Michael McCann
Michael McCann

Time to end an absolute wrong on Hezbollah

A common complaint is that all politicians are in it for themselves. I disagree. Most politicians, regardless of party, are committed to public service. Only every once and a while is there a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong. On all other days, issues are multidimensional and divide opinion. Brexit, for example.

The people your decisions offend accuse you of having an ulterior motive. It’s part of the job description.But people unite when politicians get it absolutely wrong. Here’s an example.

The Al Quds march and rally, organised each year by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), incites hatred and radicalises its participants.

Last year, just after the London Bridge terror attack, the government, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Metropolitan Police allowed participants to march down the streets of central London waving Hezbollah flags and spouting vile slogans.

The IHRC director Nazim Ali, said: “It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory party, to kill people in high rise blocks…. Careful, careful, careful of those rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands.” Further statements were also made during the event, including: “The state of Israel must go”, and “everyone knows that Zionist Israel and ISIS are the same”.

Not only are these comments offensive, they breach the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which the government claims to have adopted.

The reference to the Grenfell Tower fire was deeply distressing for the congregants of the local synagogue at St James’ Gardens.

After the fire, despite being an integral part of the community, they were made to feel vulnerable and potential targets.

These matters are known to the police. The Crown Prosecution Service chose not to prosecute. And as you digest those facts, try and suppress your disbelief when you read this.

These are the IHRC instructions on the use of the Hezbollah flag at their rally: “Flags displayed to show support for a proscribed (illegal) organisation will not be allowed. For example, you can bring a Hezbollah flag to show support for the political wing of Hezbollah. This is because the political wing of Hezbollah is not a proscribed organisation.”

Hezbollah only has one damn flag; it’s an assault rifle at the end of a clenched fist!

You couldn’t make it up. And here starts the political blame game.

Khan says he is powerless to act – but wait, doesn’t he have the power to set police priorities in the capital? Is stopping incitement and radicalisation not a police priority?

He blames the home secretary, who also has the power to stop incitement and radicalisation.

Sajid Javid can proscribe Hezbollah and ban their vile flag from our streets. Instead, his predecessors have (falsely) claimed that Hezbollah has a military wing and a political wing.

Note for our new home secretary: Hezbollah has one single leadership that directs its parliamentary work and jihad actions.

But behind the Home Office we have the puppet master, the Foreign Office, which is really calling the shots on Hezbollah.

Desperate to keep channels open with ‘moderate’ elements of Hezbollah – that don’t exist – while simultaneously endangering the British people by allowing incitement and radicalisation to take place in plain view.

The Israel Britain Alliance, its partners and supporters have had enough. This is an absolute wrong that politicians must right.

Our campaign starts this week. We call on MPs to demand that the home secretary stops the Al Quds march and bans Hezbollah.

Khan says he’ll support him, the Metropolitan Police will be thankful for the clarity and the public will say, finally, they’ve listened and done the right thing.

About the Author
Michael McCann is a former Labour MP and is now Director, Israel Britain Alliance
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