Banning Hezbollah ends a longstanding struggle against terror

Hezbollah's flag
Hezbollah's flag

“We don’t have a military wing and a political one; we don’t have Hezbollah on one hand and the resistance party on the other…Every element of Hezbollah, from commanders to members as well as our various capabilities, are in the service of the resistance, and we have nothing but the resistance as a priority”” said Hezbollah’s General Naim Qassem, in October 2012.

But successive Home Secretaries and Governments have claimed to know better, proscribing only the so-called military wing of Hezbollah whilst allowing the single flag – The word “Allah”, with a fist coming from it gripping a riffle – to fly freely on the streets of the UK.

Well thanks to the current Home Secretary Sajid Javid, with the support of the new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, this is no longer the case. It is to be announced next week, at Tory party conference, that the Home Secretary will be proscribing Hezbollah in its entirety, an announcement that the ZF have been actively campaigning for, for over 4 years. Standing on the streets of London countering the pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iranian annual Al Quds march, the ZF, together with our partners at the Jewish News and communal organisations, have led the chants of “Terrorist flags, off our streets”. And next week those hopes will become a reality.

This is just one small step in the efforts to combat extremist rhetoric found on the streets of London and within these demonstrations. It is not only the Hezbollah flag that is flown to threaten and taunt the community and Zionist movement. The PFLP flag is regularly spotted, in whose name countless of civilians have been targeted, and logos and banners displaying the whole of the map of Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza proclaiming that one day, Palestine will be free and implying that come this day, Israel will no longer exist. Indeed, that implication is made explicit with the raucous chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. This is not a desire for peace, this is not support for a two-state solution, this is the express and explicit desire to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

The proscription of Hezbollah in its entirety will be welcomed by the Zionist Federation and the entire community. This ends a longstanding struggle and campaign for this terrorist organisation to no longer be given a loophole by which to gather support in the UK, but to be stopped, dead in its tracks. Hezbollah have been responsible for hundreds if not thousands of deaths in Israel, but also thousands more in Syria, fighting on behalf of the Assad regime. Hezbollah are an organisation hell-bent on the destruction of the state of Israel, by any means necessary.

Speaking at last year’s Al Quds day counter-rally, organised by the ZF, it was Maajid Nawaz who said it perfectly. In his speech he said clearly, “Do you know what the difference between the flag flying on this side and the flag flying on theirs is? IT IS A GUN”!  And that is it. What peaceful political party has a hand brandishing a gun as their symbol? I am proud to applaud the British Government and in particular Sajid Javid on making this step that shouldn’t be needed but is sadly a bold step to make, and look forward to a time when the support for terrorism in the UK is no longer accepted by anyone.

About the Author
Paul Charney is chairman of the ZF (the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland). The ZF is the UK’s grass roots activist organisation for Israel. Each year the ZF initiates events, ranging from lobbies of Parliament to events on campuses to empower Jewish students to stand up for Israel in hostile environments. As Israel is constantly subjected to campaigns in the press to delegitimize its existence, the Zionist Federation continues to stand at the forefront to ensure the dynamic future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
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