By Steven Jaffe
Growing up in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s I’m familiar with the concept of a political party which has a terrorist wing.
Or was it the other way round?
“With an armalite in one hand and a ballot box in the other, we will take power in Ireland” – was the declared strategy of Sinn Fein and the IRA.
The flag of Hezbollah makes much the same point.
The first letter of “Allah” on the flag reaches up to grasp an assault rifle. Hezbollah is the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon – it works to gather votes and get seats in the Lebanese Parliament as well as dispatching opponents to early graves.
Hezbollah’s aspirations extend beyond taking power in Lebanon. As an Iranian proxy, Hezbollah fighters have been killing and dying in large numbers in Syria to prop up the Assad regime.
However, it’s Israel and the Jewish people who are principal targets to be wiped off the face of the earth. According to the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, the beauty of Israel is that it has gathered a large proportion of the world’s Jews to one spot, enabling them to be killed off in one fight.
At the same time Hezbollah has slaughtered Jews from Buenos Aires to Burgas.
No wonder the sight of a Hezbollah flag causes outrage. And not only to Jews. As European capitals experience the sharp edge of radical Islamist terror, the sight of terrorist flags from the Middle East being flown freely on our streets threatens everyone.
The UK government seems to be saying that the distinction between Hezbollah’s legal political wing and proscribed armed wing makes it impossible for police to make arrests and convictions obtained. The political wing of Hezbollah is apparently too important in Lebanon for the UK government to proscribe it in this country alongside its armed wing.
It is good that Mayor Sadiq Khan has cut through such niceties. He expects the police to make “thorough investigations” into the flag waving on London’s streets. More than that, it should lead to arrests.
Deputies and Jewish community members can act on this issue. They can support the letter-writing campaign of We Believe in Israel: https://www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk/campaign/stop-flying-hezbollah-flags-london/
And sign the petition being promoted by the Zionist Federation and the Jewish News:
It is long overdue for Hezbollah flags to be removed from our streets.
Steven Jaffe is consultant to the Board of Deputies.