbollah ties by a suspect on trial for terror-related charges in Cyprus, has brought renewed pressure on the E.U. to formally blacklist the Iran-backed group as a terrorist entity. Nonetheless, uncertainty remains about whether the pressure – coupled with the near-certainty that Hezbollah had committed a terrorist act on E.U. soil that took the life of an E.U. citizen – will be sufficient to overcome the efforts made by countries such as France and Germany to block a designation. 

The evening featured a discussion with two experts on the issue: The Jamestown Foundation’s Director of Programs, Balkans, Caucasus & Central Asia, Margarita Assenova, and The Israel Project’s Senior Advisor for Strategy, Omri Ceren. This panel examined the sources of E.U. reluctance, the prospects that diplomats will overcome that reluctance, the role of U.S. and Israeli diplomacy in the controversy, and the likely response of Hezbollah to probable scenarios. 


Margarita Assenova is a professional journalist and political analyst with more than 25 years of experience in print and broadcast media, including at Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty. In 1997 she was awarded the John Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for her reporting on nationalism in the Balkans. Assenova has worked on democracy projects in Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia for the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as the Course Chair (Contractor) for Bulgaria/Southeast Central Europe Advanced Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. Assenova has authored book chapters on security, energy, and democracy published by CSIS Press, Brassey’s, Freedom House, and Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers. 

Omri Ceren is the senior advisor for strategy at The Israel Project, overseeing TIP's news monitoring, research, and digital outreach efforts. In addition, he conducts geopolitical analysis for The Israel Project. Ceren has been involved in digital journalism for a decade, and in addition to maintaining his own political and academic blogs he has been a regular contributor to Commentary Magazine, Gawker Media, and Conde Nast. He is a PhD candidate in Communication at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication.

March 13, 2013 at 6pm - 9pm

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