London Mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed deep concern over support for the Hezbollah terrorist group seen last month at an Al Quds march held in central London.
The mayor said in a statement last week that he shares the concern of London’s Jewish community about the support that was shown for Hezbollah, which he called “an illegal, proscribed and anti-Semitic organization.”
Khan confirmed to Labour’s London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore that he planned to write to Home Secretary Amber Rudd about the matter, urging a full ban on Hezbollah. However, there has been no further news, and no letter has been issued thus far.
“I share the concerns of London’s Jewish community and others about support shown for Hezbollah, an illegal, proscribed and anti-Semitic organisation, at the annual Al Quds Day march,” Khan told the UK Jewish News in a statement. 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.
“I remain in contact with the Met Commissioner about this issue, and will be writing to the Home Secretary to make strong representations on behalf of London’s Jewish communities about their legitimate and understandable concerns. I will continue to work with the Met and communities across the capital to do everything in my power to crack down on extremism and ensure London’s Jewish communities feel safe and secure in London.”
Thousands of Hezbollah supporters marched through the heart of London waving the flag of the Iranian-backed terrorist organization last month, ostensibly to “show solidarity with the Palestinian cause.” The “political wing” of the group has reportedly been granted status by the UK government as a legitimate charity via the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC).
In response to the mayor’s statement, Dismore issued one of his own: “I have spent over a decade campaigning for the complete proscription of Hezbollah, as I believe the distinction made between the ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings to be utterly bogus,” he said. “I am pleased the Mayor has recognized my work on this and has agreed to write to the Home Secretary. This ban is long overdue.”
If and when Khan makes good on his promise, he will become the highest-profile figure in British politics to call for a ban on the group.
However, despite the numerous tweets London’s mayor has posted to his official Twitter account about LGBT and other causes since then, he has yet to post even a single tweet relating to this issue.
Moreover, his statement came a full two weeks after a clash with Conservative Assembly member Andrew Boff, who according to Jewish News had repeatedly pressured the mayor to write to the Home Secretary over the matter. Khan allegedly refused, preferring to wait to discuss it with others before making a decision.
“He is taking action now because he … is under pressure to act,” Boff said.
The terrorist organization is entirely banned in the United States, Canada and by the Arab League.