London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who faced criticism last month over his hesitation to support designating all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, plans to write to U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd to urge her support in blacklisting the Lebanese group.
“I share the concerns of the Jewish community about support shown for Hezbollah, which is an illegal, proscribed and anti-Semitic organization,” Khan said, London’s Jewish Chronicle reported.
“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,” he added.
Khan had been criticized by London Assembly members for his refusal to commit to supporting a full blacklisting of Hezbollah, following the presence of Hezbollah flags during this year’s anti-Israel Al-Quds Day march in London.
London Assembly Member Andrew Boff had accused Khan of not doing his job, saying the mayor seems to be “avoiding saying, ‘Yes I’ll [confirm the designation with the home secretary].’”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews praised the London mayor for changing his stance, saying, “Hezbollah itself does not distinguish between its military and political wing, which is one and the same. The government urgently needs to follow the example of the USA, Canada and the Arab League by outlawing Hezbollah in its entirety.”
The U.S., the Netherlands, France and Canada all designate Hezbollah—in its entirely—as a terrorist organization. But the U.K., like many other European nations, only considers Hezbollah’s “military wing” to be a terror group.