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Labour tells its MPs: reject call to ban Hezbollah
From the Jewish Chronicle
Labour MPs have been advised not to push for Hezbollah to be banned in Britain because party leaders want to “encourage” the terrorist group “down an effective democratic path”.
The advice came ahead of a backbench debate on the issue on Thursday organised by Joan Ryan, a Labour MP and chair of the party's Friends of Israel group.
The briefing advises backbenchers: “There is a balance between making absolutely clear our abhorrence of using violence to achieve political ends and at the same time encouraging organisations down an effective democratic path.
“Full proscription could be a move against dialogue and meaningful peace negotiations in the Middle East.”
Ms Ryan will move a motion in the Commons noting Hezbollah’s “antisemitic ideology that seeks the destruction of Israel” and urging the government to add the group’s political wing to the list of proscribed organisations.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, described Hezbollah, and the Hamas terror group, as “friends” during a parliamentary meeting in 2009.
Jennifer Gerber, Labour Friends of Israel director, said: "It is sadly unsurprising that the Labour frontbench would issue a statement on Hezbollah which fails to support banning the terror group in its entirety, and which makes no reference to its virulent antisemitism, its desire to annihilate Israel and its appalling role in propping up Assad’s murderous regime in Syria. It is, moreover, utterly delusional to think that, having wreaked death and destruction throughout the region, Hezbollah can play any role in promoting peace..."
Photograph E Weatherwax Hezbollah flag in London June 2017