Move to ban Hizbollah man’s visit to Britain
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.”