Facebook Twitter YouTube SoundCloud RSS

Why is the UK Really Banning Hezbollah?

(Image Source: Occhidellaguerra.it)

Robert Inlakesh
21st Century Wire

Britain is set to proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, but what does this mean and why now?

Prompted first by Britain’s Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, the move to ban Hezbollah in the United Kingdom is set to go through the House of Lords after MP approval. 

Previously Britain proscribed Hezbollah military wing as a terrorist organization, but refused to ban its political wing due to recognition of its involvement in social services and political processes in Lebanon. This view seems to have changed for at least some, but what has prompted this move?

From the view point of many in the UK government, Hezbollah works counter to western interests in the Middle East, allying itself with Syria, Iran, Russia and others, in order to pursue its own objectives. 

But this isn’t an ample justification for why the move is happening now, in 2019 there hasn’t been any change in the functionality of the Lebanese Hezbollah, nor has the group been implicated in anything hostile to the West that differs to what it was previously engaged in. 

In fact, if this was over the UK’s regional ambitions, then it would have made sense for this move to have happened years ago when Hezbollah got involved in the Syria.

In the past, there had been a great push to register Hezbollah  as a terrorist organization, but this failed, primarily due to the obvious, the move only hurts the United Kingdom. Hezbollah poses no direct threat to the UK and never has. Hezbollah is also the most powerful party in Lebanon and an outright ban would be seen as an attack upon Lebanon. 

The UK, after proscribing the political wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, also loses its leverage and ability to help bring a solution in light of another Lebanon-Israel war.

On another note, Hezbollah will not be damaged or effected by this move whatsoever, it is an entirely symbolic and almost childish, a move that even France’s Macron has rejected the possibility of taking.

So why now? Well if we look at the primary focus in the media surrounding this move, it has all been centered around Jeremy Corbyn and his previous encounter with the Lebanese political party. The move also happened to coincide with the re-emergence of the claims of endemic anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

It seems that the lack of knowledge on Hezbollah is the reason it is used as a tool to beat politicians with. Hezbollah, regardless of whether you personally consider it a terrorist organization, is consistently lumped in with terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, groups that are as different from Hezbollah as the apples and potatoes. In fact the two other groups banned along with Hezbollah, by the Sajid Javid, were two African Salafist groups who are completely different from the Lebanese Shia group.

Lebanese Hezbollah was born out of the brutal 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which claimed the lives of over 10,000 people and led to an illegal occupation of South Lebanon by Israel and its proxy the South Lebanon Army. This occupation was eventually ended following armed resistance, and often violent, carried out against the illegal occupiers which forced them to withdraw in the year 2000.

Since the official establishment of Hezbollah in 1985, the group has transformed from a small Shia Islamic militia group, comparable to groups in Lebanon like Amal, to a multifaceted political party and armed group, which is now the most largely supported and powerful group in Lebanon.

Groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS do not participate in the political systems of the countries in which they preside, they do not have overwhelming support from local populations and do not engage with different religious groups. 

Not only are Hezbollah not comparable to the likes of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, they have been fighting bloody battles against these groups in Syria and along the Lebanese border for years. In fact Hezbollah were instrumental in the destruction of ISIS in Syria.

The Republican Party in the United States has been labelled as “most dangerous organization in human history” by Noam Chomsky and other prominent scholars have concurred, however, banning the political party would evidently do little for other countries. If the action was taken by foreign States, then the US would most likely react as if it was under some sort of attack and claim that its political process was being undermined. 

Regardless of what your opinion is on Hezbollah, it poses no threat to the UK and the many claims laid against it have nothing to do with Britain. The framing of this organization by some media, using the public’s lack of understanding of Middle Eastern politics and Islamic sects, is done with the insidious intention of smearing Jeremy Corbyn and is flatly immature and insulting to the intelligence of the people.

READ MORE PALESTINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Palestine Files




Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue
Get Your Copy of New Dawn Magazine #203 - Mar-Apr Issue
Surfshark - Winter VPN Deal