JEWISH leaders have demanded that the flag of terror group Hezbollah be banned from Britain’s streets after it was paraded on Sunday.
The yellow emblem — featuring an AK47 rifle — was shamelessly held aloft during an anti-Israel march in London to mark Al Quds Day.
“After all the terrorist outrages in our cities, it is time for zero tolerance for terrorist flags on our streets,” stormed the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson.
“If the display of the ISIS flag is outlawed, then why not the Hezbollah flag? Why the difference?”
Some 1,500 anti-Zionists paraded the flag of the Lebanon-based terror militia during the annual march through central London.
They also held banners reading “Boycott Israel” and “We are all Hezbollah”.
The rally for Al Quds — the Arabic word for Jerusalem — was organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.
Conservative Friends of Israel honorary president Lord Polak wrote to Home Secretary Amber Rudd to express concern at the public display of Hezbollah flags.
He told her that it has caused “great distress to many in the UK”.
And he called on the Metropolitan Police to charge those found in “direct contravention” of Section 13 of the Terrorism Act (2000).
Lord Polak added: “Separating Hezbollah into ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings is both untenable and an artificial exercise.
“In the wake of several deadly terror attacks against civilians in this country, is it not time that the UK demonstrates its commitment to combating extremism by joining our important allies in proscribing the terror group in its entirety?”
Zionist Federation chairman Paul Charney said: “The false distinction between the so-called military and political wings of Hezbollah makes a mockery of this country’s anti-terrorism policy, especially when its own leaders do not recognise such a disially when its own leaders do not recognise such a distinction. The question must be asked why the British government holds this distinction when Hezbollah themselves, and their funders in the Iranian regime, don’t.”
A Home Office spokesman also confirmed to the Jewish Telegraph that it is an offence to support a “proscribed organisation or encourage others to do so”.
He added: “The investigation and prosecution for all criminal offences, is a matter for the police and Crown Prosecution Service, who have comprehensive powers to take action under criminal law to deal with people who incite hatred or commit other offences.”
A source close to the Home Office confirmed that it is an “offence” for an individual to display the flags for these organisations, but the context and manner in which the flag is displayed “must demo-nstrate that it is specifically in support of the proscribed elements of the group”.
And CST director of communications Mark Gardner warned that the Jewish community is a “potential target” for future terror attacks.
He said: “Our community is fully aware of the terrorist threat situation and that Jews are sadly among the potential targets for such an attack.
“CST and our communal partners have argued for years that the Hezbollah flag should be illegal in this country.
“It is a disgrace that a terrorist flag, with an assault gun at its centre, be allowed to be flown.”
More than 1,500 people hit central London, many of them draped in Hezbollah and Palestinian flags on Sunday.
But, Mr Gardner added that the blame does NOT lie with the police.
He said: “Their job is to apply the law according to its interpretation and to avoid potential widespread disturbances.
“The flag is allowed on the basis of Hezbollah’s important role in Lebanese politics, notwithstanding the fact that Hezbollah itself sees no difference between its political and ‘military’ wings.”
But North West Friends of Israel vice-chairman Anthony Dennison, who was present at the demonstration, disagreed.
He said: In the wake of what’s happened over the last three months, where you’ve had Islamic terrorists killing in London and Manchester, to allow this march to go ahead during the aftermath is not just insensitive, it’s contemptible.
“People openly supporting Hezbollah, which belongs in the same grouping as those who committed the attacks in London and Manchester, on the bloodstained streets is beyond disgusting.”
A counter rally, organised by the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, managed to halt the procession of the anti-Israel groups.
Mr Dennison said: “Around 40 of us went to see the protests, to see what they were doing — whether it was peaceful or saying anything offensive or displaying illegal flags and banners.
“There was, at the front, a very big flagpole with a Palestinian flag on it and the bright yellow Hezbollah flag with a fist holding a rifle.
“I pointed it out to the police and they said that they had been told it was the flag of the political wing.
“The police seemed totally disinterested in the criminal actions, although they were recording it — whether they take retrospective action, I don’t know.”
When questioned as to how Greater Manchester Police would deal with such a rally, a spokesman told the Jewish Telegraph: “Unfortunately, this isn’t something we could assist with as we won’t be drawn on what we would do differently than other forces.”