London Mayor wavers, but supports UK Hezbollah ban

After wavering, London’s Mayor supports Hezbollah’s full designation as a terrorist organization.

After initially dithering on the subject, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan will urge UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd to ban all of Hezbollah’s factions and declare them illegal in Britain.

The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday that both Conservative and Labour politicians have lobbied for a ban on the “political wing” of the terror group.

Hezbollah’s terrorist wing is already banned in the UK.

Khan’s change of heart comes after Hezbollah flags were waved during an anti-Israel Al-Quds Day march in central London last month.

“I share the concerns of the Jewish community about support shown for Hezbollah, which is an illegal, proscribed and anti-Semitic organisation. Anti-Semitism or hate crime of any kind has no place in our city, where we don’t just tolerate diversity, we respect and celebrate it,” Khan said, according to the Chronicle.

He vowed to work with the police and communities across the capital to do everything in his power to “crack down on extremism and ensure London’s Jewish communities feel safe and secure in London.”

Last month, Khan came under fire for refusing to confirm that he would petition Rudd to designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

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The question regarding the terror group’s status was raised by London Assembly Member David Kurten (UKIP) in response to the Al-Quds march.

“That will close the loophole to stop people marching through the streets of London with a flag with a gun on it,” Kurten said in support of the terror designation during a London Assembly meeting.

At the same meeting, Assembly Member Andrew Boff (Conservative) accused Khan of not doing his job, saying the mayor seems to be “avoiding saying, ‘Yes I’ll [confirm the designation with the home secretary].’”

“I am pleased the Mayor has recognised my work on this and has agreed to write to the Home Secretary. This ban is long overdue,” said Andrew Dismore, Labour’s London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews welcomed Khan’s step.

“Hezbollah itself does not distinguish between its military and political wing which [are] one and the same. The government urgently needs to follow the example of the USA, Canada and the Arab League by outlawing Hezbollah in its entirety. It is a terrorist organisation,” said Marie van der Zyl, Board of Deputies vice-president.

In the past, the European Union (EU) has come under scrutiny for making a distinction between the so-called “military” and “political” wings of Hezbollah, only giving the “military” wing a terror designation.

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By: World Israel News Staff