NEW YORK – The World Jewish Congress today welcomed the announcement by British Home Secretary Sajid Javid confirming that the political wing of Hezbollah would be banned in the United Kingdom.
Until now only the military wing, and not the political wing, of the terrorist organization has been banned in the UK, enabling supporters of the Iranian-backed militant group to parade in the UK streets during the annual Al-Quds Day march waving Hezbollah flags.
WJC 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.”
Mrs. Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and WJC Vice President said: “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. 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.”
For the past few weeks, the diplomatic flagship program of the WJC, the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps, has been executing a global public diplomacy campaign with the objective of encouraging the international community to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Members of the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps have been conducting outreach to diplomatic missions in 50 countries, published media pieces in numerous countries, and executing a global social media campaign. The WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps has also worked specifically to oppose and prevent the Al-Quds Day parade in London and the inclusion of Hezbollah flags and symbols in the streets of Europe.
The WJC has also been urging the Organization of American States and all its members to formally designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
Hezbollah was responsible for the deaths of 85 people in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and remains a threat to Jewish communities around the world. Thus far, the Arab League, Bahrain, Canada, France, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, the Netherlands, the UAE and United States, have designated the entirety of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
About the World Jewish Congress
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.