The UK government is ignoring calls to ban terror group Hezbollah’s “political wing” meaning open expressions of support in the form of marches and flag waving can continue on public streets.
Britain has only banned Hezbollah’s “military” arm but not its “political” wing meaning there is a legal loophole allowing support for the organisation to flourish. However Hezbollah, by its own admission, does not differentiate between its political and military wings. The Hezbollah flag, which features an assault rifle, is used for both.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Monday confirmed that she has not yet closed the loophole and said she would not be giving a running commentary on the matter. That ambivalence prompted a quick response from Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
— Board of Deputies (@BoardofDeputies) October 3, 2017
The official statement read:
If the government is serious about taking measures to combat extremism, it must be made illegal to display the flag of a designated terrorist organization on British streets. There is no distinction between Hezbollah’s so-called military and political wings and it is time that the government ensured that support for any part of any terror organization is treated as a criminal offence. We will be raising this with the Home Secretary.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese-based terrorist organisation banned throughout the world, including in the Arab League, United States, France and Israel. It calls for global Islamist revolution, has carried out terror attacks for over 30 years, and demands the “liberation of Jerusalem” and for the destruction of Israel.
Backed by Iran, it has tens of thousands of rockets that can reach every city in Israel.
The Hezbollah flag was flown freely on London’s streets as recently as last August when pro-Palestine activists turned out to mark the now traditional end of Ramadan with an Al- Quds Day protest against Israel.
Meanwhile a petition calling on the UK government to Hezbollah in its entirety has now passed 12,000 signatures and shows no sign of slowing.
CUFI Executive Director, Des Starritt, says “Hezbollah is an anti-Israel, anti-West organisation that should not be allowed in Britain, yet … its supporters marched through central London flying Hezbollah flags.”
“If Britain is to genuinely say ‘no to terror’ then all terrorist organisations must be banned without compromise. Following the Arab League and United States in proscribing Hezbollah is one simple step that the UK Government can take in ensuring that extremism will not be tolerated in this country.”
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