A demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London yesterday saw scenes reminiscent of extreme Islamist rallies in parts of the Middle East.
At the demonstration against the use of metal detectors to prevent terrorist attacks at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, supporters of Hizballah brazenly flew the antisemitic terrorist organisation’s flag, just a month after a large pro-Hizballah procession marched down some of London’s most iconic streets.
When a small group of pro-Israel demonstrators arrived, anti-Israel demonstrators grabbed their Israeli flag and set it alight, shouting “Allahu akbar” and stamping on it.
We will be bringing the incident to the attention of the Home Office.
On Wednesday, Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted formal complaints over the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” march through central London on 18th June. The complaints are based upon our review of evidence gathered by the volunteers of our Demonstration and Event Monitoring Unit and members of the public.
Whilst the British government has proscribed the “military wing” of Hizballah under the Terrorism Act 2000, the “political wing” is not proscribed, something that even Hizballah finds ridiculous. In October 2012, Hizballah Deputy Secretary-General, Naim Qassem, said: “We don’t have a military wing and a political one; we don’t have Hizballah on one hand and the resistance party on the other…Every element of Hizballah, from commanders to members as well as our various capabilities, are in the service of the resistance, and we have nothing but the resistance as a priority.” Hizballah’s Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, who is the leader of any fictitious “wing” of Hizballah that the government may wish to imagine, said: “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
We continue to campaign for Hizballah to be proscribed as a terrorist organisation in its entirety, and we are discussing our proposals with the government.
Last week, our National Antisemitic Crime Audit found that in 2016, antisemitic crime grew by 14.9% compared to 2015 (44.5% compared to 2014), but only half of police forces charged any of the antisemitic crimes reported to them. The failure to enforce is especially alarming due the ferocity of antisemitic crime: 1 in 10 crimes involved violence. The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, responded by promising to review our recommendations and crack down on hate crime.