CST calls on the Government to ban Hizbollah flags after flags banned in Berlin

28 Jul 2016 by CST

Al-Quds Day, an annual demonstration established in 1979 by Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini, that takes place in cities worldwide, has long been criticised for allowing the flying of Hizbollah flags. In the streets of London demonstrators have chanted “We are all Hizbollah” and each year flags of the organisation, whose military wing is proscribed as a terrorist entity in the United Kingdom, appear on the streets. The flag features an assault rifle, so its meaning could not be more clear.

In Germany, prior to the Al-Quds rally, Frank Henkel, Berlin Senator of the Interior, stated that that all Hizbollah flags and insignia would be banned from the rally in Berlin. 

Hizbollah and its state sponsor Iran are viciously antisemitic in ideology and deed. For example, in a speech former Iranian President Ahmadinejad gave on Al-Quds Day in Tehran in 2012, he stated that “Zionists” started both World Wars, control the American government, control the banks and the media and aim to destroy all other cultures and nations:

“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour. Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of (Palestinian) land, in the future this story (of Israel's existence) will repeat...A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists”

Hizbollah poses a threat to Jews and Israeli citizens everywhere and has repeatedly targeted civilians throughout the world. That is why when someone flies the flag in London, or in any city, as CST has long argued, it is incitement against Jews and should contravene anti-terror legislation. Attacks against Jews and Israelis, often sponsored by Iran and perpetrated by Hizbollah include:

  • The bombings of Jewish communal institutions in Paris by Lebanese Shiites under Hizbollah control.
  • A failed car bombing against a Jewish community building in Bucharest, later discovered to have been carried out by Hizbollah.
  • The truck bomb attack against the Buenos Aires Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) headquarters, now known to have been ordered by Iranian government leaders, which killed 85 people.
  • The murder of Ehud Sadan, the Security Chief at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
  • The expulsion of the Iranian-born head of the Shiite community in Malmo, Sweden for gathering operational intelligence against the local Jewish community.
  • The failed attempted murder of the Head of the Turkish Jewish Community, Jak Kamhi.
  • The failed attempted car bombing of the Israeli embassy in Thailand.
  • The failed attempt to murder Israeli Consul, Moshe Kimchi, in Turkey.
  • The suicide bomb attack on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, against Israelis which killed 6 people and injured 32.  
  • The foiled attempt to murder two Israelis employed by the Chabad Jewish school in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • The foiled plot to assassinate Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak during a visit to Singapore.
  • The bombing of an Israeli embassy car in New Delhi, India, which wounded the wife of the Israeli defence attaché.
  • The foiled attempt to bomb an Israeli diplomatic car in Tbilisi, Georgia.
  • The arrest of a alleged Hezbollah operative in Cyprus who claimed he was told to collect information on Jews in order to target them.

In the United Kingdom, CST has long warned of the dangers Hizbollah poses to the Jewish community and has tirelessly campaigned to ban Hizbollah flags and insignia to be eliminated from the annual Al-Quds Rally in London. In December 2015, CST gave written evidence to Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into the fight against Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL) and included in the submission the threat that Iran, and its proxy Hizbollah, pose to the Jewish community. This month, when giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into the Rise in Antisemitism, CST Deputy Chief Executive, Mark Gardner noted the impact on the wider Jewish community that targeted attacks have, in particular the Hizbollah truck attack against the Jewish community in Buenos Aires in 1994 which murdered 84 people.

Britain has acted against Hizbollah and signs of support for the group. In July 2013, Britain led the campaign to ban Hizbollah’s military wing in the European Union, and CST and other UK Jewish organisations were proud to play their part. Later, in October 2015, two men were arrested for flying the Hizbollah flag during a Palestine Solidarity Campaign rally in London. A Police spokesman stated that:

“We recognise that activity and behaviour like this can cause concerns within communities, and we are committed to disrupting and dealing with any groups or individuals who aim to cause harm or spread fear and hatred, no matter what their ideological or political motive. While holding extreme views is not in itself unlawful, those who seek to create division within our communities and whose protests cross over into unlawful intimidation, violence and public disorder will be dealt with robustly.”

The Jewish News and the Zionist Federation are campaigning to ban Hizbollah flags from the streets of London following the Al-Quds Day rally held in the city on Sunday 3 July 2016. You can sign their petition here.

Image Credit: robotpolisher


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Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism