The Israelis have vowed to intercept the latest "peace flotilla" now en route to Gaza from Lebanon, as they have other would-be blockade-busters -- and they have every right to, since new evidence shows that some of the money and planning behind it came from the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
The US government, for its part, ought to be turning up the heat on Hezbollah -- not courting it, as some "experts" suggest. Though intelligence agencies have recently busted Hezbollah cells around the world, the group still poses a global threat.
Last month, authorities in Paraguay arrested a carpet installer and car dealer from New Jersey, who reportedly supplied Hezbollah with stolen cars and electronics. Moussa Ali Hamdan escaped authorities in late 2009 and went back to Lebanon before setting up shop in Paraguay.
Yes: It might surprise most Americans, but Hezbollah is active in Paraguay, especially in the tri-border area abutting Argentina and Brazil. Interpol's top cop in Paraguay says Hamdan may now be extradited to the United States for his terror-financing activities.
Also in early June, federal agents and Toledo, Ohio, police arrested Hor Akl and his wife, Amera Akl, for conspiring to provide Hezbollah with $500,000 by hiding cash in the hollow sections of a car they planned to ship to the terrorist group.
Around the same time, news broke that Hezbollah is getting loads of Katyusha rockets from Syria. The Times of London even acquired satellite images of a Syrian compound where Hezbollah had living quarters, as well as a fleet of trucks bound for the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
At least some Hezbollah arms are also smuggled from the Balkans. Serbian and Albanian media recently reported on the terrorist group's diversion and smuggling of arms, including sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, to Iraq and Lebanon.
And now the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar has inadvertently exposed Palestinian businessman Yasser Kashlak, financier of the new flotilla to Gaza, as a Hezbollah supporter. The flotilla's other organizer, Samar al-Haj, is married to a Lebanese Internal Security Agency officer who was jailed for the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, an assassination that UN investigators have reportedly found was carried out by Hezbollah.
Does this portend still more clashes between Islamists and Israeli commandos on the high seas? Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah certainly made sure to "salute" the members of the May 31 flotilla from Turkey for their courage after they incited a needless battle that led to nine deaths.
Yet, while Hezbollah leaves bloody fingerprints all over the globe, some Washington insiders are calling for America to reach out to the terrorist group.
Ryan Crocker, former US ambassador in Baghdad, suggested at a Senate hearing earlier this month that we should reach out to the group in the same way that Americans engaged with some former Sunni insurgents in Iraq. "Engagement can be extremely valuable in ending an insurgency," Crocker said.
That came on the heels of recent comments by John Brennan, the deputy national-security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, that the Obama administration wants to build up "moderate elements" in Hezbollah.
Problem is, neither Crocker nor Brennan was able to suggest who these moderates might be -- because there are none. Hezbollah is an avowed enemy of the United States and its allies. It refuses to disarm. To the contrary, with Iranian and Syrian assistance, it continues to amass a deadly arsenal.
As the worldwide busts in recent weeks demonstrate, Hezbollah still has a global reach, with unknown numbers of deadly nodes still operating around the world. America and its allies should take down Hezbollah at every opportunity.
Jonathan Schanzer, a former US Treasury terrorism-finance analyst, is VP of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.