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February 25, 2019 3:04 pm

Jewish Groups, Israeli Officials Welcome UK’s Hezbollah Ban

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Hezbollah supporters in Marjayoun, Lebanon, May 7, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Aziz Taher / File.

The British government’s declaration on Monday that it would blacklist all wings of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization was warmly welcomed by Jewish groups in the UK and around the world, as well as by Israeli officials.

In a joint statement, Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, and David Delew, chief executive of the Community Security Trust, said, “The Jewish community, including our organizations and leading community newspapers, have long led the call for this ban.”

“The previously held false distinction, between the ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings, was denied by even the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, who said that, ‘The story of military wing and political wing is the work of the British,’” they added. “This has led to a situation where Hezbollah supporters were free to parade the flags of this antisemitic terrorist organization on the streets of London. Following today’s announcement, we call on all of the relevant authorities to ensure that this will no longer be tolerated.”

“The government, and in particular the home secretary and the foreign secretary, have our thanks for their leadership on this issue and we encourage other countries to follow suit,” they concluded. “We would hope that all political parties would back this measure to secure our community and the rest of the UK from the murderous, antisemitic terrorists of Hezbollah. It is customary for terrorism proscriptions to be supported on a cross-party basis and we call on MPs and peers to back the motions in both Houses of Parliament this week.”

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World Jewish Congress CEO & Executive Vice President Robert Singer said, “It is clear that there is no distinction between the so-called political and military wings of Hezbollah, which has for many years engaged in and promoted terrorist activity around the world. It is absolutely right that the UK no longer makes such a distinction and has recognized Hezbollah for exactly what it is: a terrorist organization. We hope that other countries, as well as the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization of American States will follow this lead and also proscribe Hezbollah outright.”

The American Jewish Committee and Anti-Defamation League issued similar statements.

Israeli Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted, “Thank you to the UK and my friend @sajidjavid for deciding to designate all of #Hezbollah as a terrorist group. All who truly wish to combat terror must reject the fake distinction between “military” & “political” wings. Now is the time for the #EU to follow suit! @FedericaMog”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon stated, “The separation between the political and armed wings is a false and artificial separation because both are controlled and supported by Iran, and enable the organization to continue to raise funds on European soil. We will continue to lead the struggle for the Security Council to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and mobilize the international community against it as it serves as an arm of Iran to spread Tehran’s aggression.”

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