Move to ban Hizbol­lah man’s visit to Bri­tain

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY BERNARD JOSEPHS

WHITE­HALL OF­FI­CIALS have been lob­bied by MPs and Jewish lead­ers not to al­low a se­nior Hizbol­lah of­fi­cial into the UK to take part in a Stop the War Coali­tion “peace con­fer­ence” in Lon­don next month.

MPs have told the JC that Ibrahim Mou­sawi, ed­i­tor of Al Ma­nar, the mil­i­tant or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Beirut-based TV sta­tion, should not be al­lowed into the coun­try. Com­mu­ni­ties Min­is­ter Par­mjit Dhanda, re­spon­si­ble for deal­ing with ex­trem­ism, has told Jewish lead­ers that the gov­ern­ment is con­cerned about the visit and is ex­am­in­ing the case “very se­ri­ously”.

He had re­ferred the mat­ter to the Home Of­fice, where a spokesman said that “at this stage” it could not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases, but that the gov­ern­ment had banned Hizbol­lah’s ex­ter­nal se­cu­rity or­gan­i­sa­tion un­der the Ter­ror­ism Act. Board of Deputies pres­i­dent Henry Grun­wald also protested to the Home Of­fice.

Labour MP Louise Ell­man, chair of the Jewish Labour Move­ment, said she would write to Home Sec­re­tary Jac­qui Smith about the in­vi­ta­tion to Mr Mou­sawi, whose TV sta­tion’s broad­casts are no­to­ri­ous for their an­tisemitic con­tent.

She said: “This per­son is re­spon­si­ble for gen­er­at­ing hate and prej­u­dice and has no place at a peace con­fer­ence.”

She was joined by Op­po­si­tion homeaf­fairs spokesman Pa­trick Mercer, who called the in­vi­ta­tion to Mr Mou­sawi — re­cently re­fused a visa by the Ir­ish gov­ern­ment — an “out­rage. I don’t want any­body from Hizbol­lah to come here and be treated as a civilised per­son.”

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