Home Secretary will 'consider' banning rallies flying the Hezbollah flag

Amber Rudd was asked to ban Hezbollah's political wing as well as its military wing


The Home Secretary has said she will “consider” a ban on marches where protesters fly the Hezbollah flag.

Amber Rudd said she would also think about proscribing the entire Hezbollah organisation, instead of just its military wing.

Ms Rudd was responding to a question from Robert Jenrick, the Conservative MP for Newark, during a debate on terror in the House of Commons.

Mr Jenrick, who said his wife and daughters are Jewish, told the House he was driving back with them from his constituency to London when “we were met by a protest where there were antisemitic banners and chants, and there were people waving Hezbollah flags – which for those unfamiliar with the flag, has a big machine gun on it.

“To make a mockery of the law, somebody had actually 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’.

“Will the Home Secretary, if enough really is enough, begin by taking action against these rallies, ban them, so that they can never happen on the streets of London again, and ensure the whole of Hezbollah is made a proscribed organisation?”

The exchange came following the Al Quds day march on Sunday, where Hezbollah flags were flown, and where Nazim Ali, an organiser of the march, said that "Zionists" were responsible for the fire at Grenfell Tower. He also said "we are fed up of the Zionists, we are fed up of their rabbis, we are fed up of their synagogues". Police are investigating his remarks as a possible hate crime. 

In response to Mr Jendrick, Ms Rudd said that it was “always distressing to see that sort of march going on”, and said that “the sort of provocation that he [Mr Jenrick] has described must have been very upsetting for him and his family.

“I will certainly consider what he’s suggesting and come back to discuss it with him – and if needed, the House”.

Under the UK’s current rules, the military wing of Hezbollah is proscribed as a terrorist organisation, but the political wing is not. However, the organisation has just one flag.

Besides its attacks on Israel, Hezbollah has committed atrocities against Jews in other countries. Most infamously, the group bombed a Jewish community centre in 1994, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds.

The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has called Jews "Allah's most cowardly and avaricious creatures. If you look all over the world, you will find no one more miserly or greedy than they are."

He has also been quoted saying that "if they [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

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