Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP has said she will “consider” banning Hezbollah in its entirety as well as “distressing” Al-Quds Day rallies in the UK, after Conservative parliamentarians raised deep concerns yesterday in Parliament.
Robert Jenrick MP and CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE yesterday condemned the display of Hezbollah flags at last Sunday’s Al-Quds Day rally and called on the Home Secretary to ban such rallies as well as the terror organisation in its entirety.
Conservative MP for Newark, Robert Jenrick, said in the House of Commons: “At the weekend, I drove my family back to London from my constituency. My wife and daughters are Jewish. We were met by a protest where there were anti-Semitic banners and chants and where people were waving Hezbollah flags—for those unfamiliar with the flag, I should add that it has a big machine gun on it. To make a mockery of the law, somebody had put a post-it note on one of the flags saying, ‘You cannot arrest me because I support the political wing of Hezbollah, not the military wing—this time'”.
He asked the Home Secretary: “If enough really is enough, will the Home Secretary take action against such rallies, ban them, so that they can never happen on the streets of London again, and ensure that the whole of Hezbollah is a proscribed organisation?”
Home Secretary Rudd responded: “It is always distressing to see that sort of march going on, and the provocation that he describes must have been very upsetting for him and his family. I will certainly consider what he has suggested and come back to discuss it with him and, if needed, the House”.
Watch the full exchange below:
CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE also called for the Government to ban the entirety of Hezbollah, speaking in the House of Lords yesterday.
Lord Polak underlined that “Separating Hezbollah into military and political wings is an untenable and artificial exercise”, adding that “in fact, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council designate Hezbollah in its entirety”.
Lord Polak stated that “at the Al Quds march in London on Sunday, Hezbollah flags were displayed in direct contravention of Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000″.
Urging the Government to take action, he asked: “In the wake of the awful deadly terror attacks against civilians in our country, is it not time that the UK demonstrated its commitment to combating extremism by joining our important allies in proscribing this terror group in its entirety?”
In a separate speech yesterday in a House of Lords debate on the Queen’s Speech, Lord Polak reiterated his call for the entirety of Hezbollah to be banned in the UK: “Separating Hezbollah into military and political wings is untenable and an artificial exercise; its own senior leaders have long insisted that its military and non-military activities are indivisible”.
Lord Polak said: “On Monday, I wrote to the Home Secretary after the al-Quds march that took place last Sunday, which I raised in the House earlier… I urge the Minister to talk to his friends and the Home Secretary. In the wake of several deadly attacks against civilians in this country, it is time that the UK demonstrates its commitment to combating extremism and joining our important allies in proscribing the terror group in its entirety”.
He said: “Hezbollah does not recognise the State of Israel but calls for its destruction. Its record of international terrorism I do not have the time to list—and yes, Hezbollah, together with Hamas, have been described by the Leader of the Opposition as his ‘friends'”.
Lord Polak emphasised the role of Iran in the formation of Hezbollah and continuing support for the organisation, openly providing “financial assistance, weapons, ammunition and military training to the group for more than three decades”.
He also highlighted the strength of the UK-Israel relationship, stating: “UK-Israel relations are in a good place. The two-way trade in 2016 was nearly £6 billion, and I pay tribute to His Excellency David Quarrey, the British ambassador in Israel, and His Excellency Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador here, for their professionalism and dedication”.
Click here to read Lord Polak’s speech in full.