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Corbyn’s Labour Party Won’t Back Govt Ban on Hezbollah Terror Group

labour party corbyn
PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

The Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party will not insist that their MPs vote to back a ban of the Islamist terror group Hezbollah in its entirety.

On Monday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that his Conservative government would introduce a blanket ban on the Iran-backed Islamist group known for its Holocaust denial, support for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and which calls for Israel’s destruction.

Hitherto, just the so-called “armed wing” of Hezbollah was banned in the UK, the legal loophole allowing supporters to wave the terror group’s flag at London’s annual Al Quds Day March whilst claiming to be only expressing support for its “political wing.”

The decision was made after British authorities said that they could no longer tell the difference between the armed and political wings — however, Hezbollah admitted that it does not make that distinction itself, with the group’s international relations official Ammar Moussawi saying in 2013, “Everyone knows that Hezbollah’s political and military wings are one and the same.”

On Tuesday, The Jewish Chronicle reported that Labour MPs were sent a text message informing them they would not be whipped to support the government ban in a vote.

This was followed by a statement from a party spokesman claiming that Mr Javid, who had succeeded where other home secretaries had failed to ban the Iranian-backed militia, was driven by “leadership ambitions” and demanded “clear and new evidence” of why Hezbollah should be fully proscribed.

The Labour spokesman also claimed that banning the group would cause diplomatic issues as it forms part of the “democratically elected Lebanese government,” which “would make it difficult to… work with the government on humanitarian issues, including those facing Syrian refugees, in parts of the country controlled by Hezbollah.”

“Decisions on the proscription of organisations as terror groups are supposed to be made on the advice of civil servants based on clear evidence that those organisations fall foul of the proscription criteria set out in legislation.

“The Home Secretary must therefore now demonstrate that this decision was taken in an objective and impartial way, and driven by clear and new evidence, not by his leadership ambitions,” he added.

The decision to not back the government’s plans comes after mass resignations from Labour in the last week following a series of anti-Semitism scandals since Jeremy Corbyn became party leader in 2015.

The socialist had referred to Hezbollah and Palestinian terror group Hamas in 2009 at a Stop the War coalition meeting as his “friends”; last year, Labour Party leaders instructed MPs to block Parliamentary efforts to ban Hezbollah because they wanted to “encourage” the Islamist militants “down a democratic path.”

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